Surendra Bir Adhikari, PhD, MedSoc, MA
Senior Mental Health Administrator and Health Equity Lead
Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services

Surendra Bir Adhikari is a Senior Mental Health Administrator and Health Equity Lead with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (ODMHAS). He leads behavioral health and tobacco-related disparities research on diverse race/ethnicities and special populations, including refugees. He has authored a technical paper on mental health, trauma, and suicide among Bhutanese refugees in Ohio. As a translational effort, he coordinated technical assistance and culturally competent trainings, such as adult training in mental health first aid and intergenerational conflict training supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). With SAMHSA’s encouragement, he also directed a community needs assessment study on the impact of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal on the behavioral health of Nepalis living in the United States.

Dr. Adhikari represents ODMHAS in national health disparities networks, including the National Network on Eliminating Disparities. As a subject-matter expert on Asian and immigrant health, he has served on several national panels. He participated in a 2016 roundtable organized by the SAMHSA Office of Behavioral Health Equity by presenting, “Behavioral Health of Bhutanese Immigrants: Health Equity and Social Determinants Implications.” His research on the social determinants of mental health has generated two published papers on an environmental scan of publicly funded behavioral health housing in Ohio.

Dr. Adhikari’s 20 years of national expertise is supported by an additional 15 years of international experience in public health and development in Asia and Africa. He was a socioeconomic planner and served on a war rehabilitation team with the United Nations Center for Human Settlements in Uganda. He has provided consultations to the Asian Development Bank, UNDP, ILO, UNICEF, and World Bank in Nepal. He was an invited panel speaker in Shanghai, China in 2015 to mark the launch of a toolkit on Asian Youth Tobacco Control Advocacy.

Dr. Adhikari is a native of Nepal. He earned his PhD in medical sociology from the University of Akron.