Debra Pantin joined Outreach in July 2018 as President and CEO – the second person to hold that position in the agency’s 39-year history. The industry veteran possesses more than 30 years of experience in the substance use and mental health treatment, housing and homeless, and healthcare fields. Her exceptional background ranks Pantin among New York City’s top nonprofit professionals today.
Pantin began her career as a social worker and rose through the ranks to executive-level positions. Leveraging her leadership skills, she instituted and managed organizational changes that redefined agencies. She strategically expanded service portfolios, adding substance use treatment facilities (residential, outpatient, ambulatory detoxification and mental health) and a multitude of housing and special projects.
Previously, Pantin was the CEO of VIP Community Services, a Bronx-based social services organization offering housing/shelter, outpatient counseling, medical and mental health services to approximately 15,000 clients. While there, she successfully integrated healthcare into the agency’s continuum of care and supported VIP’s efforts to successfully gain a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) designation. During her tenure, VIP opened a mental health clinic, added care coordination services and brought ambulatory detox to its OASAS-funded outpatient clinic. The agency experienced unprecedented growth during her tenure with annual operations nearly doubling from $21 million to $39 million.
Pantin formerly served as Chief Operating Officer at Palladia Inc. (formerly Project Return). She directed operations and programs that annually served 26,000 clients with a budget of $50 million. As a key member of the leadership team, Pantin influenced programmatic and organizational change such as the launch of three outpatient programs in the Bronx and Manhattan. She also established a CQI (Continuous Quality Improvement) intervention for the agency’s community-based mental health services. Additionally, Pantin championed the adoption of NIATx (Network for the Improvement of Addiction Services) process as well as data-driven management to measure program performance. Pantin spent 25 years at the agency, working in a range of social work, clinical, program administration and executive positions.
Currently, Pantin is President of the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of New York State (ASAPNYS) and is the Chair of Mental Health News Education’s Board of Directors. She participates in numerous national, state and local boards, and was previously the Co-Chair of the Substance Abuse Treatment Committee for the Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies.
Pantin received her Master’s in Social Work from Hunter College School of Social Work, Master of Science in Management and Health Care Management from the University of Rochester Simon Business School, and Bachelor of Arts from SUNY College at Purchase.