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About Us

Saint Louis MHB is an independent taxing district in the City of St. Louis authorized in Missouri state statutes and local ballot initiatives to administer public funds for behavioral health and children’s services for the benefit of City residents. MHB does not provide direct services itself but makes funding available for direct services operated by non-profit agencies. Please refer to our Partnerships pages for information on direct service programs funded by MHB.

MHB administers two City property taxes:

Community Children’s Services Fund is committed to improving the well-being of children from birth through age 18 in the City of St. Louis, by investing in a wide array of quality programs, from prevention to treatment, and supporting the development of a coordinated system of services for children.

Community Mental Health Fund invests in accessible, high-quality behavioral health and substance use recovery services. The evidence-based practices used by many grantees are effective and economical, leading to measurable results that improve the quality of life for City residents.

MHB invests these tax dollars primarily in grants to non-profit service organizations. Most grants are renewable for up to three years. In addition to grantmaking, MHB addresses behavioral health needs by making investments in partnership with other funders, and funding special initiatives in response to pressing, emerging community needs.

Custodian of Records

The Custodian of Records for Saint Louis MHB is the Executive Director.
All requests made under the State of Missouri’s Sunshine Law must be made in writing, by mail or email, addressed directly to:
Cassandra Kaufman, ED
Saint Louis MHB
333 South 18th St.
Suite 200
St. Louis, MO 63103

Our Investment Options

MHB employs a variety of ways to disseminate funds to the community—funds that achieve tangible results for City residents:

Competitive Grants to non-profit organizations for three-year cycles

Initiatives address an important or emerging need, which MHB chooses to support

Investment Managers are projects that align with MHB’s priorities in which a lead agency is chosen to re-grant designated MHB funds to other direct service providers in a field of service for which the lead agency has distinct expertise

Funding Partnerships in which one or more other funders combine their resources with MHB to achieve greater impact

Permanent Supportive Housing provides funds for rehab or new-build housing units made in the form of 10-year forgivable loans to address needs for permanent housing by persons with serious emotional disorders

Strategic Initiatives that are consistent with MHB’s mission and priorities for which special funding is sought to address a compelling need not available through the tax funds

Mission & Vision

Mission – MHB improves the quality of life for city residents by investing and participating in a coordinated system of social, behavioral and physical health services aligned with community priorities.

Vision – MHB is a strategic visionary leader investing in and strengthening an integrated system of social, behavioral and physical health services to build an equitable, thriving community.

Core Values

The following core values are what MHB stands for and what guides us in our work each day:

Stewardship and Accountability

Consumer Centered

Collaborative Leadership


Effectiveness Through Learning

Measurable Impact

Strategic Domains

Three domains are the key areas on which MHB focuses attention:

Embody exemplary stewardship of public resources

Amplify communication and knowledge supporting a system of high-quality social, behavioral and physical health services

Improve social and behavioral health responses in St. Louis through creative community problem solving

To explore, click the "+" icon in the lower right coner of the interactive feature. You can also download a PDF version.

Board of Trustees

Terrell Carter, DMin


Executive Director, Rise Community Development

Lindenwood Park Neighborhood

Donna Schmitt, JD

Vice Chair

Partner – Armstrong Teasdale, LLC

St. Louis Hills Neighborhood

Rob Poirier, M.D.


Clinical Chief of Emergency Medicine
Washington University School of Medicine

Central West End Neighborhood

Andi Blaylock

Global Director of Wellbeing - Emerson

DeBaliviere Place Neighborhood

Vander Corliss

CFO - United Way

Downtown Neighborhood

Linda Grayson

Manager – May Company – Retired

Central West End Neighborhood

Ronald Griffin

Director of Clinical Services with St. Louis County Department of Health

Penrose Neighborhood

Mario Hamell

Director of Operations – Parallon, Customer Service Division

Gravois Park Neighborhood

Carolyn Jackson

Substitute Teacher – Confluence South City Academy

Enright Neighborhood

Julia D. López, PhD, MPH, LCSW

Instructor of Medicine - Division of Infectious Diseases, Washington University

Forest Park Southeast Neighborhood

Lisa Mulligan

Director of Program & Development - Girls on the Run St. Louis

Shaw Neighborhood

Cassandra Pinkston, MPA

Chief Executive Officer - Higher Education Consortium of Metropolitan St. Louis

Shaw Neighborhood

Staff Members

Cassandra Kaufman

Executive Director

Serena Muhammad

Deputy Director

Denise Carter

Grants Administrator

Sue Culli

Digital Director

Zenique Gardner-Perry

St. Louis Area Violence Prevention Commission - Project Director

Dave Haasis

Director of Clinical Partnerships

Susan Kabat


Alicia Lee

Executive Assistant

Jessica Meyers

St. Louis Area Violence Prevention Commission - Director

Lisa Potts

Director of Prevention Partnerships

Poli Rijos

Director of Youth Development Partnerships

Our History


MHB Founded

The St. Louis mental health mil tax passed in November 1992, although revenue did not become available until January 1994 at which time board membership was determined and Don Cuvo became Executive Director. An office was quickly established at 4144 Lindell in the Central West End.


Children’s Services Approved

Children’s Services Approved

In November 2004, voters approved a new and dedicated tax to fund much-needed children’s services.


Request for Proposals

Request for Proposals

In January 2006, MHB released a call to request proposals addressing the new Community Children’s Services Fund based on outcome funding.


Jama Dodson Becomes Executive Director

Jama Dodson Becomes Executive Director

In 2012, Don Cuvo retired after 18 years of service. The new Executive Director, Jama Dodson took over. The same year MHB celebrated over 100 Million in funding to the City of St. Louis.


MHB Moves to Union Station

In March 2013, under new leadership, a growing MHB relocated to the Post Office Annex in Union Station.


Remembering Don Cuvo

Remembering Don Cuvo

On April 28, 2015 Don Cuvo passed away. His 18+ years of exceptional leadership at MHB and vision for how we care for our city’s most vulnerable left a wonderful legacy.


MHB Celebrates 25 Years

January 2019, with a new logo, new website and a renewed vision for the future, MHB celebrates 25 years and investing over 200 million in grants serving the residents of the City of St. Louis.


Early Childhood Funding

Early Childhood Funding

In November 2020, voters expanded the CCSF funding to its full amount, a property tax increase from $0.19 to $0.25 per $100 in assessed property value, which will result in $2.3 million (approx.) annually dedicated to supporting early childhood programs and services.


Cassandra Kaufman Becomes Executive Director

Cassandra Kaufman Becomes Executive Director

The Saint Louis MHB Board of Trustees announced the selection of Cassandra Kaufman, MSW, as MHB’s next Executive Director, effective July 1, 2021 after serving 8 years as the Deputy Director and more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit management and leadership in health and human services.

Ms. Kaufman will become the third Executive Director of MHB, succeeding Jama Dodson who announced her retirement in January.