Introducing Our Expanded Mission & New Look

Taking a Moment to Reflect

Meet Our Team: Michael Burt

Equitable, Essential, Excellent Mental Health Care in the Nation’s Capital

The McClendon Center has been putting clients first for more than 40 years. It’s what we do. We were thrilled to recently be featured by the Public Interest Registry in its features of .ORG stories.

McClendon Center Appoints Dr. Samuel Allen as Medical Director

Dr. Allen is a proven clinician who brings significant experience advocating for vulnerable and at-risk populations in Washington, DC, Egypt, and his native England

McClendon Center, a nonprofit mental health services provider that has served the District’s residents for over 40 years, is pleased to announce that Dr. Samuel Allen has been appointed as its new Medical Director.

Dr. Allen is a proven clinician who brings significant experience advocating for vulnerable and at-risk populations in Washington, DC, Egypt, and his native England.

“Dr. Allen is a thoughtful, compassionate, and experienced leader,” said Tony Boswell, McClendon Center President and CEO. “He understands that recovery starts with the whole person and is best achieved when done in partnership, meeting the individual’s goals ⁠— a philosophy and approach that is integral to our work. We are thrilled to welcome him to the McClendon Center family and look forward to him helping us to build upon our longstanding tradition of excellent care.”

Dr. Allen joins McClendon Center after completing his psychiatry residency at Georgetown University Hospital, where he served as Chief Resident. He attended the University of Sussex for his undergraduate studies and received his medical degree from St. George’s, University of London.

As Medical Director, Dr. Allen is responsible for the psychiatric health and wellness of McClendon Center’s clients, the Center’s assessment and prescribing processes, and is the ultimate clinical decision maker for the agency. He also provides direct services for the Center’s clients, supervises all psychiatry staff members, and is the agency’s administrative representative for psychiatry.

Welcome Dr. Allen!

Sheandinita Dyson Named Chief of Staff at McClendon Center

Dyson is an experienced compliance leader with a demonstrated history of leadership in the behavioral healthcare industry

WASHINGTON — The McClendon Center is pleased to announce that Sheandinita Dyson, who has served as the organization’s Director of Compliance and Training for the last four-plus years, has been named Chief of Staff.

“Shean brings tremendous heart, passion, and experience to the chief of staff role,” said Tony Boswell, McClendon Center President and CEO. “She is a highly engaged, effective, and respected leader who understands our organization and our work inside out. I am confident and excited for the Center to continue to benefit greatly from her wisdom, insight, and thoughtful, strategic approach. There is no one we’d rather have in this role.”

Sheandinita is an experienced compliance leader with a demonstrated history of leadership in the behavioral healthcare industry. She has been with McClendon Center since February 2008, beginning her tenure as a Community Support Specialist, before quickly assuming a supervisory role as Team Leader. Her portfolio has included overseeing compliance for the Center since 2014.

Sheandinita served as the Center’s interim President, showcasing tremendous leadership of the organization during a six-month period of transition beginning in January 2021.

In the Chief of Staff role, Sheandinita is responsible for strengthening existing services, leading key strategic initiatives, and supporting the Center’s President and CEO in the development and day-to-day management of organizational operations.

Sheandinita received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Howard University. She is currently pursuing a Master of Social (MSW) from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Get to Know Our New CEO: Tony Boswell

Tony Boswell - McClendon Center President and CEOAs you may have heard, Tony brings a long track record of working with communities in the healthcare, human services, education, legal, government and nonprofit sectors to the Center. We sat down with Tony to learn more about his background and vision for McClendon Center, and discovered some fun facts along the way.


Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in behavioral health?

My passion has always been working with and for the benefit of people. The best way I know how to do that is through relationship building. As it relates to behavioral health, I saw an opportunity to enhance the effectiveness of organizations in the sector by leveraging partnerships and rallying coalitions around shared goals. I also love working with health care practitioners and social workers; it takes a special kind of person to do that job. I never trained to do that work, but I feel a kinship with those who do, and I’m grateful to call them my colleagues and friends.

Q: What attracted you to this role with McClendon Center?

McClendon Center has a strong reputation for putting clients first. That’s important for any community-based organization, but it’s especially crucial for organizations who primarily work with underserved populations. McClendon understands the intrinsic value of each individual and shapes its programs around this philosophy. Additionally, I saw an opportunity to expand programs for people with substance use disorders and youth. I felt I could use my talent for coalition building to expand the center’s reach and meet critically unmet needs in the community.

Q: How has your life experience shaped your leadership style?

I began my career in law, witnessing how a heavy top-down leadership style damaged the organization’s culture and created stress, antagonism, and fear. This experience taught me how not to lead, especially if your goal is to get people on the same team. By adopting a team-first leadership style, it’s possible to create compassionate, mission-driven teams that get things done for the community, resulting in a win-win situation for everyone.

Q: What are some of your key priorities as you begin this new role?

My top priorities are: 1) improving McClendon’s culture in a manner that embraces, recognizes and rewards the amazing people that do this important work; 2) expanding the scope and scale of McClendon’s services; and 3) increasing investment in our mission. People of color, who are our primary consumers, have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and the ongoing racial trauma stemming from incidents of police brutality across the country. Rising to these demands will take a collaborative approach that both takes stock of our community’s assets and clearly identifies its needs.

Q: What is something McClendon Center supporters might be surprised to learn about you?

I’m a tennis fanatic, I love to play the game. I’m also a pescatarian and have been for many years. A whole-fried red snapper is my food nirvana.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with our community as you begin your new role?

I couldn’t be happier or more proud to be in this role, and I can’t wait to meet everyone who’s part of our community.

McClendon Center Awarded Behavioral Health Accreditation from The Joint Commission

The Center has been accredited by the Joint Commission since 1999, a prestigious credential not shared by any other behavioral health provider in the District of Columbia.

McClendon Center is thrilled to announce that it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Behavioral Health Care and Human Services Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with the highest national standards for safety and quality of care.

The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective behavioral health care.

“As a private accreditor, The Joint Commission surveys health care organizations to protect the public by identifying deficiencies in care and working with those organizations to correct them as quickly and sustainably as possible,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend McClendon Center for its continuous quality improvement efforts in patient safety and quality of care.”

“This achievement is a testament to our staff who every day bring passion, talent, and heart to the work we do to improve the health and quality of life for residents of the District,” said Tony Boswell, McClendon Center’s President and CEO. “The accreditation process ensures the Center’s programs and services are putting our clients first, and are as responsive as possible to the needs of our community – even amid the most difficult of years. I’d like to especially recognize the leadership of Michael Burt, our Director of Quality Improvement, and Caitlin Apo, our Clinical Director, each who played pivotal roles in this great accomplishment.”

The Center has been accredited by the Joint Commission since 1999, a prestigious credential not shared by any other behavioral health provider in the District of Columbia.

For more information, please visit The Joint Commission website

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