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Deborah (Debbi) Witham - CARF International. Washington, DC, US

Deborah (Debbi) Witham Deborah (Debbi) Witham

Managing Director of Public Policy | CARF International


Deborah A. Witham, M.S.W., J.D., leads CARF’s ongoing assessment of and response to developments in public policy.




Deborah Witham, M.S.W., J.D, managing director of public policy, leads CARF’s ongoing assessment of and response to developments in public policy affecting the U.S. health and human services sector. She is also responsible for standards development and relationships with regulators in the area of opioid treatment programs.

Deborah has vast experience in both direct care and executive functions in nonprofit organizations, including compliance and program oversight, and has worked with payers, regulators, and government officials. Prior to joining CARF as a staff member, she served as a CARF surveyor for the Opioid Treatment Program unit.

Prior to joining CARF, Deborah held the following positions:

Faculty Liason
Adelphi University - Garden City, New York
Provides academic and field practicum advising to Social Work students.

Field Advisor
Hunter College - New York, New York
Provides academic and field practicum advising to Social Work students. Facilitate group advising sessions using competency based curriculum.

Areas of Expertise (16)


Primary care and behavioral health integration


Substance Use Disorders

Social Determinants of Health

Methadone Clinics

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

1915(c) Medicaid waivers

Opioid Addiction & Recovery

Value-based care

42 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 8

Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)

Opioid Treatment Program

Nonprofit Management


Children and Families

Education (3)

New York Law School: Juris Doctor, Law 2007

University of Pittsburgh: M.A., Social Work 2001

University of Pittsburgh: B.A., Social Work 2000

Media Appearances (1)

CARF International announces new position and hire of public policy managing director Deborah A. Witham

CARF news releases  online


CARF International, the nonprofit accreditor of health and human service organizations, is pleased to announce the hiring of Deborah A. Witham, M.S.W., J.D., in the new role of managing director of public policy beginning October 3, 2017. Based in Washington D.C., Witham will lead CARF’s continuous assessment of, and responsiveness to, developments in public policy affecting health and human services nationally. She will report to Darren M. Lehrfeld, J.D., CARF’s Chief Accreditation Officer and General Counsel.

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Event Appearances (9)

2020 CMS Quality Conference

Aligning to Ensure Safety, Quality, and Value  Baltimore, MD


Business Group on Health

Driving Change Together  Washington, D.C.


National Indian Child Welfare Conference

38th Annual Protecting Our Children National American Indian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect  Denver, CO


National Council on Behavioral Health

NatCon 20 Kaleidoscope  Austin, TX


Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit

Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit 2020  Nashville, TN


Institute for Healthcare Improvement

IHI Summit on Primary Care  National Harbor, MD


National Jewish Human Services Association

NJHSA Annual Conference Vision 2020: CONVENE. CONNECT. COLLABORATE.  Dallas, TX


Corporation for Supportive Housing

CSH Summit  Philadelphia, PN


Modern Healthcare

Social Determinants of Health Symposium  Salt Lake City, UT


Articles (2)

When the opioid crisis comes home

CARF International 


When an opioid treatment program opens its doors in a residential area, its neighbors may have concerns, but these programs are providing life-saving treatment that will ultimately strengthen the community.

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A Way to Help Meet Federal Oversight Goals for Assisted Living

VOICES of the Governing Institute 


Deborah Witham, discusses how a public-private partnership could help bridge the gap between CMS oversight and the unique and dynamic assisted-living field.

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