Carol McDaid

Travels from Virginia

Carol McDaid is a powerhouse speaker with articulate, educated and passionate views to share!

General Topics






Carol McDaid serves as Principal at Capitol Decisions, Inc. Capitol Decisions has a special expertise in addiction and mental health policy.  For over 20 years, Ms. McDaid has worked with leading drug and alcohol treatment centers, addiction physicians, prevention and consumer organizations and mental health consumer and provider organizations to refine public policy addressing addiction and mental health. 

With over 25 years of Federal legislative experience in Washington, Ms. McDaid provides clients with public affairs consulting on issues that span the breadth of health care, including behavioral health, Medicare, Medicaid, and private sector reimbursement issues.

Ms. McDaid served as a strategist and advisor to the Parity NOW Coalition, which was influential in passage of the 2008 “Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.”  This landmark legislation requires insurers to treat addiction, mental, and physical health problems equally.

The Parity NOW Coalition became a model for also successfully advocating for inclusion of addiction and mental health benefits in health-care reform legislation.  Addiction and mental health provider and consumer organizations made up the coalition as well as the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association and other partners.  McDaid served as an advisor and strategist to this Coalition during the health care reform debate in Congress.

To make a difference at the local level, in 2004, Ms. McDaid co-founded the McShin Foundation in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, John Shinholser.  McShin is the leading non-profit, full-service recovery community organization committed to serving individuals and families in and seeking recovery from addiction in the State of Virginia.  McShin offers peer-to-peer recovery support services that include recovery coaching/mentoring and housing. 

Because Ms. McDaid personally struggled with addiction, she understands the challenges, political and personal, of dealing with alcohol and drug issues.  She is a founding Board Member of Faces and Voices of Recovery and currently serves on the Board of Young People in Recovery.  In 2007, she received the Johnson Institute’s America Honors Recovery Award.

Carol shares her life in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, another powerhouse recovery advocate, John Shinholser. Together they host many recovery events and often spend their spare time continuing to help others.

Speaking Topics

Bringing Together Islands to form Land.  

This introspective explores where we are today in finding solutions for addiction and recovery supports. Ms. McDaid talks about the importance of creating unity and discusses different strategies to enact change, including an approach where the emphasis is on developing a unified message amongst many different organizations. She offers expertise in training non-profit boards on how to manage and engage in federal advocacy efforts in Washington, DC Ms. McDaid also speaks on the solutions to attain uniformed quality standards in the fields of addiction and recovery. 

How to Move Mountains

Ms. McDaid acknowledges the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Act and the Affordable Care Act as important legislation, but asks the tough questions on why they have not been well implemented or enforced to date. Ms. McDaid talks candidly about the tactics that may be needed to properly implement and enforce regulations and policies within each of these important Acts.

Dive Deep  

Ms. McDaid knows we now need to move forward quickly and dive deep to come up with comprehensive solutions to address the nation's opiate epidemic. With her years of legislative experience along with a personal connection to addiction and recovery, you will find that Ms. McDaid delivers a heartfelt and informative summary of where we are today and the nation's ongoing response to this crisis.

Making the addiction recovery field a constituency of consequence.
— Carol McDaid