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BHN’s Prominent Presence at National Council Conference

April 04, 2019

As the National Council for Behavioral Health held its annual conference in Nashville in late March, a Behavioral Health Network contingent was on hand, with several clinicians presenting research and observation as part of professional sessions throughout the four-day event.

“Hartford HealthCare was well-represented at the conference by an enthusiastic group of providers,” said BHN Physician-in-Chief Dr. John Santopietro, who was invited to give tribute to outgoing CEO Linda Rosenberg as well as to introduce the opening session. “It was an energetic, inspiring few days and I’ve urged our contingent to bring back the many pearls of wisdom they gleaned to share with their teams.”

Dr. Santopietro and Dr. Harold “Hank” Schwartz, psychiatrist-in-chief emeritus of the Institute of Living, were part of the panel presenting “Mitigating Mass Violence – What Can a Community Mental Health Center Do?” on day one. The session related directly to the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. Afterwards, they both participated in a podcast for Netsmart.

In addition, Dr. J. Craig Allen, medical director of Rushford, was part of the group presenting sessions entitled, “Peer Services in the Emergency Department” and “Applying Technology to Addiction Treatment,” which reviewed the range and focus of available smartphone apps and future opportunities for mobile technology in treating addictions. He also presented and facilitated discussion about the opioid epidemic at the Medical Directors’ Institute, a full day of programming also attended by Dr. Santopietro.

Other BHN staff attending the national conference included: Patricia Graham, LMSW, of the Connecting Adolescents with Psychosis (CAP) Program and a mental health first aid coordinator with the BHN; Jessica Matyka, LCSW, director of crisis services and community programs with Rushford; Melissa Monroe, LPC, director of the MATCH ambulatory programs at Rushford; and Patricia Rehmer, president of the BHN.

“I left the conference feeling extremely proud of the work we are doing throughout the Behavioral Health Network, and further inspired to do more to meet the needs of those in our communities,” Rehmer said.

The conference, which celebrated the National Council for Behavioral Health’s 50th anniversary, stressed the joint commitment of behavioral health clinicians everywhere to people in need. With the simple header “We,” the conference underscored that “when we work together, we change lives.”

“It was an amazing experience. We have many ideas to introduce at the BHN and have some follow-up action items already in the works,” said Graham, who, with case worker Paula Rego, also attended the Mental Health First Aid summit on the Sunday before the conference.

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