MHA 2014 Annual Conference: Parity and the ACA Bridging Gaps to Advance Mental Health

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2014 Conference Agenda

Wednesday, September 10th

10:00 am - 6:00 pm



11:30 am - 1:00 pm 

Regional Policy Council Meeting


1:30 - 2:30 pm 

Opening Plenary

Mental Health America introduces its newest CEO, Paul Gionfriddo, at the 2014 Annual Meeting. Paul will describe the personal path that brought him to Mental Health America including his experience as a mental health policymaker as well as the parent of a child with serious mental illness.   He will lay out Mental Health America’s vision for our nation’s mental health and the framework for this year's conference, developed with an eye on policy.

Paul Gionfriddo, President and CEO, Mental Health America

2:45 - 3:45 pm

Where Are We Now?  A 15 Year Update on the Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health 

Fifteen years have passed since the landmark report of the Surgeon General on Mental Health. Dr. Howard Goldman, scientific editor of the report and editor of Psychiatric Services, has a unique perspective on both the report and changes that we’ve experienced over the last 15 years in mental health as a part of overall health and well being. He’ll reflect on progress and challenges helping advocates focus efforts on our next opportunities to improve the nation’s mental health.

Howard Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Scientific Editor of the Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health

David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., Former U.S. Surgeon General (Invited)

3:45 - 4:45 pm

Determinants of Health: Income Inequality and Mental Health

The Great Smoky Mountain Study is one of the most rigorous and complete assessments of the development of mental health problems among youth.  It has provided several new insights into what we need to do to improve the health and productivity of youth with particularly dramatic results regarding the impacts of poverty on mental illness. Dr. Jane Costello and colleagues will summarize the major implications of the work for MHA’s advocacy in prevention and early intervention.  

E. Jane Costello, Ph.D., Professor of Medical Psychology and Co-Director, Center for Developmental Epidemiology, Duke University

William Copeland, Ph.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Center for Developmental Epidemiology, Duke University

5:00 - 6:00 pm

Welcome Reception


By Invitation Only

Affiliate Executive Directors Dinner



Evening On Your Own


Thursday, September 11th 

7:30 am - 6:00 pm 



7:30 - 9:15 am

Legislator Awards Breakfast


9:30 - 11:00 am 

The Affordable Care Act and its Impact on Behavioral Health

No one has followed America’s health care system more carefully than Susan Dentzer -  as the editor of the premier health policy journal Health Affairs, as the medical correspondent for the PBS news hour and now as a senior health policy analyst for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  In her keynote address Susan will provide a framework for understanding the multiple goals and challenges of health care reform in the US and the impact of the Affordable Care Act with special reference to behavioral health.  She will underscore the many challenges that remain both in the implementation of the act and on improving the America’s health and wellbeing.

Susan Dentzer, Senior Policy Advisor, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 

11:15 am - 12:45 pm

Keynote Luncheon: State of the Science

Dr. Philip Wang, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, has overseen some of the most important breakthroughs in basic, clinical and services research during the last decade.  In this presentation he will identify some of the promising areas of research that may fundamentally alter the way we think about treating and preventing mental illnesses with special emphasis on the role of advocacy in taking research findings to scale.

Philip Sung-En Wang, M.D., Dr. P.H., Deputy Director, National Institute of Mental Health 

1:00 - 2:00 pm

Measuring the Impact of the ACA and Parity on Mental Health Access

During this session, MHA will release the initial findings of an umbrella study on the impact of the Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act on access to appropriate and affordable mental health programs and services.  We will look at the drug formularies in key states and how those formularies have been affected by the laws, services available on representative plans from all fifty states and more.  You'll leave this session with a grasp on how access has been affected by the new laws, specific areas of improved access that show particular promise, and gaps that may exist under the new regulatory regime.  

Paul Gionfriddo, President & CEO, Mental Health America

Others TBD

2:00 - 3:30 pm

Innovation Nation: Affiliate Program Sharing Session & Coffee Break


3:30 - 5:00 pm 

Prioritizing Peer Services

Learn how and why peer services must be an integral part of the changing healthcare landscape. We'll look at research on the role of peer support in creating personal medicine and hear the story of how health care integration, fiscal prudence, medical necessity, and consumer advocacy came together in New York State’s Medicaid redesign. 

Mark Salzer, Ph.D., Professor and founding Chair, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Temple University

Ian Shaffer, M.D., Medical Director, Behavioral Health, Health First

Glenn Liebman, CEO MHA of New York State

Clarence Jordan, Vice President of Recovery and Wellness, ValueOptions

5:30 - 6:30 pm

Clifford Beers Society Reception
By invitation only


6:30 - 8:30 pm 

Clifford W. Beers Awards Dinner

On the evening of Thursday, September 11th we’ll celebrate inspiration and impact at the Clifford W. Beers Awards Dinner.  Sure to be a night to remember, we’ll kick off the evening with a special appearance from recording artist, author, actress and mental health advocate Demi Lovato, who will share her story of resilience and learning to live well with mental illness. Mental Health America will then bestow its highest honor, the Clifford W. Beers Award, for lifetime achievement in mental health advocacy.

Clifford W. Beers Award Recipient (TBD)

Demi LovatoRecording Artist, Author, Actress and Mental Health Advocate 

Friday, September 12th 

7:30 - 10:00 am 



7:30 - 9:00 am

Parity Compliance: What We Know, Where We Need to Go (Breakfast will be served)

We'll discuss the challenges in implementing the parity bill from the perspectives of the insurer and the advocate.  What kinds of problems have arisen?  What were the solutions?  What can advocates and educators do to advance the implementation process? 

Rhonda Robinson-Beale, M.D., Former Chief Medical Officer, Optum/United Behavioral Health

Carol McDaid, Principal, Capitol Decisions Inc. 

9:15 - 10:45 am 

Community Wellbeing

Learn about the CDC's mental health research agenda, surveillance activities and new Healthy People 2020 objectives that are being developed to monitor mental health and well-being in the U.S. and guide CDC policy positions in the coming years.

William Thompson, Ph.D., Co-Lead, Healthy People 2020 Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being Workgroup, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

10:45 - 11:15 am

Coffee Break and Room Checkout


11:15 am - Noon

Conference Close

Paul Gionfriddo, President & CEO, Mental Health America

Noon - 1:30 pm

Mapping the Future of Mental Health America (Working Lunch, Affiliates Only)

2014 has been a time of transition for MHA, with a new business plan guiding our work.  Much of that business plan speaks to MHA’s work with affiliates, and some of the ways in which MHA and its affiliates can be strengthened together.  In this special working lunch with affiliates, Paul Gionfriddo will look forward over the next year or two.  He will (1) lay out the business plan in some detail, building on themes already introduced in the annual meeting while describing some of MHA’s anticipated core work in the areas of prevention, early identification and intervention, treatment, and recovery, (2) provide an overview of how MHA is streamlining and solidifying its own operation while reorganizing itself around its work in these core areas, (3) explain how MHA intends to continue its efforts with partners to strengthen the overall mental health movement in America, and (4) describe how we hope that this work will engage affiliates, build on the strengths of the affiliate network, and provide value to affiliates by opening up some specific, new opportunities for collaborative work and funding for both MHA and its affiliates.  Paul will be joined in this session by MHA Board members representing affiliates.

Mental Health America leadership and Affiliates


500 Montgomery Street, Suite 820
 Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone (703) 684.7722

Toll Free (800) 969.6642

Fax (703) 684.5968

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