November 26 Issue Forum in Newark on ACA | Mental Health America

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November 26 Issue Forum in Newark on ACA

November 26 Newark Forum on Transferring Lessons Learned in the Public Behavioral Health System to the Expanded Options under the ACA

Mental Health America’s Regional Policy Council will host an issue forum in Newark, New Jersey, on Tuesday, November 26, on Transferring Lessons Learned in the Public Behavioral Health System to the Expanded Options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The briefing will be held at the Hilton Newark Penn Station, 1048 Raymond Blvd., from 10:00 am to 12 Noon.

The inclusion of mental health and substance use disorder services in the new state exchanges created under the ACA will do much to improve access to care. The forum will examine how the recovery practices utilized in the public mental health can be translated into services that will be provided under the ACA.

Speakers and Topics: (UPDATED)

April Velasco, Ph.D., Deputy Regional Health Administrator, US Department of Health and Human Services— Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment

Mady Chalk, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Performance-Based Policy at the Treatment Research Institute (TRI), Philadelphia, PA— Research and Policy in Substance Use Treatment

Dennis O. Romero, M.A., Regional Administrator, Region II, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)—Parity

Sandy Forquer, Senior Vice President for State Government Programs, OptumHealth Public Sector—Historical Overview of Peer Support Programs

Peter Ashenden, Consumer/survivor and Director of Consumer Affairs at OptumHealth— Peer Support Services: an Emerging Resource for Health Reform

Mark Salzer, Principal Investigator and Director of the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities—Community Inclusion Outcomes and Why Community Inclusion is Medically Necessary

Mental Health America’s Regional Policy Council is a network of affiliate leaders who monitor and advocate for ACA implementation efforts in the states. This is the fourth in a series of forums on implementation being held around the country.

Mental Health America (, founded in 1909, is the nation’s leading community-based network dedicated to helping all Americans achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives. With our 240 affiliates across the country, we touch the lives of millions—Advocating for changes in mental health and wellness policy; Educating the public & providing critical information; and delivering urgently needed mental health and wellness Programs and Services.


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