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Regional Policy Council


Mental Health America's goal is to partner with our affiliate field to initiate, advocate for, and implement federal and state policies that positively affect the lives of children, youth, and adults with mental health and substance use conditions. MHA established in 2009 a Regional Policy Council (RPC) to work with MHA's Public Policy and Advocacy Department to achieve these policy goals in a coordinated and effective manner. The RPC is comprised of seven of MHA's most knowledgeable affiliate public policy or executive directors.

Many of the issues facing mental health treatment infrastructure and adequacy are related to implementation of federal laws, or are state level issues that are common across the states. Each state faces challenges related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid Expansion, the Mental Health Parity and Equity Act (MHPAEA), integration of behavioral health services, workforce adequacy, access to community-based services and supports, and the use of peers. The RPC forms a nationwide movement toward a robust mental health system that promotes prevention and early intervention initiatives, access to integrated community-based treatments, and supports that are recovery-focused and that encompass community inclusion.


  • Evolving Strategies for the Delivery and Payment of Mental Health Services - February 19, Washington, DC

    • Hill Update - Debbie Plotnick, MSS, MLSP and Nathaniel Counts, JD, Mental Health America (Slides)
    • Integration of Physical and Behavioral Health - Tenly Pau Biggs, MSW, LGSW, SAMHSA/CMHS (Slides); Alex Ross, Sc.D., HRSA (Slides)
    • Medicaid Redesign: The NY Model - Harvey Rosenthal, NYAPRS (Slides); Glenn Liebman, MHANY (Slides)
    • Funding for Peer and Crisis Services in Managed Care Behavioral Health - Dr. Larry Goldman and Lori Szczygiel, Beacon Health Options (Slides)


HHS RegionsBarbara Johnston, Director of Advocacy, MHA in New Jersey
Represents HHS Regions 1, 2, & 3: CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, & VT

Ben Harrington, Executive Director, MHA of East Tennessee
Represents HHS Region 6: AK, LA, NM, OK, TN, TX

Kate McAllister, Assistant Director, MHA of Central Carolinas
Represents HHS Region 4: AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, VA, WV

Moe Keller, Vice President of Public Affairs and Systems Advocacy, MHA of Colorado
Represents HHS Region 8, 9, & 10: AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, ND, NV, OR, SD, UT, WA, WY

Shel Gross, Director of Public Policy, MHA of Wisconsin
Represents HHS Regions 5 & 7: IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, OH, WI

Associate Representatives:

Laurie Barnett Levine, Executive Director, MHA of Westmoreland County

Bill Kelly, Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs, MHA of Greater Houston


Mental Health America would like to thank our generous sponsors for supporting the 2015 Regional Policy Council.










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 Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone (703) 684.7722

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Fax (703) 684.5968

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