Articles, Leading Stories

July 1st, 2013

R.I. hospitals name top health issues

By Janine Weisman

Access to health care and the need for mental health services are among the most important health issues facing Rhode Island, finds a new Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) by the Hospital Association of Rhode Island (HARI). The Affordable Care Act requires tax-exempt hospitals to conduct CHNAs every three years and submit their findings and implementation plan with their Internal Revenue Service Form 990. Rhode Island’s 14 hospitals are all non-profits belonging to HARI and collaborated on a comprehensive state-wide assessment between Sept. 2012 and May 2013. Findings will guide community health improvement initiatives, says HARI Senior Vice President Michael Souza. [More]

July 1st, 2013

Hampstead Hospital launches Recovery Matters program

By Howard Newman

Hampstead Hospital, a private psychiatric hospital in southern N.H., recently launched a new residential treatment program for adult men and women who are managing substance abuse and addiction. The program, Recovery Matters, utilizes a highly-structured approach that combines therapeutic groups, individual therapy and family meetings. Recovery Matters started on April 15 and can house up to 10 adults. The clinical team, which rotates through three, eight-hour shifts per day, includes master’s level clinicians, licensed drug and alcohol counselors, nurses, recreational therapists and a psychiatrist. “The main reason [for adding this program] was being able to provide a resource for people [More]

July 1st, 2013

Task force tackles integration of behavioral health, primary care

By Pamela Berard

After months of collecting input, a Massachusetts task force is developing recommendations for the integration of behavioral health (mental health and substance use) and primary care for adults, children and families, within the context of service delivery strategies and payment reforms. The goal is to improve access and outcomes for those who face mental illness or substance issues. The nation is undergoing significant health care reform under 2010’s Affordable Care Act, modeled after Massachusetts’ 2006 health care insurance reform law. Massachusetts entered the next chapter in health care reform with the adoption of Chapter 224 of the Acts of 2012, [More]

July 1st, 2013

N.H. surveys gauge consumer satisfaction

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Even with severe financial cutbacks to the mental health system, it appears that customer satisfaction with New Hampshire’s community mental health centers, or CMHC’s, has remained high over the past half decade. Wrapping up its fifth contracted year of conducting surveys on consumer satisfaction levels with the state’s community mental health centers, the Institute on Disability (IOD) at the University of New Hampshire has released the results from the most recent year. Funded by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the IOD had contracted with the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services to survey [More]

July 1st, 2013

Law helps military rape survivors receive benefits

By Rivkela Brodsky

Legislation aimed at helping survivors of military sexual assault get VA benefits for treatment passed unanimously in the US House on June 4. Named for a Navy veteran who was raped and who fought 23 years for benefits after reporting the incident and being raped again in retaliation, the Ruth Moore Act, sponsored by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) would lower the burden of proof to receive benefits. “Our bill specifically says if you suffered a sexual trauma basically you shouldn’t be denied the assistance that you need,” says Pingree. “It’s a fundamental promise we make to people who serve in [More]

July 1st, 2013

Study: Belief in God aids treatment

By Jo Kadlecek

Belief in God or a higher power might not be on the list of prescribed treatments for depression or anxiety but a recent study concludes it can improve outcomes for psychiatric patients. Published this past spring in the Journal of Affective Disorders, the study – entitled “A test of faith in God and treatment: The relationship of belief in God to psychiatric treatment outcome” – surveyed 159 patients over the course of a year at Harvard Medical School affiliate McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. and explored the impact faith had on treatment expectations. Led by David H. Rosmarin, Ph.D., a [More]

July 1st, 2013

New Connecticut outpatient clinic planned

By Janine Weisman

A nonprofit, community behavioral health agency serving central and northeastern Connecticut hopes to break ground this fall on a new $6.7 million outpatient mental health clinic in Manchester. Connecticut’s State Bond Commission approved $3 million in April for Community Health Resources (CHR) to build a 30,000 square foot clinic at 444 Center St., a vacant lot behind Superior Court, once the site of the former Willie’s Steak House. A commercial loan and fundraising will make up the difference in the cost of the project which has a fall 2014 projected opening. CHR bought the 1.89-acre lot in December 2012 for [More]

July 1st, 2013

MSPP’s Stanley Berman, Ph.D., excited about new position

By Catherine Robertson Souter

In recognition of the role he has played in helping the school to both grow and thrive during his tenure, the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology has named Stanley Berman, Ph.D. as vice president for academic affairs. Berman has been a faculty member of the school since 1987 and served for the past eight years as the dean of programs of advanced graduate study. He was integral in creating and supporting the development of a number of programs including a master’s degree in global mental health, a clinical health psychology concentration in the Department of Clinical Psychology as well as [More]

June 1st, 2013

Parity is topic of public forum

By Phyllis Hanlon

On April 3, the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) presented its 9th annual public health leadership forum titled “Mental Health: Achieving Parity in Principle and in Practice.” A cross-section of noted clinicians and administrators in mental and public health painted a dire picture of existing conditions and offered suggestions for improving the landscape. In his opening remarks, Richard V. Aghababian, M.D., MMS president, drew attention to recent violent events related to mental health, specifically the shooting at Newtown, Conn. and emphasized the importance of establishing a relationship between public health and mental health. To illustrate Aghababian’s point, Jeffrey S. Wisch, M.D., [More]

June 1st, 2013

Green Mountain Care details prompt questions

By Catherine Robertson Souter

In May 2011, Vermont passed what appeared to be groundbreaking health care reform, going beyond the federally mandated changes that are beginning to take place across the country. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as ObamaCare, includes an expansion of Medicaid eligibility, a requirement for all individuals to secure coverage and health care exchanges, where individuals and smaller companies can purchase insurance at lower rates than they could on the open market. While the ACA introduces many changes and updates to the current system, it falls short of the sweeping reform that some believe is needed. Along with [More]

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