10am-11am: Keynote Plenary Presenter President and CEO Ashwin Vasan MD, PhD. Fountain House, NY
11am-12pm: The Power of Community Thomas R. lnsel, M.D. Special Advisor to California Governor Gavin Newsom and Chair of the Board of the Steinberg Institute in Sacramento, Co-Founder of Nest Health.
12pm-12:30pm: The Effects of COVID-19 on Mental Health Care Sandy Young, LMFT, Admissions Manager, John Muir Behavioral Health Center
Ashwin Vasan, M.D., PhD, is the recently-appointed President and CEO of Fountain House, an internationally recognized non-profit that addresses the devastating impact of mental illness and social isolation through a pioneering community-based social therapeutic and social services model, and that has inspired the creation of hundreds of similar programs in 34 countries that serve more than 100,000 people annually.
Dr. Vasan’s expertise in public health policy and political and social advocacy on a local and global level will advance Fountain House’s work at the intersection of public health, mental illness, homelessness, criminal justice, healthcare, and social welfare for marginalized people and communities.
A practicing primary care physician, academic, and public servant committed to improving the lives of vulnerable people, Dr. Vasan holds concurrent positions as an Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, and has taught graduate students and trainees in general medicine, population health, and implementation science.
Early in his career, Dr. Vasan worked at the non-profit, Partners In Health, and at the World Health Organization (WHO) to increase access to HIV/AIDS treatment in the global South. He spent time in Rwanda and Lesotho during his tenure with Partners In Health, focusing on HIV, health systems and strengthening primary care delivery. He then led the multi-country health systems implementation and research program ARCHeS, based at Columbia Mailman, and most recently, as the founding Executive Director of the Health Access Equity Unit at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, he built the first municipal health department program focused explicitly on the intersection of health, clinical systems, and the social welfare needs of marginalized populations, including people living with mental illness involved in the justice system.
Dr. Vasan holds a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology from Harvard, his MD from the University of Michigan, and his PhD in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and in mainstream media outlets including Huffington Post and The Marshall Project.
Thomas R. lnsel, M.D., a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, has been a national leader in mental health research, policy, and technology. From 2002-2015, Dr. Insel served as Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). More recently (2015 – 2017), he led the Mental Health Team at Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences) in South San Francisco, CA. In 2017 he co-founded Mindstrong Health, a Silicon Valley start-up building tools for people with serious mental illness. In 2020, he co-founded NEST Health, a therapeutic online community for recovery. Since May of 2019, he has been a special advisor to California Governor Gavin Newsom and Chair of the Board of the Steinberg Institute in Sacramento, California. Dr. Insel is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and has received numerous national and international awards including honorary degrees in the U.S. and Europe.
Lara Gregario LCSW, Co-Founder and CEO of Nest Health
With 20+ years in the behavioral health space, in settings ranging from inpatient to community mental health and private practice, Lara has a commitment to empowering consumers, scaling compassion, and providing care when, how, and where it is needed. Innovating and designing programs in the digital mental health space since 2013, she has built telehealth programs and designed online therapy and mental health community platforms. In 2020, she co-founded Nest Health to provide an online space to combat loneliness and provide a path to emotional growth and health.
1pm-2pm: Mental Health Spirituality Patty Blum, Executive Vice President Crestwood Behavioral Health Inc.
Sandy Young, LMFT is the Admissions Manager at John Muir Health Behavioral Health Center and has worked in mental health for over 20 years. She started her career in elementary and middle schools providing individual therapy, group counseling and parent education classes. She also worked as a Social Worker at a Level 14 crisis residential for Contra Costa County youth. In addition, she worked several years as an Inpatient Psychiatric Case Manager for Kaiser Permanente, providing case management to Kaiser members at Adventist Health Vallejo, Fremont Hospital and other inpatient, residential and outpatient programs. The majority of her experience comes from working at John Muir Behavioral Health as a Social Services Clinician on the Child, Adolescent and Adult units. She is a strong component of the Clubhouse model and has seen firsthand how, with the support of Putnam Clubhouse, members are able to transition from experiencing frequent hospitalizations to leading productive lives. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and rescuing senior dogs.
Patricia Blum, Executive Vice President at Crestwood Behavioral Health, Inc. is a leader for the California Mental Health and Spirituality Initiative, has over 36 years’ experience in mental health services, and has family members with lived experience. She has presented at the World Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation; USPRA; IAPSRS; CASRA; Alternatives; NYAPRS and CIBHS.
SESSION EIGHT3pm-3:30pm: Community Behavioral Health Training Center
SESSION NINE3 pm-4pm: Housing That Heals, Moms on a Mission
Meji Singh M.D., Founder, TheHume Center
Teresa Pasquini, Contra Costa County Mental Health Commission, 2009-2015, Co-Founder Mental Illness FACTS-Family and Consumer True Stories
SESSION TEN3:30pm-4pm: Voting Rights and Access
SESSION ELEVEN4pm-4:45pm: "Say his name Miles Hall!" Fighting for a Non-Police Responce for those Experiencing a Mental Health Crisis.
Gigi R. Crowder, L.E.Executive Director and FaithNet Coordinator for NAMI Contra Costa
Gigi R. Crowder, L. E. a native of Oakland, CA. is the mother of 2 biological children; 26 years old twin boys and has served as a foster mom and mentor to many more through divine interventions. Gigi served for over 9 years as the Ethnic Services Manager for Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services and has worked in the Behavioral Health Care field for more than 26 years after completing her studies at the University of California, Berkeley. As a family member of several loved ones who have received private and public mental health services she is a strong advocate for promoting culturally responsive behavioral health services for all consumers and family members.
Gigi is the Executive Director and FaithNet Coordinator for NAMI Contra Costa. She also Chairs the California Mental Health and Spirituality Initiative. Gigi is the Co-Founder of Mental Health Friendly Communities a faith-based, community defined, mental health education and stigma reduction curriculum. She advocates for all to receive more honoring and culturally responsive mental health services by utilizing natural resources such as those found in their respective faith/spiritual communities. Gigi also works hard to promote the use of community defined strategies for all unserved, underserved and inappropriately served ethnic and cultural communities. She has a drive to improve outcomes for “At Promise” African American males and those who live with severe and persistent mental health challenges in Contra Costa County.
One of the highlights of her career is being inducted in the Alameda County Women Hall of Fame for her work in developing programs to enhance employment opportunities for individuals with psychiatric challenges, receiving the 2013 MHAAC Mental Health Achievement Award and most recently receiving the 2016 Multi-Cultural Outreach Award from NAMI California.
Taun Hall, Co-founder and CEO of the Miles Hall Foundation
Taun Hall is the loving mother of Miles Hall who was a talented 23 years old African-American male, when he was shot and killed by Walnut Creek Police on June 2, 2019 while experiencing a mental health crisis. Miles tragic death has galvanized a community and Taun works tirelessly on moving from pain to purpose as she and a diverse group of supporters work to improve the mental health system.
The Miles Hall Foundation is committed to creating a positive change for families impacted by mental illness. They advocate for a non police response to supporting individuals seeking mental health support while in distress.
Lauren Rettagliatta, Interfaith Peace Project, Past Chair, Mental Health Commission, NAMI Contra Costa
Teresa Pasquini advocates for reforming and improving the nation’s mental health system. As a family member of a son and brother living with serious mental illness, her 45-year personal experience drives her passion. As a nine-year member of the Contra Costa County Mental Health Commission, she was an outspoken champion for all. Ms. Pasquini is a founding member of the Behavioral Healthcare Partnership at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, a safety-net hospital.
Ms. Pasquini is a cofounder of Mental Illness FACTS/Right 2 Treatment, a grassroots campaign focused on quality standards and equity in care for serious mental illnesses. She’s provided testimony in multiple forums including the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, the National Quality Forum, and an event on Capitol Hill advocating for The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. The Bay Area Newsgroup recognized Pasquini for her local mental health advocacy during 2017’s Women’s History Month.
Most recently, Pasquini released a White Paper, https://hth.ttinet.com/Housing_That_Heals_2020.pdf, with another mom, Lauren Rettagliata. Their paper is a “call to action” for a “ health care system that includes a tiered array of Housing That Heals as part of a full continuum of psychiatric care…”
Lauren is the mom of four sons, the oldest has Autism, the youngest has Schizophrenia. In the 1970’s she lived in Texas and worked with a group referred to as the “mad mommies”. This group help formulate the federal legislation that became Public Law 94-142 which guaranteed a free appropriate public education to each child with a disability. This law had a dramatic, positive impact on millions of children with disabilities in every state and each local community across the country. Lauren has supplied testimony before the U.S. Congress and the Texas State Legislature.
Lauren moved to Colorado in the 1990’s; she had the opportunity to put the skills learned in Texas to work restoring the YWCA’s Women & Children’s Crisis Shelter. She was honored as Pueblo’s Woman of the Year and also by the Governor for her work in providing shelter and care to those who were seeking a safe haven from domestic violence.
The family returned home to California. Her youngest son was in need of treatment and care for a serious mental illness. Lauren sought help through NAMI. This led to her becoming involved with the Mental Health Commission. Lauren chaired both the Commission and the Finance Committee of the Commission during her five years on the Commission. It is here she met Teresa. With Teresa she continues on her mission to provide Housing That Heals.
Dr. Celio is a Director of Clinical Programs at The Hume Center, with oversight over Hume's three Contra Costa clinics in Pittsburg, Concord, and Richmond. Dr. Celio, who started working in the mental health field in 2001 and originally trained to be a Child Psychologist, found his calling when he joined The Hume Center as a Pre-Doctoral Intern in 2007. While this shifted his focus to serving adults diagnosed with serious mental illness, he brought with him an emphasis on the family and other systems that the consumer is a part of and a creative spirit that believes that healing and recovery can come through many surprising and outside-of-the-box pathways, beliefs, and persons.
Natasha Molony PhD, Director of Training, Hume Center
Dr. R.K. Janmeja (Meji) Singh is a pioneer in the field of Community Behavioral Health as the founder of the Portia Bell Hume Behavioral Health and Training Center and recently establishing the Community Behavioral Health Training Center. Trained by Gerald Caplan, Meji has made it his life's work to transform the use of consultation to help organizations and providers better understand the needs of those they serve and to streamline their processes/services. His lens on Prevention and Early Intervention offers unique insights into how we can use a Public Health Approach within the scope of Behavioral Health services. His colleague, Dr. Natasha Molony, will be utilizing an interview format to encourage Meji to discuss his lifelong journey with Mental Health Consultation which has culminated in the Community Behavioral Health Training Center (at The Hume Center). One of Meji's quotes about modern mental health treatment is: "If you're only treating symptoms, you're chasing shadows." In this discussion he will describe how to go beneath the shadows to understand the human being and their suffering.
Natasha Molony, Ph.D., is the Director of Training and Director of Prevention for The Hume Center Dr. Molony has had oversight over the professional training for over 200 graduate students in the field of Community Behavioral Health as she collaborates with over 20 Clinical Supervisors in providing quality training across 12 clinical programs. She has trained over 60 graduate students in the practice of Community Behavioral Health at school based settings and outpatient clinics to adults, children, youth and families. She has provided Behavioral Health Training and Consultation services to School District Directors, teaching faculty and counselors at school districts that focus on promoting healthy school communities which includes social-emotional development with academic learning for students. Dr. Molony is honored to have received the Meji Singh Award for Excellence in 2011 for her leadership as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Molony earned her Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from Palo Alto University with an emphasis in Child and Family Services.
Stuart Buttlaire, M.D., Regional Director of Behavioral Health; Regional Chair, Integrated Urgent Services Kaiser Permanente
SESSION FIVE2pm-2:30pm: Details Coming Soon!
Presentation by UCSF
2pm-2:30pm: Details Coming Soon!
Presentation by Clubhouse International
2:30pm-3:30pm: Raising our Voices Together to Make Change!
Stephen Boyd, Putnam Clubhouse MemberLived Experience Performance
Paige Taylor, Putnam Clubhouse member, Young Adult LeadReimagining Mental Health Care for the LGBTQ Community
Cindy Mataraso, PsyD., Director of Operations Crestwood Behavioral Health Inc.
Shawn Gilbert, League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley
Mary Schreiber, League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley
SESSION TWELVE 4:45pm-5:30pm:A Growing and Thriving Clubhouse Community During a Pandemic Shelter-in-place
Yan Bennis, Director of Programs, Putnam Clubhouse
Kofi and Abena Dodi, Parents of Clubhouse member, Joe Dodi
Joe Dodi, Putnam Clubhouse member, Hospitality Unit
Haley Thomas, Young Adult Coordinator, Virtual Clubhouse Coordinator
So, Do You Think You Can Dance? Reach For The Stars Member Montage
John Coombs, Putnam Clubhouse member lead, DREEAM Unit
Call to Action
Tamara Hunter, Executive Director, Putnam Clubhouse, The Contra Costa Clubhouses, Inc.
Paula Boyd, Putnam Clubhouse board of director, and member lead, DREEAM Unit
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. The League never endorses or opposes candidates or political parties. We influence public policy through education and advocacy. We invite men and women to join us!
Chiquita S. Williams (She/Her)Educational Consultant & Trainer, Fountain House NY Member Chiquita Williams is a Fountain House member, peer mental health practitioner and educational consultant. As a both a trauma survivor and an advocate, she uses her personal story to link mental health to broader social justice concerns. In addition, Chiquita leads various educational initiatives across the United States. In her spare time, she loves to cook, make art and watch baseball.