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Centerstone Chief Medical Officer Named Exemplary Psychiatrist by the National Alliance on Mental Illness

Karen Rhea, MD one of only 15 distinguished winners nationwide

Nashville, Tenn.—Centerstone, the nation’s leading not-for-profit provider of community-based mental health and addiction services today announced that Karen Rhea, MD, Chief Medical Officer for the organization, has received a 2011 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Exemplary Psychiatrist Award.

The prestigious annual award was given to just 15 winners nationwide, this year. According to NAMI, the award is given to psychiatrists who go the extra mile and who have made substantial contributions to a NAMI affiliate or NAMI state organization activities. Winners are recognized for their advocacy for access to care and research funding, community education programs and other NAMI priorities.

“We are incredibly proud that Dr. Rhea has received this recognition for her service and dedication to our community,” said Dr. Bob Vero, CEO of Centerstone. “This award is particularly special because honorees are nominated by individuals and families whose lives have been directly affected by mental illness. This recognition says a lot about the individualized care that Dr. Rhea provides for Centerstone’s patients every day as she works tirelessly to carry out our mission of preventing and curing mental illness and addiction.”

The only winner of this award in Tennessee, Dr. Rhea will be honored during the NAMI Tennessee’s State Convention on September 23 at Nashville’s Millennium Maxwell House Hotel. In addition, NAMI will announce the winners in their September issue of the Advocate.

As Chief Medical Officer at Centerstone, Dr. Rhea oversees Centerstone’s psychiatric services and ensures that these are effectively integrated within all of Centerstone’s programs throughout Middle Tennessee. She also plays a key role in Centerstone’s ongoing research projects regarding psychopharmacology and genetics in mental illness and substance use disorders. Additionally, Dr. Rhea serves as the physician executive responsible for coordinating integrated efforts to meet patients’ physical and mental health needs.

Board-certified in child and adolescent psychiatry, psychiatry, and pediatrics, Dr. Rhea received her AB in biology magna cum laude from King College in Bristol, Tenn. She completed graduate work in zoology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She received her MD with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Rhea completed her internship and residency in pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and was a founding partner in the Franklin Children’s Clinic in Franklin, Tennessee, where she practiced pediatrics for seven years. She then completed her residency and fellowship in training in psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry at Vanderbilt. Dr. Rhea is currently an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. She joined Centerstone as Vice President of Medical Services in 2002.

About Centerstone
Centerstone, a not-for-profit organization, has provided a wide range of mental health and addiction services to people of all ages for more than 50 years. Through more than 50 facilities and 160 partnership locations across Middle Tennessee, Centerstone serves nearly 50,000 children, adolescents, adults and seniors each year. Centerstone is accredited by CARF International. For more information about Centerstone, please call 888-291-4357.

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