Centerstone to Participate in Senate Hearing on the U.S. Mental Health System

Centerstone of Tennessee CEO Dr. Bob Vero will offer the community mental health center perspective to Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee members

Nashville, Tenn. – Centerstone, the nation’s leading not-for-profit community-based mental health center and provider of addiction services, today announced that Dr. Bob Vero, CEO of Centerstone of Tennessee, was invited by Senators Lamar Alexander and Tom Harkin to participate in a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions hearing entitled, “Assessing the State of America’s Mental Health System.” The hearing is scheduled to take place at 10:00 a.m. on January 24, 2013, at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.

“I commend Senator Alexander and Senator Harkin for convening this hearing to explore the strengths and weaknesses of our nation’s mental health system, which is a vital lifeline for millions of Americans,” said Dr. Vero. “I’m honored to have been chosen as the community mental health provider voice for this important event, and look forward to discussing the experiences and needs of Centerstone’s staff and patients.”

Other hearing participants include:

  • Ms. Pamela Hyde, Administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD
  • Dr. Thomas Insel, Director, National Institute of Mental Health at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
  • Michael Hogan Ph.D., Former Commissioner, New York State Office of Mental Health, and Chairman, President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, Delmar, NY
  • George DelGrosso, M.A., Executive Director, Colorado Behavioral Health Council, Denver, CO
  • Larry Fricks, Senior Consultant, National Council for Behavioral Health, Cleveland, GA

As part of his testimony, Vero will offer the provider perspective on issues including gaps and barriers to care in mental health, specifically regarding the lack of access to services for children and youth, barriers to engaging whole families in care, as well as those pertaining to the successful prevention of violence and challenges that are linked to state or federal policies and regulation. He will provide suggestions on government actions that can assist in overcoming these challenges including encouraging greater collaboration and coordination among healthcare providers, improving healthcare IT incentives in mental healthcare, and ensuring funding for vital services such as crisis response. Vero also will share some of his personal experiences working within community mental health and the common trials those with mental health and addiction disorders face in seeking treatment for and overcoming their conditions.

Dr. Vero has worked in community mental health care for nearly four decades and has been with Centerstone since 1981. As CEO of Centerstone of Tennessee, he oversees more than 50 facilities and 160 partnership locations that serve more than 50,000 individuals of all ages each year. Dr. Vero received his B.A. in Psychology and M.S. in Counseling from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He earned his Doctorate in Human Development Counseling from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

About Centerstone

Centerstone, a not-for-profit organization, is one the nation’s largest providers of community-based behavioral healthcare. It provides a full range of mental health, addiction and related educational services to more than 75,000 individuals of all ages each year. The organization has nearly 130 facilities and 220 partnership locations throughout Indiana and Tennessee. It also operates Centerstone Foundation, Centerstone Research Institute, Advantage Behavioral Health and Not Alone. For more information about Centerstone, please visit www.centerstone.org.