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Governor Bredesen Names Centerstone President to Task Force on the Healthcare Safety Net

Nashville, Tenn. — Governor Phil Bredesen has added Robert N. Vero, EdD, President and Chief Operating Officer of Centerstone, and current President of the Tennessee Association of Mental Health Organizations, to his Task Force on the Healthcare Safety Net.

The Task Force on the Healthcare Safety Net, created by executive order on January 24, will re-examine the status of Tennessee’s safety net for individuals who do not have healthcare insurance coverage and cannot afford to pay for services and recommend improvements. It is a broad-based group, which includes health-related commissioners; lawmakers; county mayors; representatives of county health departments, community clinics and safety net hospitals; and experts on urban and rural health issues. On February 2, Governor Bredesen expanded the group to include Vero.

With over 60 facilities in 21 counties, Centerstone is the largest community-based behavioral health organization in the state. Community mental health centers, such as those operated by Centerstone, serve not only as Tennessee’s primary provider for community-based outpatient behavioral healthcare, but also serves as Tennessee’s safety net for many individuals and families with mental illnesses. Tennessee’s community mental health center system has been in place for more than half a century.

“We have a clear charge from the Governor to provide the State with recommendations enabling it to create a healthcare safety net for those individuals and families who may be disenrolled from the TennCare program,” said Vero. “I appreciate the opportunity to serve as a member of this task force as we examine the safety net health issues, especially for those with behavioral healthcare needs.”

Vero is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Centerstone’s mental health centers and for oversight of all clinical services. He has been a part of the Centerstone system since 1981. He is a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist, a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Psychological Examiner. Vero graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, with a BA in Psychology and an MS in Counseling. He received his EdD in Human Development from the George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.