The 5th annual 2014 Family Recognition Celebration was held at Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment. Over 150 family members, loved ones and staff attended the luncheon. This event is an opportunity to learn about the many family support resources and network, as well as issues related to family inclusion, recovery transformation, advocacy.
Margaret Meshok, Director of Social Work Belmont Center for Comprenesive Treatment, gave the welcome.The event was moderated by Rose Carvalho, NAMI Philadelphia Office.Keynote speaker was Joan Erney, CEO for Community Behavioral Health in Philadelphia.
Joan discussed the various aspects of childrens and adult behavioral health services in Philadelphia. An overview, with data, of the city's population, racial and ethnic makeup, HealthChoices Program, administrative expenses, numbers of adults and children served, provider assessments and performance, initiatives such as Mental Health First Aid, Behavioral Health screenings, physical/behavioral health integration, homelessness and housing transformation, and more.
Guest speaker Athur Evans Jr., Commissioner, Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disability Services emphasized the importance of everyone lending a voice to supporting behavioral health service as HealthPA is developed and expanded to those individuals who currently have no insurance or are underinsured, as well as supporting those services that currently exist.
Advocacy presentation by David Dinich, President of the Family Training and Advocacy Center, summarized the timeline of the negative impacts to the Pennsylvania safety net as they effect the public behavioral and health services for service participants and/or families.
Musical entertainment was provided by Eric Solenberger.
The Family Panel, include Donna Washington, Patricia Butcher, Elen Sinatra, Elba Del Moral with moderated by Jazmin Banks of DBHIDS. Presentations and discussion involved the value of family members (whether childrens or adults) being supported through the support groups of the Family Resource Network and/or its members, as well as the Department of Behavioral Health in its recovery transformation trainings.
Co-sponsored certificates from the Family Resource Network, the FRN membership, as well as FRN Standards project partners Comhar and Comhar HOPE Latino Treatment Program, Community Treatment Team, and Horizon House were distributed. These certificates recognized the efforts of 14 family members (Karen Little, Migdalia Gonzalee, Norberto Lopez, Wanda Stanford, Bernadette Gilmore, Eric Sollenberger, Vernoca Michael, Elana Sinatra, Keisha Allan, Elba Del Moral, Ineesha Perdue, Juanita Ramsey, Donna Lappatina, Maura Williams). Becky Espanol receiving the Family Leadership Award.
Much appreciation is extended to the family of Thelma Freeny for the many donations provided for door prizes.