The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Inc. Coalition Briefs
An Evolving Update on Behavioral Health in New York

Save the Date! Coalition Announces 2017 Annual Conference: Turning Challenges Into Opportunities - March 30, 2017

The Coalition is excited to announce our 2017 annual conference- “Turning Challenges Into Opportunities,” on March 30, 2017, from 8:30am – 4:30pm. The event will be held at The Salvation Army at 120 West 14th Street.

Due to popular demand, we booked a new venue for this year, complete with dedicated space for our vendors and sponsors, added event space to allow for concurrent breakout sessions, including two large plenary sessions.

We welcome panel and session presentation proposals. Stay tuned for registration and program event details in early January. We look forward to seeing you there!



Coalition Appoints Doug Berman as Vice President for Policy

We are pleased to announce that Doug Berman has joined The Coalition as Vice President for Policy. Doug comes with extensive experience advocating for New York City, State and federal policies that expand health care rights and housing opportunities for vulnerable populations.

“It’s a privilege to join The Coalition team. They are at the forefront of making certain that individuals living with mental health and substance use issues receive the lifesaving services provided by The Coalition’s member organizations,” said Mr. Berman. “The need for The Coalition’s advocacy for the community behavioral health sector during this time of transition has never been greater.”

Christy Parque, President & CEO of The Coalition cited Mr. Berman’s leadership in the advocacy community. “Doug is an unrelenting advocate for our most vulnerable citizens. His commitment to helping people get the care and services they need and deserve has been unwavering.”

“Doug has a long history of promoting innovative and integrated models of health and behavioral health care, and recognizing the role of social determinants,” said Tino Hernandez, Board Chair. “We are fortunate to have someone of his caliber and insightfulness guiding the Coalition’s policy agenda through a myriad of challenges.”


Christy Parque Shares Thoughts on 21st Century Cures Act in WNYC Radio Interview

On December 12, 2016, Coalition President & CEO, Christy Parque talks about the 21st Century Cures Act bill during an interview by public radio station WNYC. The Act is designed to spur medical innovation and research, enhance SAMHSA programming and includes $1 billion to help combat the nation’s opioid epidemic.

According to Christy Parque, “this is a sea change, we have congress coming together in albeit a very strange political time, putting aside the strange sides of politics…to do something that is very innovative.” Assembly Member Gottfried, Chair of the Committee on Health, also interviewed by WNYC, believes “it’s important that states will have new ways to respond to mental health problems and substance abuse, but this doesn’t mean there will actually be any new funding for the new programs.” 

Update: On December 13, 2016, President Barack Obama signed the Cures Act into law. This Act is monumental in commitment, but requires funding to be allocated by Congress on an annual basis.

To view the signing ceremony please click here.


CCC Releases Community Risk Ranking: Child Well-Being in New York City's 59 Community Districts

Written By: Jennifer March
Executive Director
Citizens’ Committee for Children

CCC's Community Risk Ranking: Measuring Child Well-being in New York City's 59 Community Districts
is an internationally recognized index of child well-being, designed to engage government officials, foundations, fellow advocates, community-based providers, and New Yorkers in discussion about the status and needs of New York’s children and the policy areas in which action must be taken to improve outcomes.  This new report lays bare the stark disparities experienced by children across the city - the highest-risk communities cluster in upper Manhattan, the south Bronx and central Brooklyn, whereas children growing up in neighborhoods just a few blocks or a brief subway ride away experience significantly lower risks. Just one example of these inequities is in Brownsville, Brooklyn, where infants are three times more likely to die before their first birthday than infants in Borough Park, a community just three miles away. New to this year’s edition, we've also closely examined racial/ethnic data, illustrating the disproportionate number of African American and Latino children living in neighborhoods where the greatest levels of risk concentrate. The Community Risk Ranking has long been an essential tool to inform state and local advocacy and it will be critical as we prepare to respond to policy proposals anticipated from the new federal administration.


Mutual of America Joins Coalition as New Affiliate Member

We are happy to have Mutual of America as our latest Coalition Affiliate Member. Mutual of America specializes in providing retirement products and related services to organizations and their employees, as well as to individuals. Since 1945, Mutual of America has remained committed to its Mission to offer plan sponsors, plan participants, and individuals carefully selected, quality products and services at a competitive price and the personal attention they need to help build and preserve assets for a financially secure future. For more information, visit

For more information on becoming a Coalition Affiliate Members, click here.


The Coalition Mourns the Loss of Gina Quattrochi, CEO of Bailey House

The Coalition is saddened to report the loss of CEO Gina Quattrochi from Bailey House. A longtime leader in the field of HIV/AIDS and housing, Ms. Quattrochi committed 25 years to leading Bailey House with providing care and supportive housing to those who have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. The Coalition sends our deepest condolences to her loved ones and Bailey House. We will never forget how much she has contributed to the health care world. 

An obituary is posted on Bailey House’s website, which tells more about the profound impact that Gina left to the field of HIV/AIDS and supportive housing.



The Coalition Invites Members to Submit Briefs Articles & Water Cooler Items

As a major source of communication to Coalition members, elected and government officials, as well as the greater behavioral health community, Briefs offers a great opportunity to get your message out.

We welcome submissions from our members that highlight such topics as innovative services they are providing, policy positions they support, experiences implementing new systems and practices, etc.

Please submit your proposed articles to We look forward to receiving your input!



Coalition Member-Only Events

We encourage all members to participate in sharing information and working with us.

Substance Use Committee
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Time: 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: 123 William Street, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10038
For more information please contact Cheryl Bobe at

Membership Meeting
Date: Thursday, January 26, 2017
Time: 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Location: 123 William Street, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10038
For more information please contact Jason Lippman at


The Professional Learning Center - Open to All

The Need for Addressing Tobacco in Behavioral Health
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm
Location: 123 William Street, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10038
More info »
Register now »


water cooler
Around the Water Cooler

Robert Brewster, Executive Director of Riverdale Mental Health Association (RMHA), will retire on December 31, 2016, after 36 years of service at RMHA, including 10 years as Executive Director. Under Rob’s leadership, RMHA has expanded its scope and reach, providing mental health services to consumers at satellite clinics in schools, senior services centers and through the Parachute NYC program. Rob has also served for many years as an active Board member of The Coalition. We congratulate Rob on his retirement, though his dedication and thoughtfulness will surely be missed.


On January 1, 2017, Dr. Donna Demetri Friedman will become the new Executive Director of Riverdale Mental Health Association (RMHA). Donna has been with RMHA for 23 years and currently serves as its Deputy Executive Director. The Coalition looks forward to working with Donna in her new role at RMHA and collaboration during healthcare systems transformation.


PSCH and Pederson-Krag will become The WellLife Network, a new name and strategy to reflect new priorities and directions for leading health and human services. For some 80 years, WellLife Network has been an integral part of the New York and Long Island community, providing vital services to those who are among our most vulnerable citizens,” said Alan M. Weinstock, CEO, WellLife Network. “Our new name and logo more clearly convey the vitality, purpose and essence of the WellLife Network mission - to empower individuals and families to realize their full potential for achieving meaningful goals, guided by principles of independence, health, wellness, safety and recovery.”

Click here to learn more about The WellLife Network.


Coalition Board member Joel Cooperman, Chief Executive Officer of CASES was awarded a Special Recognition for Outgoing Board Chair by the Human Services Council at its 21st Annual Leadership Awards Reception at The Jewish Museum, on December 13, 2016.  The Coalition congratulates Joel for his contribution to the human services community.




Emily Kingman, Program Associate for The Coalition’s Center for Rehabilitation & Recovery, will be joining the Institute for Community Living (ICL) to work as Manager-Healthcare Innovation. We are sorry to see Emily go, but are at the same time excited about this new opportunity for her. We look forward to continuing to work together to further the promise of recovery for all.  






Coalition members Center for Community Alternatives, Odyssey House and Samaritan Daytop Village were among the 5 agencies awarded funding for Recovery Community & Outreach Centers. Governor Cuomo announced these awards in a press release on December 14, 2016, announcing $1.75 million in total awards.


After 18 years in the behavioral health world, Melissa Janidlo, Director of Finance and Performance Analytics will be leaving the Office of Mental Health. We are grateful to Melissa for her commitment to helping community providers during the transition to behavioral health managed care and wish her the best in her new journey.


The Chinese-American Planning Council has announced Wayne Ho as their new President and CEO, beginning January 17, 2016. In their press release, Wayne states that for “51 years, CPC has been on the forefront of serving New York City’s Asian American and immigrant communities. Working with the supportive board and dynamic staff, I look forward to building on CPC’s history and accomplishments in order to achieve the vision of being a Model Service and Leadership Development Organization.” We look forward to collaborating with Wayne in his new capacity.





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