Today’s show focuses on the impact of addiction, best practices in treatment, the power of advocacy and legislative advances. Our guests today are considered experts in both the development of and the provision of services; and through their combined advocacy efforts, have effected great changes in the perception of addiction.
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John Lindstrom is the Chief Executive Officer of the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA). RBHA is the primary behavioral health services agency serving the residents of the City of Richmond and providing a variety of services for those in crisis or in recovery from mental health, substance abuse and intellectual disabilities. RBHA has recently opened a medical care unit to provide medical service through an on-site primary care clinic. RBHA provides health, wellness and recovery for the whole person through the integration of behavioral health and primary health services. John has over 20 years working in the mental health recovery field and has implemented many new and innovative programs at RBHA.
James May is the Director of Planning, Development, Research, Evaluation and Director of Substance Abuse Services at the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority. Jim has over 25 years working in the field of addictive disorders and mental health. He has developed many innovative programs for substance services, has brought new funding streams to RBHA to expand services to bring more specialized and holistic recovery programs to consumers.
Carol McDaid is a co-founder and Principal of Capitol Decisions Inc. A special focus of Capitol Decisions is national alcohol and drug treatment policy. For over 15 years, Ms. McDaid has worked with leading non-profit drug and alcohol treatment centers, addiction physicians, and other prevention and consumer organizations to refine public policy addressing alcohol and other drug addictions. Ms. McDaid led the Parity NOW Coalition behind passage of the 2008 “Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.” This landmark legislation requires insurers to treat addiction, mental, and physical health problems equally. The Parity NOW Coalition became the model for successfully advocating for inclusion of addiction and mental health benefits in health-care reform legislation. Because Ms. McDaid personally overcame addiction, she understands the challenges, political and personal, of dealing with alcohol and drug issues.