Patrick Kennedy at the Annual Meeting

August 25, 2016

We know—October feels a long way away. October has shorter days, changing leaves and coats. That’s nothing to be thinking about right now, is it?

It is if you want to come to the Annual Meeting this year—and trust us, you do want to be at the Annual Meeting. October 13 and 14 are going to be great days for the association: it is an essential time for all of us to reflect on our past and plan for our future. We have an outstanding plan for this year, with terrific speakers. We’re going to use this space over the coming weeks to talk about what’s in store.

Providing better care to people living with mental illness, and creating the policy structures to support that care, are major parts of WSHA’s strategic plan. We hear from members statewide their strong desire to create a more effective and humane system of care.

So we are particularly excited to feature Patrick Kennedy, author of A Common Struggle and former member of Congress. He’s one of our keynote speakers, scheduled for October 13. He will talk to us about how his personal struggle with mental illness and addiction informed his work in Congress and beyond. As our state works towards improved mental health care and the opioid crisis, Kennedy’s national insight could not come at a better time.

Kennedy travels around the country consulting with policymakers and health care providers about improving the mental health system. We’ve asked him to focus on concrete and promising policy solutions and care delivery innovations our state could adopt. We will have copies of his book for sale (a terrific read, by the way), and he will be available to sign them.

And on top of all that, there’s also going to be time for coming together to celebrate the amazing work that is being done in hospitals every day. We look forward to seeing you there.

Cassie Sauer
Executive Vice-President, WSHA


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