Amy Kennedy to Speak on Improving Mental Health Services in Schools

Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy's Wife Will Present at a Conference in Iselin, March 29, 2017

Amy L. Kennedy, MS, Education Director of The Kennedy Forum, which was established by her husband, former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, to unite the mental health community in establishing "a new standard for the future of health care in the United States" (, will present on improving the delivery of mental health services in education on March 29, 2017 at the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies' (NJAMHAA's) Annual Conference, Collaboration and Innovation: A Formula for Success, at the Woodbridge Renaissance in Iselin, NJ.

The Five Pillars - The Pathway to Improving the Delivery of Mental Health Services in Education will be presented in an interview format, conducted by Lilo Stainton, BS, a journalist for NJ Spotlight, which provides extensive coverage of healthcare issues and their impact on providers and the individuals they serve. Mrs. Kennedy, an educator with 15 years' experience in public schools and parent to four school-aged children, will share findings from her research in early identification of and intervention for mental health concerns in children, the use of brain fitness and mindfulness within school systems in order to foster and improve mental wellness, and developing prevention programs that utilize and promote students' social and emotional learning.

"We are thrilled that Amy Kennedy will be joining us to educate and engage individuals in all professions that serve children with mental health disorders," said Debra L. Wentz, Ph.D., President and CEO of NJAMHAA. "Both former Congressman and Mrs. Kennedy are powerful, long-term advocates for ensuring access to mental health care and treatment for substance use disorders, which often co-exist with mental illnesses. This discussion will undoubtedly be insightful and eye-opening."

This plenary discussion will be one of several informational presentations at NJAMHAA's conference, which will be held on March 29 and 30, 2017 at the Woodbridge Renaissance in Iselin, NJ. For example, the keynote presentation on March 29th will be Working with a New
Administration, by Ron Manderscheid, PhD, Executive Director, National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors and National Association for Rural Mental Health. On March 30th, the keynote presentation, Innovation in Behavioral Health Management, Reimbursement and Delivery, will be delivered by Brian Wheelan, MBA, Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President, Beacon Health Options. In the afternoon, State Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, MBA, who also serves as Director of Behavioral Health Services at Hackensack University Medical Center, will serve on a panel with other providers and stakeholders - Don Parker, MSW, President and CEO, Carrier Clinic; Linda Schwimmer, JD, President and CEO, New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute; and R. Corey Waller, MD, MS, FACEP, DFASAM, Senior Medical Director for Education and Policy, Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers - to discuss The Changing Role of Hospitals, focusing on the importance of collaboration among healthcare professionals to provide integrated care for the individuals they serve.

Both days of the conference will also feature a variety of workshops, covering clinical treatment topics, services for children and youth, and organizational subject matter. For more program details -- as well as sponsorship, exhibiting and advertising opportunities -- and to register. visit the Events page on

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