Strategies for Improving Rural Behavioral Health Services for Service Members, Veterans, and their Families

Thu, Jan 30, 2014 1:01 PM EST

Webcast will be viewed on your computer and the volume will play through your computer speakers.

Cicely Burrows-McElwain, L.C.S.W.-C., C.-S.W.H.C., Public Health Advisor, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Byron D. Bair, M.D., M.B.A., Director, Veterans Rural Health Resource Center – Western Region, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Rural Health

Hilda R. Heady, M.S.W., A.C.S.W., Senior Vice President and Chair of the Rural Health Research and Policy Group, Atlas Research

Service members, veterans, and their families (SMVF) who reside in rural communities have unique needs and face a variety of challenges accessing quality behavioral healthcare. In response, many rural communities have found success by adopting a public health approach and establishing a system of successful collaboration with community organizations. The presenters of this webinar will provide an overview of the distinctive needs and characteristics of rural SMVF. They will explore opportunities for partnerships with veteran service organizations, community-based health centers, peers, clergy, volunteers, family, and friends. The webinar will also include examples of new, integrated models of care and emerging technologies. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentations.

· Identify the strengths of the rural SMVF population and understand their unique challenges in accessing behavioral health services
· Learn practical strategies for improving rural outreach, engagement, and access to services
· Explore service system planning issues and innovative trends and technologies
· Review successful models of community-based partnerships in rural settings

Target Audience:
Representatives from state, territory, and tribal behavioral health systems serving SMVF, providers, representatives from military family coalitions, and SMVF advocates.

Register in Advance of the Event:

If you have any questions about your registration, please contact Lisa Guerin, Administrative Assistant, at 518-439-7415 ext. 5242 or by email at

Presenter Biographies

Byron D. Bair, M.D., M.B.A. | Director, Veterans Rural Health Resource Center – Western Region, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Rural Health
Dr. Bair has served in the Veterans Rural Health Resource Center since its inception in 2006. He maintains clinical duties as the Geriatric Psychiatry Director at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System and academic duties as both Professor of Geriatric Internal Medicine and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Dr. Bair is board certified in Internal Medicine, Psychiatry and Neurology, Geriatric Psychiatry, and Geriatric Internal Medicine, and holds his B.S. in chemistry, biology, and clinical psychology from Utah State University. He received his M.D. and M.B.A. for Physicians from the University of Utah.

Cicely Burrows-McElwain, L.C.S.W.-C., C.-S.W.H.C. | Public Health Advisor, National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative, SAMHSA
Ms. Burrows-McElwain currently serves as a SAMHSA Government Project Officer in the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative. She serves as the National Child Traumatic Stress Network Military Families Government Liaison, assisting grantees who serve children of service members and veterans recovering from trauma. She has over 15 years of experience working in rural behavioral health systems in local, state, and federal programs. Prior to joining the team at SAMHSA she served as a clinical social worker for the Department of Veterans Affairs in VISN 5 at the VA Maryland Healthcare System. She received her M.S.W. from the University of Maryland Baltimore with a specialized focus in Clinical Services and Human Services Administration. Since 2006 Cicely has served as an Adjunct Lecturer for Salisbury University’s Social Work Department, teaching course content with a focus on Rural Social Work and Disaster Mental Health.

Hilda R. Heady, M.S.W., A.C.S.W. | Senior Vice President and Chair of the Rural Health Research and Policy Group, Atlas Research
Ms. Heady, an advocate for rural health and the health of veterans in rural America, leads rural health research and policy efforts for Atlas Research. Ms. Heady focuses on the growing health problems of veterans, particularly veterans returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Her work includes leading the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs collaboration with Rural Community Health Centers and assessing veterans’ dual use of both systems of health care. Ms. Heady formerly served as Associate Vice President for Rural Health at West Virginia University; Executive Director of the West Virginia Rural Health Education Partnerships; and President of the National Rural Health Association. In 2008, she was appointed to the national Veterans Rural Health Advisory Committee, advising the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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