2017 MHSA Annual Meeting

 
Pictured above: The families of Canon Kelley and Ed O'Neil.
Photo credit: David Fox Photographer.
 

On Tuesday, December 12, MHSA celebrated the 2017 Annual Meeting and honored United Health Foundation (UHF), Commissioner Joan Mikula of the Department of Mental Health (DMH), and Jayms Battaglia of University Lutheran Church / Harvard Square Homeless Shelter. The event, which took place at Boston College Club in Boston, recognized our outstanding honorees and shared our accomplishments from the past year.

Joe Finn, MHSA President & Executive Director, welcomed guests and shared opening remarks. MHSA Board Chair Thomas L. Collins of Collins Strategies, LLC, provided a year-in-review that highlighted our achievements. To date, MHSA’s Pay for Success initiative has housed 628 tenants. Our Home & Healthy for Good program has placed 981 homeless individuals – including 191 veterans – into permanent supportive housing. Once housed, 93% of tenants reported an improvement in their quality of life satisfaction. As of November, Hospital to Housing (H to H), MHSA’s newest initiative, has assisted 169 individuals with referrals and enrollments, and provided permanent supportive housing to 12 individuals.

Pictured above: MHSA Board Chair Thomas L. Collins, Collins Strategies, LLC
Photo credit: David Fox Photographer.

Tom Yotts, MHSA Director of Finance & Administration, delivered the Treasurer’s Report and shared results from the Fiscal Year 2017 audited financials. These results are also in the 2017 MHSA Annual Report that was released at the event.

MHSA awarded the Cornerstone Award to UHF for their dedication to making a difference through the development of community health work to prevent and end homelessness in Massachusetts. Lisa Renee Holderby-Fox, MHSA Director of Hospital to Housing (H to H), presented the Cornerstone Award. She provided an overview of H to H, a new initiative aimed at identifying and providing permanent supportive housing to adults experiencing homelessness who have serious mental illness and an established history of frequent behavioral health hospitalization. Lisa Renee also recognized the initiative’s Community Health Workers who connect these adults to services: Kara Bray, Anita Fritz, Naldy Gonzalez, and Debbie Peterson. H to H is made possible in large part by a generous $1.7 million grant from UHF. Bernadette Di Re, CEO, United HealthCare Community Plan of Massachusetts, accepted the Cornerstone Award on behalf of UHF.

Pictured above: Joe Finn, MHSA President Executive Director; Bernadette Di Re, CEO,
United HealthCare Community Plan of Massachusetts; and Lisa Renee Holderby-Fox,
MHSA Director of Hospital to Housing. Photo credit: David Fox Photographer.

The family of Ed O'Neil joined Joe Finn in presenting the sixth annual Ed O’Neil Award to Jayms Battaglia of University Lutheran Church / Harvard Square Homeless Shelter for her dedication to helping individuals experiencing homelessness. Ana Chaves, Administrative Director of Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, accepted the award on Jayms’ behalf.

Pictured above: Joe Finn, MHSA President & Executive Director, and
Ana Chaves, Administrative Director of Harvard Square Homeless Shelter.
Photo credit: David Fox Photographer.

Joe Finn recognized the other Ed O’Neil Award nominees from MHSA member agencies:

  • Yohaldy Almonte, JRI Youth Housing Stabilization Case Manager, Justice Resource Institute
  • Erin Arnold, Affordable Housing Case Manager, Bridgewell
  • Shelley Bencosme, Case Manager, Lynn Shelter Association
  • Natacha Bernard, Senior Case Manager, Hearth, Inc.
  • Carla Bettencourt, PFS Case Manager, Lowell Transitional Living Center (SMOC)
  • Arlene Crosby, Case Manager, Duffy Health Center
  • Deana DeBarros, Young Adult Housing Specialist, Father Bill's & MainSpring
  • Dennis Gaskell, Food Service Manager, Boston Rescue Mission
  • Jamie Gifford, Outreach and Engagement Counselor, Eliot Community Human Services
  • Jimmy Ho, Operations Manager, New England Center and Home for Veterans
  • Juanita Khan, Case Manager, Elders Living At Home Program
  • Rosa Medeiros, Director of Homeless Services, Steppingstone Inc.
  • Paulette Mendes, Housing Case Manager, Project Hope
  • Carol Reid, Betty's Housing Coordinator, Project Place
  • Fran Skerritt, Support Staff - Father Bill's Place, Father Bill's & MainSpring
  • Tara Tavares, Case Manager II, Middlesex Human Service Agency.

Joe Finn and the family of Canon Kelley presented the Canon Brian S. Kelley Award to Commissioner Joan Mikula of DMH. She was recognized for her work to end homelessness through her focusing DMH on the critical importance of housing for all people facing serious mental health issues, for her development of a Housing Plan for DMH, for her support and growth of a “Safe Haven” model as part of the Special Initiative to House the Mentally Ill, and for her dedication to problem solving with those serving the homeless in Massachusetts.

Pictured above: Commissioner Joan Mikula of DMH with the family of Canon Kelley.
Photo credit: David Fox Photographer.

Thank you to this year’s honorees, sponsors and attendees; the MHSA Board of Directors and Advisory Council; our member agencies; and our community partners. Special thanks to this year’s Lead Sponsors: Beacon Health Options and South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC).

Read the 2017 MHSA Annual Meeting Press Release.

Read the 2017 MHSA Annual Report.