2016 MHSA Annual Meeting

Pictured above: Pamela Driscoll; Steven Kadish, Chief of Staff, Executive Office of the Governor; Timothy Driscoll of the South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC); family of Ed O’Neil; Jennifer Reed, daughter of Canon Brian S. Kelley; and former New England Patriot Jerod Mayo, Optum Senior Vice President, Business Development.
Photo credit: David Fox Photographer.

MHSA honored Secretary Marylou Sudders, Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and Timothy Driscoll of the South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) at the 2016 MHSA Annual Meeting on December 14 at Boston College Club in Boston. The event included a special announcement by Bernadette Di Re, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Massachusetts, who presented a $1.7 million partnership grant from United Health Foundation for the new Hospital to Housing (H to H) initiative. Former New England Patriot Jerod Mayo, Senior Vice President, Business Development of UnitedHealth Group’s Optum business, was also on hand to present the Ed O’Neil Award.

MHSA Board Chair Thomas L. Collins of Collins Strategies, LLC, opened the Annual Meeting. MHSA President & Executive Director Joe Finn shared remarks, and MHSA Board Treasurer John Deneen delivered the Treasurer’s Report. Annette Hill Green of the Law Offices of Donald E. Green, P.C., and Benjamin Josephson of O’Neill and Associates were elected to the MHSA Board of Directors.

MHSA awarded the Canon Brian S. Kelley Public Servant Award to Secretary Marylou Sudders for her leadership in the Commonwealth’s efforts to move toward Medicaid sustainability; her commitment to expanding the Community Support Program for People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness (CSPECH) as a critical benefit for supporting housing for people with disabilities who are experiencing homelessness; and her dedication to housing throughout her career. Steven Kadish, Chief of Staff, Executive Office of the Governor, accepted the award on Secretary Sudders’ behalf. Canon Kelley’s daughter, Jennifer Reed of Newton Public Schools, participated in the presentation of the award.

Steven Kadish, Chief of Staff, Office of the Governor, with MHSA President & Executive Director Joe Finn and Jennifer Reed of Newton Public Schools, daughter of Canon Kelley. Photo credit: David Fox Photographer.

MHSA presented the fifth annual Ed O’Neil Award to Timothy Driscoll, Program Supervisor of the Young Adult Residential Case Management Program (YARCM) at SMOC. The Ed O’Neil Award honors an exceptional direct care worker from a MHSA member agency who has demonstrated a strong commitment to ending homelessness. Jerod Mayo joined Rosalie O’Neil, wife of the late Ed O’Neil, and Joe Fletcher and Sarah Goncalves from SMOC for the presentation of the award.

Former New England Patriots player Jerod Mayo of Optum with the South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) colleagues Timothy Driscoll, recipient of the Ed O’Neil award, Sarah Goncalves and Joe Fletcher, along with Rosalie O’Neil, wife of the late Ed O’Neil, and MHSA President & Executive Director Joe Finn. Photo credit: David Fox Photographer.

The event concluded with a special presentation from United Health Foundation. Bernadette Di Re announced that MHSA will receive a $1.7 million partnership grant for a new initiative, Hospital to Housing. MHSA is partnering with Beacon Health Options/Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP) on this initiative, which is aimed at identifying and housing adults experiencing homelessness who have serious mental illness and a history of frequent behavioral health hospitalizations. Beacon and MBHP are responsible for managing a comprehensive network of behavioral health providers who serve people enrolled in the Massachusetts Medicaid program.

Bernadette De Ri, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Massachusetts. Photo credit: David Fox Photographer.

The Hospital to Housing program is unique in that it will build relationships between Beacon/MBHP and permanent supportive housing providers through the introduction of five community health workers (CHWs), who will work with the Boston Public Health Commission in Greater Boston, ServiceNet in Western Massachusetts and SMOC in Lowell and the Merrimack Valley. The CHWs will identify Beacon/MBHP members who are experiencing homelessness and are eligible for participation in the program; and assist them with accessing permanent housing, behavioral health and primary care, and other resources. They also will provide support to formerly homeless individuals who have already been placed into housing. The program’s goals include reducing hospitalizations and improving the health of participants. MHSA and Beacon/MBHP will collaborate to evaluate the impact of the program and report on cost savings, changes in service utilization and other measures.

United Health Foundation also presented two “welcome home” baskets as part of a donation of 35 baskets for recently housed individuals. The baskets included household items such as dishes, linens and other home furnishings to welcome people who have experienced homelessness into their new homes.

Bernadette Di Re, CEO, United Healthcare Community Plan of Massachusetts, joins former New England Patriots player Jerod Mayo, Optum Senior Vice President, Business Development, with two “welcome home” baskets.​ Photo credit: David Fox Photographer.

MHSA extends our thanks to this year’s honorees, sponsors and attendees; United Health Foundation and Jerod Mayo; Beacon/MBHP and the agencies involved with Hospital to Housing; the MHSA Board of Directors and Advisory Council; MHSA member agencies; and our community partners.

Special thanks to this year’s Lead Sponsors: Beacon Health Options/Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership, Heading Home, Justice Resource Institute, and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.




Read the 2016 MHSA Annual Meeting Press Release.

View photos from the 2016 MHSA Annual Meeting.

Learn more about Hospital to Housing (H to H).

Read the 2016 MHSA Annual Report.