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Longtime behavioral health advocate Abate accepts new role at Rosecrance

January 15, 2014
by Shannon Brys, Associate Editor
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Mary Ann Abate

Mary Ann Abate, who currently serves as Vice President for Community Mental Health at Rosecrance, will become Vice President of Public Policy effective Feb. 3, 2014.

Rosecrance President/CEO Philip W. Eaton believes the role is critical going forward because of the evolving arena of public policy, which includes implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Eaton, along with the rest of the field, is still unsure of what impact the ACA will have on behavioral health services and access to care.

“We have many challenges and opportunities before us as we look to further our mission, strengthen our programs and influence the many decisions which will shape and mold healthcare for years to come,” Eaton said. “Behavioral healthcare is part of the overall mix, and our industry needs strong advocates like Mary Ann Abate to help inform the discussion and shape the policies that emerge from it.”

Abate brings 36 years of leadership in mental health services to her new role. She has led the mental health division for Rosecrance since the merger with Janet Wattles Center in 2011, and she was an executive at Janet Wattles directing day-to-day operations prior to that.

Abate welcomes the challenge of her new role and said, “This presents a broad platform through which I can champion issues that are important to people who seek help for mental health and substance use disorders. In a public policy forum, I have the opportunity to impact support for important programs and services far beyond the walls of Rosecrance.”

As she changes roles, Abate will assist in the leadership transition at the Rosecrance Ware Center in Rockford, which serves adults needing mental health services. She also will continue to serve on the Steering Committee as Rosecrance designs space and makes plans to move the Ware Center to a new, larger location by the end of the year.

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