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Dr. Manderscheid: oracle or optimist?

August 12, 2008
by Ann Borders
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The experts tell us that blogs come in categories. Within this taxonomy we find debates, case studies, lists, rants (now there's a good one for those of us in behavioral health), or predictions. Let's try predictions. I encourage each of you to click on to Dr. Manderscheid's "The Whole Health Campaign looks beyond the election," located on the home page. It's well worth your time.

Consider the three prognostications made by Dr. Manderscheid: "First, we expect that action will be taken by the next President on national healthcare reform through proposals to extend coverage to the uninsured. In these efforts, the WHC will need to advocate strongly for appropriate mental health and substance use care benefits at parity with physical healthcare benefits. Second, we also expect that current initiatives to move toward integrated care systems will be expanded through new federal programs.

In this context, the WHC will need to promote the integration of mental health, substance use, and primary care services through a range of models: integration, collaboration, and virtually. Third, we expect that much greater attention will be paid by the next President and Congress to new population health and wellness approaches using a public health framework.

The WHC will need to advocate strongly for better population strategies for preventing mental and substance use conditions, as well as population strategies for promoting wellness, recovery, and resiliency. For each of these issues, the WHC is fully committed to whole health—both mind and body". My question for you: what do YOU predict about Dr. Manderscheid's predictions? Do you envision the forward movement he describes?



Will the Talk be followed by the Walk Change is Slow and 'Hope makes a Good Breakfast but a Poor Supper'. We must all remember to look beyound the Talk to see the Walk.

I am more cautious. The outcome of this election is certainly not going to change much, no matter who wins the presidency. We still will have a relatively deadlocked partisan environment in which tackling the important issues, like coverage for the uninsured, is ignored because they require real compromises and less grandstanding. However, the WHC can be an important force in those discussions that do arise.

Ann Borders

President and CEO, Cummins Behavioral Health Systems, Inc


Ann Borders is president and CEO of Cummins Behavioral Health Systems, Inc., serving eight...

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