NAMIGrading the States: A Report on America's Health Care System for Serious Mental Illness
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Grading the States 2006: Acknowledgements and Authors

We would like to thank the state mental health commissioners and their staffs for responding to the extensive NAMI survey and furnishing information on their states' systems of care. In this time of expanding responsibility, these dedicated workers continue to impress us with their devotion to helping the less fortunate lead fulfilling lives.

Along with the commissioners and their staffs, we would like to thank the many NAMI leaders who provided fact checking and background information that support the findings of this report.

Information for the statistical data incorporated into this report was gathered from the organizations of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

This project would not have been possible without the foresight and vision of the Stanley Family Foundation. We most especially would like to thank Theodore and Vada Stanley, who provided us with valuable guidance, vision, and generous support.

To ensure the report's objectivity, we sought and received help in scoring the data compiled by the state mental health commissioners. We would like to acknowledge the individuals who contributed countless hours to deciphering and comparing data on each of the individual state responses: Anand Pandya, M.D., psychiatrist and chair of the NAMI Board of Directors Policy Committee; Elizabeth Edgar, a family member, social worker, and former mental health administrator; Marty Raaymakers, chair of the NAMI Consumer Council; and Jack Gorman, M.D., psychiatrist and chair of NAMI's Scientific Council.

Michael Cohen, MA, CAGS, and Abby Winzeler, of NAMI New Hampshire, designed and executed the Consumer and Family Test Drive portion of this report. A group of local volunteers, including Caroline Bacon, Dan Danisewski, and Janine Lapete, participated in "test-driving" each state's system.

For invaluable assistance with the drafting and production of the report, the authors would like to applaud writers Phil Piemonte and Jeffrey Porro, Ph.D., of Porro Associates LLC, and copy editor Martin FitzPatrick, Ph.D.

Our thanks also go to the Evaluation Center of the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI), which generously provided valuable support to this project. Those at the center generously offered their time and support, and we could not have completed this undertaking without the center. We are particularly grateful to H. Stephen Leff, Ph.D., senior vice president at HSRI; and Terry Camacho-Gonsalves, Ph.D., assistant director of the Evaluation Center at HSRI, for their technical assistance throughout the development of this report.

Other members of the NAMI staff who contributed a great deal to this report include Amy Cybyske, online marketing manager; Watkins Hamlett, senior manager of Web services; Andrew Sperling, director of federal legislative advocacy; Bonnie Sultan, CIT Technical Assistance Center coordinator; and CW Tillman, Web producer.

The Authors

Ron Honberg, J.D., serves as NAMI national director for policy and legal affairs. Mr. Honberg oversees NAMI's federal advocacy agenda on issues including jail diversion, insanity and death penalty reform, privacy and confidentiality, Medicaid, and Medicare. He has master's and law degrees from the University of Maryland.

Ken Duckworth, M.D., is a clinical and research psychiatrist and assistant professor at Harvard University Medical School, and serves as medical director for NAMI. Dr. Duckworth has extensive experience serving as the acting commissioner and medical director of Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. 

Bob Carolla, J.D., who served as the editor of this report, is the director of media relations for NAMI, focusing on policy issues. A graduate of Boston University Law School, where he was topics editor of the American Journal of Law and Medicine, he has also served 10 years as a senior legislative assistant in the U.S. Senate. He is on the editorial board of BP Magazine, which serves people with bipolar disorder and their families.

Robert Hilt, M.D., a psychiatrist and board certified pediatrician, is chief resident in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts. He is a resident representative to the American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP).

Abigail Graf serves as NAMI policy research manager. In that role, Ms. Graf manages a variety of projects and acts as the staff liaison to NAMI's Scientific Council. Ms. Graf has contributed to several NAMI publications, including "Shattered Lives" and NAMI's Research Task Force Report, "Roadmap to Recovery and Cure." Ms. Graf received her bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.

Steven Buck, NAMI director of state policy, coordinates policy strategy, research, and advocacy-related technical assistance for the 50 NAMI state organizations. Mr. Buck previously worked in several state legislatures and as a Congressional staffer.  He has a bachelor's degree from Oklahoma State University.

Marieke Beltman is NAMI public policy program associate. She has worked for several national non-profit organizations. Beltman has a bachelor's degree in health policy and management from Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and has done graduate work at Johns Hopkins and at George Washington University.

Mary Giliberti, J.D., is NAMI director of public policy and advocacy. She focuses on Medicaid and other policy issues in the states. Before joining NAMI, she worked as minority disability counsel for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and as senior attorney at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. Ms. Giliberti has a bachelor's degree from Harvard and a law degree from Yale.

Katrina Gay is director of communications for NAMI, where she oversees the organization's strategic and operational communications initiatives. Her career has encompassed communications specialties including advertising, media relations, product marketing strategy, VIP relations, stockholder relations, leadership development, and strategic planning. Ms. Gay was educated at Texas A&M University and the University of Houston, where she studied economics.

Alexis O'Brien, NAMI media relations associate, previously served as a staff assistant in the U.S. Senate. She has a bachelor's degree from St. Mary's College of Maryland.

David Todd, M.F.A., NAMI publications director, has written and edited numerous publications. He has a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a master's degree from the University of Florida.

Michael J. Fitzpatrick, M.S.W., serves as NAMI's executive director. He has more than 30 years of experience in the public mental health sector.   He has a master's in social work from Boston College.

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