Crisis Now Academy

“Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets,” the Institute for Healthcare Improvement tells us. Most communities defer to law enforcement and hospitals for most people in a psychiatric emergency. The Crisis Now Academy think tank supports the creation of next-level solutions to a multitude of mental health, substance use, IDD and/or suicidal crises systems challenges. Our national thought leaders create videos, tools and products, many of which we’ve shared open source in the public domain (CrisisNow.com) and we host 988 and Crisis Learning Community video calls.

Our team from RI International and Behavioral Health Link stand ready with more intensive support, consultation and training offerings. These can be as limited as a few hours of phone consultation to support the creation of options around a particular issue to a full scale system redesign that can support any community. We’ve worked at the Federal, State, County and City levels in the US and abroad. 988 has offered a once in a lifetime chance to transform behavioral health crisis care and change is within our reach.

Consultants and Faculty

Architects of Crisis Now, SAMHSA’S National Guidelines and Zero Suicide
1
Clinicians
1
MBAs
1
Lived Experience Leaders
1
Published Authors
1
Psychiatrists
1
Former State MH/SU Commissioners
1
Former Federal Leaders
1
Former State Medicaid Director
1
Attorney
David Covington, LPC, MBA

David Covington, LPC, MBA

CEO & President
RI International

BH Innovator, Entrepreneur & Storyteller. Partner in Georgia’s BHL. Architect MASoSfilm CrisisNow HopeInc & ZeroSuicide

Ebony Chambers

Ebony Chambers

Chief Family and Youth Partnership Officer
Stanford Sierra Youth and Families

National Leader in Peer Support Integration and Implementation and Family Centered Practices. Leads Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives, Program and Leadership Development.

Sue Ann O’Brien, LPC, MBA

Sue Ann O’Brien, LPC, MBA

President & CEO
Behavioral Health Link

Experienced BH Leader and Provider of the National's Broadest Application of Advanced Crisis Call Center Technology, Care Traffic Control

Margie Balfour, MD, PhD

Margie Balfour, MD, PhD

Chief of Quality & Clinical Innovation, Connections Health Solutions

National Leader in Quality Improvement, BH Crisis Care, and Law Enforcement Responses to Mental Illness

Erica Chestnut-Ramirez, MC, LISAC

Erica Chestnut-Ramirez, MC, LISAC

Regional VP, La Frontera Arizona - Empact SPC

Substance Abuse Counselor, Trainer for the Effective Use of Mobile Crisis Teams, Crisis Training and Suicide Prevention, Mental Health First Aid Instructor

Michael Hogan, PhD

Michael Hogan, PhD

Principal & Consultant
Hogan Health Solutions

A Principal Founder of the Zero Suicide in Healthcare Movement. Co-lead for the 2011 Clinical Care & Intervention Task Force that Published the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Roadmap

Rochelle Head-Dunham, MD, DFAPA, FASAM

Rochelle Head-Dunham, MD, DFAPA, FASAM

Director on RI International's Board

Executive Director and Medical Director for Metropolitan Human Services District (MHSD)

Thomas Betlach

Thomas Betlach

Partner Speire Healthcare Strategies

Former Arizona Medicaid Director, Nationally Recognized Thought Leader on Medicaid and Healthcare Policy, Delivery System Transformation, Value-Based Purchasing, Managed Care, and Cost Containment

Gregg Graham, MA, MBA

Gregg Graham, MA, MBA

Founding Partner
Behavioral Health Link

Experienced in Developing, Managing and Providing Behavioral Health Crisis Services Systems

Joy Brunson-Nsubuga, MA, LMFT, LCAS, CCS

Joy Brunson-Nsubuga, MA, LMFT, LCAS, CCS

VP Southeast
RI International

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Expert in Systems Thinking, BH Crisis Systems, and SU/MAT

Paul Galdys, MBA, CPRP

Paul Galdys, MBA, CPRP

Deputy CEO
RI International

Experienced MH and SU Service Leader, Former Assistant Director with Arizona Medicaid, Lead Writer of the National Guidelines for Behavioral Health Crisis Care

Ruchi Sukhija, MS, MBA

Ruchi Sukhija, MS, MBA

Chief Operating Officer
RI International

Leader of Business Intelligence and Data Analytics Systems, Implementer of Innovative Solutions for Telehealth and Electronic Medical Records

Kevin Huckshorn

Kevin Huckshorn, PhD, MSN, RN, CADC

Executive Vice President of Enterprise Development
RI International

Licensed and certified mental health nurse and substance abuse clinician with 40 years of experience.

Wayne Lindstrom, PhD

Wayne Lindstrom, PhD

VP Business Development
RI International

Former Director of the BH Services Division and CEO of the BH Collaborative for New Mexico, Expert on Organizational Development and BH Crisis Systems

Lysha Best, MA, MBA

Lysha Best, MA, MBA

Louisiana State Director
RI International

Experienced SU/MH Licensed Clinician, State Leader of Leading BH Crisis Care Provider, Expertise in Strategic and Operations Management

Alex Giovannetti

Alex Giovannetti

Chief Technology Officer
Behavioral Health Link

Senior Technology Leader of Technology Management, Software Engineering, Product Development, Test Engineering, DevOps, Release Management and Operations, Program & Project Management, and Various Hardware

Amy Pugsley, MA, CHC

Amy Pugsley, MA, CHC

VP West
RI International

Expert in Quality & Compliance Processes and Procedures, Senior Leader of a Leading BH Crisis Care Provider, Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Certified in Six Sigma

Kim Myers

Kim Myers, MSW

Assistant Director
Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Experience in policy development, planning, and implementation of the continuum of crisis services among health and behavioral health systems.

Jamie Sellar, MA, LPC

Jamie Sellar, MA, LPC

Chief Strategy Officer
RI International

Senior BH Executive, Writer of SAMHSA's National Guidelines for Behavioral Health Crisis Care, Consultant for Crisis System Development and Operational Management

Carlos Mackall, MS, CAADC

Carlos Mackall, MS, CAADC, LMSW

VP Northeast
RI International

Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Mental Health Screener and Human Services Practitioner

Marleigh O’Meara, MC, LPC, NCC

Marleigh O’Meara, MC, LPC, NCC

VP Southwest
RI International

Experience in the Oversight of Opiate Treatment Programs, Permanent Supportive Housing, Integrated Outpatient Care, Peer Respite and facility-Based Crisis Services

Michael Claeys, LPC, MBA

Michael Claeys, LPC, MBA

Executive VP
Behavioral Health Link

Developer of One of Georgia’s First Crisis Centers, Expertise in Quality Review, Extensive Provider Training, Provider Profiling, and Integration of Individualized Recovery Services

Pierluigi Mancini, PhD

Pierluigi Mancini, PhD

Director on RI International's Board

Author, Behavioral Health Expert, Cultural Competence Consultant, Immigrant Behavioral Health, Health Disparities and Media Expert, Program Developer, Public Speaker

Lisa St. George, MSW, CPRP

Lisa St. George, MSW, CPRP

VP Peer Support & Empowerment
RI International

Author of RI's Peer Employment Training and Numerous Other Training Tools, 40 Years of Expertise in the Peer Support and the Human Services Industry

DeQuincy Lezine, PhD

DeQuincy Lezine, PhD

Director on RI International's Board

CEO of Prevention Communities, Lifetime Achievement Award Winner of SAMSHA 2015 Voice Award, Internationally Recognized Speaker, Published Author.

Shannon Jaccard, MBA

Shannon Jaccard, MBA

Chair of RI International's Board

Behavioral Health Consultant and Adjunct Professor at Alliant University, Member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and Former CEO of NAMI San Diego

Shelby Rowe, MBA

Shelby Rowe, MBA

Director on RI International's Board

Program Manager for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center at the OU Health Science Center

Joe Williams

Joe Williams

Director on RI International's Board

Wagga Wagga Citizen of the Year, SPA’s LiFE Award, published author and public speaker

Chuck Browning, MD

Chuck Browning, MD

Chief Medical Officer
RI International

International Speaker, BH Focus on the Fusion of Medical and Peer Support Systems, Medical Director of Call Centers, Mobile Support and Crisis Facilities

Ronald Forbes, MD

Ronald Forbes, MD

Director on RI International's Board

Former Medical Director of Central State Hospital (VA), Psychiatric Consultant

Kenneth Thompson, MD

Kenneth Thompson, MD

Director on RI International's Board

Principal Psychiatrist, Visible Hands Consulting and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at University of Pittsburgh

Michael Riddle, MD

Michael
Riddle, MD

Associate CMO
RI International

Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at University of Arizona, Lifelong Educator, Experienced BH Leader, Medical Director of Crisis Facilities, and Experienced Crisis Provider.

Georgea Madeira, LMFT, MBA

Georgea Madeira, LMFT, MBA

California State Director
RI International

Experienced MH/SU Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Organizational and Leadership Consultant. State Leader of Leading BH Crisis Care Provider.

Stephanie Hepburn, JD

Stephanie Hepburn, JD

Chief Content Officer
RI International

Editor in chief of #CrisisTalk (talk.crisisnow.com). Award-winning author and journalist.

Karen Jones, MBA

Karen Jones, MBA

Chief of Staff
RI International

Executive Professional Administrator, BH Advocate, Expertise in Planning, Project Management, Event Management, Communication, and Administrative Functions

Outcomes

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