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Posted 9.6.06

The Robert T. Kauer Mental Health Executive Leadership program (MHELP), first piloted in 1995-96, is about to matriculate its 12th class. Conceived and implemented by Barbara Bolek at the Health Systems Management Center (HSMC) in collaboration with Dr. Robert Ronis in the Department of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine, the program is substantially underwritten by an annual training grant from the Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODH).

Initially directed by Dr. Rob Kauer and renamed in his memory, 18 participants are selected each year from mid-career applicants working within Ohio's public mental health system: This multidisciplinary applicant pool includes physicians, psychologists, social workers, nurses and others who have attained management positions but often come from a clinical background. Participants attend the four "core courses" of the HSMC supplemented by 3 day-long sessions dedicated to the creation of a "Business Plan."   These sessions focus on a real issue facing the particpant's organization, as well as on legislative, fiscal and political issues specific to public mental health services. The Planning Seminar is now taught by Dr. Eric Berkowitz, who also participated in the program with the late Dr. Kauer.

Lauded by Ohio Department of Mental Health Executive Director Michael Hogan as "one of the best things we've done with our grant funding program," MHELP has "graduated" over 200 individuals, most of whom remain in Ohio's public mental health system and have either implemented - or by virtue of their MHELP analysis decided not to implement - their various programs and projects. "We are pleased to continue to offer this unique opportunity," says Dr. Ronis, "and impressed by the continuing demand for the program from the agencies, boards and hospitals in the public mental health system."


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