Mental and behavioral health challenges affect a significant portion of our population and lead to devastating consequences. An enormous amount of work remains to be done to reduce stigma, expand access to care, and provide support to those suffering. Fortunately, that work is ongoing and we’re seeing real progress. It’s critical to keep the conversation going. Therefore, in partnership with the Tennessee Counseling Association, the Health:Further Festival will provide a day of programming focused on helping everyone within healthcare better understand behavioral health, as well as the technologies, trends and issues affecting the field today.

Sessions at Making it Stick will focus on the intersection between technology and the human connection in behavioral health

An employer’s view on behavioral health

Building evidence-based resources

Medical cannabis

Scroll down for the full agenda:

This Year’s Speakers and Agenda

9:00-9:30am: The human connection: delivering in-person care in a digital world

Rob Mortensen, Senior Consultant, Civilis Strategies; Alex Poston Jr., Chief Information Officer, Cumberland Heights

The behavioral health industry has long relied on the human connection in the delivery of care. The relationship between the provider and patient is the biggest predictor of outcomes, more so than clinician training or treatment methodology. But in today’s digital world, many treatments are being digitized and automated. Services that used to be reserved for inpatient and residential care is often performed in outpatient settings. How can in-person care providers manage to maintain the margins to provide quality care and build the scale to sustain a business? This fireside chat features a residential behavioral health treatment provider doing just that.  

9:30-10:00am: Designing and delivering evidence-based resources

Margaret Laws, CEO, HopeLab; Joe Conrad, Founder & CEO, Grit Digital Health & Cactus

The importance of evidence-supported interventions and treatments cannot be understated. Behavioral health combines the art of connecting with and syncing with someone but also a science in the rigor needed to know what to offer them to help improve their condition. We see thousands of pseudo-science (at best) interventions and treatment approaches in the marketplace. While many are savvy enough to ignore the truly outlandish ones, we do enter a new era in today’s digital age. We have new technologies entering the field including augmented reality, bots, artificial intelligence and many other tools that inherently change the care we have delivered and how we deliver it. But how do we know they will work? What kind of testing is being done? How do you enter the marketplace even if you are using evidence-based interventions in an unproven delivery system? We’ll explore these questions and more.

10:00-10:30am: Digitally delivered therapy

Tom Hunter, CEO, iHopeNetworkDr. Yuri Maricich, Chief Medical Officer & Head of Clinical Development, Pear Therapeutics

Capacity within the behavioral health field is already low and continuing to drop. According to some estimates, Tennessee operates at 38% capacity in the field. So with the expense of brick and mortar growth and the lack of professionals in the field, we are in need of solutions like digital care. From telehealth and video sessions with a human clinician to digital therapies a primary care provider can prescribe, the landscape of digital care is vast and growing. Digital care offers an array of possibilities. We can reach patients at their time of decision to seek care with on demand telesessions with a human clinician. Primary care providers can prescribe digital therapies before, during, or after a check up. Providers can be guided towards digital support tools from technologies embedded in their electronic health records. We’ll discuss these and many more developments emerging in the digital care space.

10:30-11:00am: Scaling behavioral health services through AI & predictive analytics

Paul Clark, Director of Healthcare Research, Digital Reasoning; Jim Stefansic, CEO, Raiven Healthcare; Lisa Henderson, Co-founder & COO, Synchronous Health

Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics are promised to be game changers in every industry, and particularly in health care. When it comes to behavioral health they can play a special role in identifying people living with undiagnosed or untreated behavioral health conditions. These tools map behaviors and identify individuals who are trending toward a particular diagnoses, and likewise, trending towards health. Not only are these tools valuable in detecting and diagnosing behavioral health conditions, they can also tell us which treatments are the most effective for that person’s condition and severity. It is often said that the wrong treatment is worse than no treatment at all. Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics help us eliminate using the wrong treatment on a patient because we’ll know before we get started how they will respond. However, it can’t be that simple. Humans are complex beings. While we are predictable as a population, we are highly variable as individuals. We’ll hear more about the precision application of these tools to increase the efficiency and efficacy of care in behavioral health.

11:00-11:30am: Behavioral Healthcare Providers and Technology: The Good, The Bad, and the Exciting

Todd Charest, Chief Product Officer, Qualifacts; Samuel MacMaster, Chief Clinical Officer, JourneyPure

Behavioral Healthcare Providers are faced with a host of both opportunities and challenges when it comes to leveraging technology to meet strategic business and care objectives. Technologies continue to evolve, introducing new options for clinical workflows, ways for providers and consumers to engage, as well as new expectations and business models that create disruption. In this panel, we will explore the Good, the Bad, and the Exciting related to technology in the Behavioral Health sector.

11:30-12:00pm: Hiding Behind the Muscle: Reducing Stigma and enhancing resources in the workplace

Dwight Hollier, VP of Wellness and Clinical Services, The National Football League; Lisa Henderson, Co-founder & COO, Synchronous Health

Employers are becoming more aware of the impact behavioral health has on their employee population and are looking for solutions. No one understands this like the National Football League. Their best assets, their players, struggle with the same stressors that everyone else encounters. They are responsible for providing for their families and caring for aging relatives. They are faced with pressures to perform or be replaced. They are expected to perform roles they were not prepared for and did not choose – that’s just part of the job. They experience physical pain and need to manage that pain to function at the level expected. When the time comes, they wonder what in the world they will do next. Dwight Hollier played with the Miami Dolphins for 8 seasons and one in Indianapolis. When his playing career was over he experienced the stress of “what now” and the depression and challenge to identity and self-worth that goes along with it. He became a licensed professional counselor and stepped into the role of Director of Transition and Clinical Services to support the transition of players as they move off the field (today he is VP of Wellness and Clinical Services). That work begins with players while they are still on the team. This talk will be about what every employer should be thinking about and planning for on behalf of their best assets – their employees.

1:00-1:30pm: Why suicide prevention is so important

Scott Ridgway, Executive Director, Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network; Misty Leitsch, Zero Suicide Director, Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network; Adam Graham, Director of Emergency Psychiatric Services, Mental Health Cooperative; Becky Stoll, VP of Crisis & Disaster Management, Centerstone

In June, the country was shocked at the news of two celebrity deaths by suicide in the same week. Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain had both struggled in the past with behavioral health conditions. But both had also reportedly been happy with where they were presently, personally and professionally.  If these were two tragic coincidences that would be one thing. But that same week the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a report indicating that deaths by suicide have been on an incline in the past 30 years, with sharp increases in the past 10. Suicide is always a topic that is difficult to discuss. So we thought it critical to discuss here, at a health care conference in the behavioral health track. The talk will include the family of someone who died by suicide, a counselor who specializes in treating suicidal ideation, and Scott Ridgway, the executive director of the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network. The panel discussion will cover sensitive issues including how to talk to someone who might be considering suicide and what the health care system can do to better support people who are suicidal.

1:30-2:00pm: Medical cannabis: A debate

Hillary Blackburn, Founder & CEO, Natural Products Resource Center; Mike Baron, Medical Director, Tennessee Medical Foundation
Physician Health Program; Holly Fletcher, BirdDog

Marijuana has been in the headlines for years as more states have moved to decriminalize or legalize marijuana, both for medical and recreational uses. Last year there were several bills before the Tennessee General Assembly seeking to legalize medical cannabis. It’s a hot topic that should be thoughtfully examined from all angles. This conversation will focus on what the research shows for the clinical efficacy of medical cannabis for pain management, anxiety, substance use disorders among other medical uses. It will also examine the public policy implications of medical cannabis in Tennessee and other states. This discussion will focus on evidence from peer reviewed studies and what we can learn from other states that have experience with legalizing medical cannabis.

2:00-2:30pm: Thinking Like a Behavioral Scientist

Julia O’Brien, Principal Behavioral Scientist, Duke University; Interviewed by Dan Ryan, Principal, Ryan Search & Consulting

The United States is in a health crisis: we’re overweight, we’re inactive, our rate of chronic disease is increasing each year, and our healthcare costs do not justify the quality of care we receive. In this talk, Julia describes the behavioral science behind our unhealthy behaviors and the difficulty we have in designing effective behavior change interventions. She explains why giving people more information can backfire, why the most motivated often don’t improve, and why we trick ourselves into thinking we’re better off than we are. She illustrates how simple changes to our environment and leveraging technology can make us enjoy exercise, feel less pain, take our medication, and get vaccinated on time.

2:30-3:00pm: Completing the conversation - where do we go from here?

Lisa Henderson, Co-founder & COO, Synchronous Health

We heard a lot today about the future of behavioral health. We’ve covered everything from the importance of humans to the importance of technology. We’ve talked about an employer’s role in supporting behavioral health to how to talk to someone you think is considering suicide. We’ve talked about behavior change and decision making. And we’ve covered public policy as it relates to both expanding access to care through services and new therapies including cannabis. All of this has in common a need to evaluate and decide what our roles are in the future of healthcare. As a clinician, I have real ambivalence about a lot of these topics. Creating a framework for evaluating them each in turn  and deciding how to adopt, adapt, accept, or reject them in our organizations is critical at this juncture. This talk will walk through such a framework for decision making on each of these topics discussed today. You can go back to your organization with the information you learned here today and a means of dispositioning whether or not you integrate any of it into your organization.

Buy your ticket to the 2018 Health:Further Festival to see all the thoughtful and informative programming taking place at Making It Stick, along with all the sessions at Health:Further 2018’s other tracks.

Get your ticket today!

Making It Stick at the Health:Further | 2018 festival is programmed in partnership with the Tennessee Counseling Association.