Adventist HealthCare Hosts Former Surgeon General - Adventist HealthCare

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Published on November 25, 2013

Adventist HealthCare Hosts Former Surgeon General, National Leaders at Dec. 3 Event About Health Care Reform and Behavioral Health Services

Center on Health Disparities’ 7th Annual Conference will feature Dr. David Satcher, address gaps in system for underserved populations

Gaithersburg, MD — National, state and local health-care experts will discuss how to reduce behavioral health disparities amidst the changing health-care landscape during the Adventist HealthCare Center on Health Disparities 7th Annual Conference on Dec. 3 in Prince George’s County.

Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General and Director of The Satcher Health Leadership Institute, will deliver the keynote address at 8:45 a.m. Additional speakers will include Dr. Larke Huang and Mr. Paolo del Vecchio, of the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The event will also feature a panel discussion with the following behavioral health leaders to offer insights and best practices for implementing initiatives:

  • Mark Covall, President and CEO, National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems
  • Raymond Crowel, PsyD, Chief, Behavioral Health and Crisis Services, Montgomery County
  • Gayle Jordan-Randolph, MD, Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health and Disabilities, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Charlene LeFauve, PhD, Deputy Director for Special Populations, National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH)
  • Jimmy Venza, PhD, Director, Therapeutic Nursery Program, The Reginald S. Lourie Center for Infants and Young Children

The stigma around behavioral health and a lack of education and awareness has led to underutilization of life-saving treatment and services, especially among racial and ethnic minorities. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African Americans are 20 percent more likely to report having serious psychological distress than Caucasians. In addition, Hispanics receive mental health treatment two times less often than Caucasians, and older Asian American women have the highest suicide rate of all women over age 65 in the U.S.

“It is our duty as health-care providers to recognize these growing behavioral health disparities and work together to expand access to care for vulnerable populations,” said Marcos Pesquera, Executive Director of the Adventist HealthCare Center on Health Disparities. “Our goal for this conference is to inspire a thought-provoking discussion among national and regional health-care leaders and highlight ways to tackle these challenges in the face of major health care changes.”

This year’s conference “Partnering Toward a Healthier Future: Addressing Disparities in Behavioral Health,” in partnership with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at The Marriott Inn and Conference Center, University of Maryland University College in Hyattsville, MD. The conference will also feature a panel discussion with diverse spiritual leaders and personal insights from consumers of behavioral health services that focus on improving hope and recovery in behavioral health for vulnerable populations.

“This year’s conference will foster productive discussions between behavioral health care providers, primary care providers and the community about ways in which we can increase access to mental health care,” said Kevin Young, President of Adventist Behavioral Health, based in Rockville. “Together we must identify the barriers to delivering care, and better understand the behavioral health needs of the diverse population we serve.”

The Adventist HealthCare Center on Health Disparities is recognized as a regional leader and resource for education and training programs committed to providing patient and family-centered care in a culturally sensitive way. For more information about the Center and the upcoming conference, visit

Adventist HealthCare, a faith-based, integrated health-care delivery organization based in Gaithersburg, MD, is one of the largest employers in the state. It includes Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, The Shady Grove Adventist Emergency Center in Germantown, Washington Adventist Hospital, Adventist Behavioral Health, Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland, Adventist Home Health Services, Adventist Medical Group, the Reginald S. Lourie Center for Infants and Young Children and other health services.

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