Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Board's Working Group Tackles Tough Issue

The NAMI Southwestern Pennsylvania Board of Directors has several sub-committees, one of which is a working group that addresses the shocking fact that people with serious mental illness are dying 25 years sooner than the rest of the population.

Last night, the working group invited Jon Lovelace, President of UPMC for You, and Pat Valentine, Director of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, to its meeting. Jon and Pat were gracious enough to lend their time and thoughts on the life-expectancy disparity and share with us the current work they are doing to address the issue. They also gave NAMI specific ideas of what we can do to help them better serve people with serious mental illness.

Here is NAMI Board Member Jack Calahane, PhD, Chief of Adult Mood & Anxiety Disorders at Western Psych. Jack is a member of a couple of the Board's sub-committees, including this working group. He always makes the effort to volunteer his time and attend NAMI events and meetings.

After the meeting, Jon Lovelace changed into his tux to head out to a social engagement. We couldn't help but to snap a photo of Jon with Pat Valentine and NAMI Board member Dick Jevon.

Thanks to all who attended. Hopefully, together we can begin to close the gap on this unsettling life disparity.