Building Connections for Better Care
Local networking groups link providers of mental health, behavioral health
“When I can’t help someone, I want to connect them with someone who can.”
That’s the sentiment driving groups of professionals in communities across northeast Mississippi to come together regularly and get to know each other better.
From Olive Branch to Columbus, representatives of Oxford Treatment Center are actively involved in networking meetings for professionals in mental and behavioral healthcare. While some groups in northeast Mississippi are longstanding, Oxford Treatment Center has helped others start from the ground up.
“Being closely connected to our local communities has always been a priority for us,” said Billy Young, CEO of Oxford Treatment Center. “As part of American Addiction Centers, we have a national leadership role in our field. We welcome patients from across the country to our campus. But our roots will remain right here in north Mississippi.”
In 2014, Young and the center’s fellow co-founder, Tom Fowlkes, MD, initiated a quarterly networking meeting among mental health providers in Oxford and Lafayette County and at the University of Mississippi. That group began to establish its own identity this year, as the Lafayette-Oxford-University (LOU) Mental Health Alliance.
“Coming together as professionals helps us learn about each other’s practices,” said clinical psychologist Danielle Maack, PhD, chair of the LOU Mental Health Alliance. “When we have a client whose needs don’t match our services, we know where to refer them.”
Daniel Jensen, Northeast Mississippi-based treatment consultant for Oxford Treatment Center’s parent company, American Addiction Centers, said networking meetings have helped him get to know providers throughout the region. In addition to quarterly meetings for the LOU Mental Health Alliance, Jensen takes part in the monthly Golden Triangle Networking Breakfast in Columbus and Behavioral Health Networking Meeting hosted by North Mississippi Medical Center.
“It’s been a tremendous benefit to learn about the quality of our behavioral health providers in our region,” he said. “As we take turns sponsoring meetings, we have a chance to listen to others’ presentations and to share our own. It helps all of us learn who does what and how we can complement each other’s services.”
In the past year, AAC has also provided support for a new behavioral health networking group taking shape in Corinth, led by former Oxford Treatment Center Therapist David Carpenter, MS, NCC, LPC.
Most recently, in Olive Branch, AAC Treatment Consultant Angela Quadrani has begun hosting the DeSoto County Behavioral Health Networking Breakfast on the third Thursday of each month. The meeting is held at Oxford Treatment Center’s Olive Branch Outpatient Office.
“We’re excited to see new faces each month,” Quadrani said. “DeSoto County has a wealth of resources in behavioral healthcare, and we are pleased to help fill a need for forming connections for this community.”