Check out his LinkedIn profile HERE.
Which segment of the industry are you currently involved?
I am a licensed clinical social worker and have been working directly for Medicaid for a year. Prior to this, I was a clinical provider working with clients with Medicaid in a variety of settings. My current role is the Behavioral Health Addiction Specialist for the SUPPORT Grant Team at the Department of Medical Assistance Services (Virginia Medicaid) and I provide training and technical assistance to providers working with clients with substance use disorder and co-occurring disorders.
How many years have you been in the Medicaid industry?
Directly, one year; since 2002 as a provider.
What is your focus/passion? (Industry related or not)
My primary focus is working with high risk clients, especially people living with SUD and/or mental health issues. There are far too few clinicians who are trained to work with people in crisis; our formal educational institutions do not provide the necessary education to future social workers, counselors and medical providers to engage the most vulnerable members of society. My passion therefore lies in teaching and writing and high risk clients. I published a book,
High Risk Clients: Evidence-based Assessment & Clinical Tools to Recognize and Effectively Respond to Mental Health Crisis (PESI Publishing & Media, 2019) to try and address the need to expand this knowledge base .
What is the top item on your “bucket list?”
To publish a comprehensive text on substance use disorder and SUD treatment.
What do you enjoy doing most with your personal time?
Spending time with my family—my wife and our three boys, preferably outside. This includes hiking, swimming, camping, working in the gardening. I also run a fair amount and play the electric bass.
Who is your favorite historical figure and why?
Jerry Garcia, musician, writer and filmmaker. He was a very complex person who shaped much of modern American music. What’s most interesting about him is that his bandmates in the Grateful Dead saw him as a leader, and yet he refused to lead. But the way he embraced different types of music is just incredible.
What is your favorite junk food?
Of what accomplishment are you most proud?
Being a dad and a husband. Nothing else comes close.
For what one thing do you wish you could get a mulligan?
I wish I had taken the opportunity to travel more when I was younger.
What are the top 1-3 issues that you think will be important in Medicaid during the next 6 months?
- We have to end the COVID 19 pandemic, and this can only be done by encouraging people to get vaccinated
- Addressing the ongoing substance use crisis (it’s not just opioids). This means looking at ways to reduce barriers to treatment and finding ways to expand the quantity and quality of treatment providers, especially in rural areas
- Medicaid’s goal should be to help clients get off of Medicaid and onto an employer funded insurance plan. The best way to further equality and opportunity is through employment opportunities for people, we have seen this historically. Most of my clients want to work and they realize how much better they do in their recovery when they are working. Medicaid should be a stepping stone not an end goal