Mental Illness Alliance to Host “Bridging the Gaps” Conference at PC

Tuesday, April 11, 2017
GoLocalProv News Team

James Sullivan
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Rhode Island is set to hold their annual “Bridging the Gaps” conference at Providence College’s Slavin Center. The theme of this year’s conference is “Heroes and Allies: Changing the Conversation.” 

"This conference is open to anyone interested in moving mental illness out of the shadows and into the public discussion. Whether you're a health care professional, a person living with a mental illness, a family member looking for solutions, or an interested community member, you are welcome here. The power of this conference is learning side by side with the diverse array of people involved in mental health, in an environment where everyone's voice is equally respected,” says NAMI RI Executive Director Cindy Elder. 

The conference will take place on Wednesday, May 10 and lasts for a full day. 

The Conference 

The Bridging the Gaps conference features over a dozen workshops as well as keynote presentations by Dr. James Sullivan of Butler Hospital,  NAMI RI Peer Program Manager Jeremiah Rainville, and NAMI family member Jean Marandola.

The 2nd annual Black History Event will take place during lunch and will feature "A Tribute to the Mental Health Care Achievements of the Obama Administration."

The Workshops are as follows: 

  • Building Allies in the Mental Health Community
  • Mental Illness and the Media
  • Navigating RI’s Mental Health Care System
  • Finding Balance with Yoga
  • Handcuffs or Hospital
  • See It Through My Eyes: Learn to Share Your Story
  • The Role of Faith Communities in Mental Health
  • Issues and Obstacles in Mental Health Today
  • The Healing Power of Advocacy
  • Healthy Transitions for Youth
  • Mental Illness and the Arts
  • Innovations in Treatment and Care
  • Mental Health on the College Campus


Panelists and presenters include: 

Denise Achin, Gabe Amo, Bradley Brockmann, Meg Clingham, Brandee Crowley, Joe DiMauro, Paula Drzal, Ruth Feder, Melissa Fundakowski, Mary Harrington, David Hirschberg, Ken Howells, Rep. Raymond Hull, Stephanie Kaufman, Jayna Klatzker, Janet Larson, Ian Lang, Eliza Lanzillo, Chris Lauth, Alison Longo, Peggy Matteson, Jim McNulty, Sen. Harold Metts, Dr. Richard Miller, G. Wayne Miller, Michelle Pallioto, Rep. Aaron Regunberg, Yuri Tomikawa, Steve Turner, James Vincent, A.T. Wall, the NAMI RI board and staff, and others.

The Black History Luncheon Event will feature presentations by Senator Harold M. Metts; Representative Raymond Hull; Gabe Amo, Director of Public Engagement, Governor Gina Raimondo’s Office; Felicia Delgado, Parent Support Network; Jim Vincent, President, President, Providence NAACP.

  • Inside Man

    Russell Carey - A name few outside of Brown’s campus know, but Carey is the power source at the Providence Ivy League institution. 

    Today, his title is Executive Vice President and he has had almost every title at Brown short of President. Carey is a 1991 graduate of Brown and has never left College Hill.

    While Brown’s President Christine Paxson — who is functionally invisible in Rhode Island — is managing alumni affairs and fundraising, Carey is influencing almost everything in Rhode Island.

  • Top Raimondo Appointment

    Nicole Alexander-Scott - MD, MPH, and rock star in the making. As Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, she is fast developing a reputation as someone in the Raimondo Administration who can get things done. Her counsel and leadership on developing a strategy on opioid addiction has been widely been lauded.

    In addition, she has handled the mundane - from beach closings to food recalls - with competency. An expert in infectious disease, it may be time for her to become a strong leader on Zika.

  • The CEO

    Ronald Machtley - Bryant University's President rightfully deserves to be on a lot of lists, but what few understand is that Machtley’s influence extends far beyond Bryant’s campus in Smithfield. Machtley could make this list as a business leader or as a political force as much as for education.

    Machtley is recognized for transforming Bryant University from a financially struggling regional college to a university with a national reputation for business.

    Machtley serves on Amica’s Board and the Rhode Island Foundation, and also serves on the Board of Fantex Brands.

  • Power Broker

    Larry Purtill - While Bob Walsh gets the face time as the Executive Director in the media for the NEA of Rhode Island, NEARI President Purtill tends to be the inside man who gets things done.

    The teachers' largest union is formidable, but is still reeling from the beat down it took when Gina Raimondo’s pension reform cut the benefits of teachers disproportionately over other employee groups. 

    Make no mistake about it - not much happens in education in Rhode Island without Purtill's sign-off.

  • Visionary

    Mim Runey - While Rhode Islanders wait, and wait some more, for development on the 195 land, Johnson and Wale's University's Runey is watching it come to fruition, as JWU is set to open the first completed building on the former Interstate on September 1, when it will host a ribbon cutting for its John J. Bowen Center for Science and Innovation. 

    Under Runey, JWU continues to establish its foothold as one of the country's top schools for culinary training. Now Runey will oversee the addition of the new building on the old 195 which will house the university's School of Engineering and Design and its biology program. 

    In 2015, students from the School of Engineering & Design participated in the construction of the Holocaust Memorial on South Main Street, a collaboration between the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island and the Holocaust Education Resource Center of Rhode Island.

    A true community partner in every sense, JWU under Runey's watchful eye is expanding to an even greater presence in Providence. 

  • Chairman of the Board

    Edwin J. Santos - The former banker is Chairman of the Board of CharterCare, after having been a top executive at Citizens Bank. He has been a board leader for Crossroads, Washington Trust, Rocky Hill School -- you name it and Santos has helped to lead it.

    His best work to date just might be at CharterCare, where he has helped the once fledgling hospital (Roger Williams Medical Center) into a growing hospital system.

  • Lion Tamer

    Weber Shill - He serves as the Chief Executive Officer of University Orthopedics, or in other words, dozens and dozens of oh-so-confident docs.

    Shill has a background in Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration from the Whitemore School at the University of New Hampshire. Experienced in managing medical groups, but this group is big and influential.

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