Mass Aging and Mental Health Coaliton(MAMHC) Annual Conference

 May 13, 2019 at Holy Cross College in Worcester

Mind Body Continuum: Integrated Approaches to Older Adult Health

Presenters include

 Dr. Susan Nathan ( Geriatrician and palliative care specialist )

 Dr. Olivia Hobitzelle(author of Aging with Wisdom).

Workshops include:

 Trauma in the lives of older Adults;

 Residences for elders with physcial and behavioral health challenges;

 Rhythm and dance as Medicine, etc.

Social Work CEUs applied   Lunch included.

For more information please contact Frank Baskin at:

Annual Conference set for Wednesday May13, 2019 at the Hogan Center of College of the Holy Cross in Worcester MA.

The focus will be on the  interchange of behavioral and physical health for elders. We will look at the impact for elders and providers along with recommended interventions.

Look for more information.

2018 EBH Conference Success

Over 100 people attended the Elder Behavioral Health Conference in Worcester on May 16, 2018.

Attendees heard the outcome of efforts in NY to fund elder behavioral health services. There were workshops about Reiki, Spirituality, Workplace safety., Transgender issues, Disparities across cultures.

It ended with a presentation by Melinda Lopez about her experience as a caregiver for her Mom.

May 16, 2018

Kim Williams from New York will be the keynote. She has been responsible for obtaining funding from the State of New York. These monies are distributed for elder behavioral health services. She will talk about what
has been learned from their experience in NY.

Melinda Lopez, the renown actress, will recount her experiences with her dying mother and her family.

There will be three workshops and also three discussion groups. Topics will include;

Spirituality and elders

Transgender issues

Translating practice into elder advocacy

Reikii as a wellness tool for elders

Workplace safety for elder caregivers

Examining Disparities Across Cultures

 5 CEUs approved for social workers

Register and See Full Schedule Online at or using the form below Name: 

__________________________________________ Email: ________________________ Phone: ____________ NASW Member #: _______________ Workshop I Choice #: ______ Workshop II Choice #: ______

 Make checks payable to NASW-MA and mail to: NASW-MA, 11 Beacon, St., Suite 510, Boston, MA 02108

Cost of Attendance: NASW Members: $60 Non-NASW Members: $75
 If you require special accommodations please call NASW-MA at least 30 days prior to the conference and let us know your needs: 617-227-9735
Registration form and accompanying fee must be postmarked by May 1, 2018

Funding for Elder Behavioral Health(EBH) Services by the Mass Legislature

The BIP proposal is no longer viable but its content will still be used

F'Y 2018 State Budget

A request was made for additional monies for F'Y 2018.

The House Ways and Means Committee and the full house agreed to add 
$ 500,000 to the DMH account and with the same language.

*******The Senate Ways and means Committee did include funding and language for EBH. However,an error/typo made it seem as if that did not happen.
Please contact your Mass Senator to sign-on to an amendment which is being offered by Senator Jennifer Flanagan.
It adds $ 500,000 to the DMH line item(5046-0000)

We await the decision by the Senate next week


The Senate rejected the amendment.


Our supporters in the House will approach the House Ways & Means Committee about this mistake.

It is our job to follow-up with a letter to members of the Conference Committee to include the funding and language which know is in the House budget. There will be a draft letter here when we know the names of the Conference Committee.


$ 500,000 was provided for elder behavioral health services.

Please thank your Mass Rep/senator.

Next we see what the Governor will do.

Governor Vetoes These Funds

Please contact the Speaker and advocate for an override vote.

F'Y 2017 State Budget

Funding($ 200,000 in the DMH budget with a joint agreement with EOEA)was requested for this fiscal year. It was passed by the mass State legislature, vetoed by the Governor ,  and the veto was overridden.

However, the governor did not release these monies until December(2016) and the language was not implemented until February(2017).

After several discussions with EOEA and DMH staff it was agreed how to implement. Most of the funds were used for trainings which have been well subscribed.

A small amount was used to supplement COAs which have received grant monies from EOEA to develop wrap around behavioral health services for their communities.


  1. 1 (MAMHC)

The Mass state legislature has not funded this proposal. Our MAMHC  coalition has made some contacts with members of the new administration(Governor Charlie Baker's appointees).

We have spoken with Alice of the Executive Office of Healthj & Human Sevrices(HHS)- Spring and early Summer 2015.
They have read the original proposal and will review it prior to contacting us. We will also follow-up with questions from them about the proposal. 

2.  These agencies have reviewed the proposal and passed it onto  the Administration and Finance(A & F = the Budget agency of Mass State government)- Fall. 2015.
Once they have completed their review it will go to the Mass legislature for their review. These monies come from the Federal government(CMS) but will be transferred to the State budget(once approved by A&F) and must complete a budget process thru the State legislature.

3. A & F decided to reject the proposal. They will not spend grant monies (even from a source outside of the State budget) if there is no guarantee how to fund the project
once the grant ends. An effort was also made to seek funding from other Federal sources. There was expressed support for the services but no funds were identified.


1. An amendment to the fiscal 2017 DMH line item was passed in both the State House and Senate. It was consequently vetoed by the Governor and that was overridden by the legislature. However,
it was not implemented as the Governor would not "authorize" the funding saying the budget was not in balance. Some in the legislature disagree and will try to address this. More later.
2. EOEA wlll be approached about its fiscal year 2018 budget request including funding for EBH.


The Coalition has developed a proposal to use funds from a Federal grant to the State of Mass.

This proposal(on Older Adult Behavioral Health Services) has been approved by several State agencies(including Elder Affairs, Mental Health, Public Health). When implemented it will create partnerships which will include a local Aging Service Access Points(ASAP) and a local mental health provider. They will be the hub of services which are provided to community dwelling elders who are experiencing mental health/behavioral/ substance problems.
Each partnership will provide an array of services which will be available to those individuals who need them. Some of those include:

  • Mobile psycho therapy services
  • Transportation
  • Elder peer counseling
  • Linguistic/cultural translation
  • Housing support
  • Legal support
This application is making its way thru Massachusetts state government including state agencies the Governor's office, and the Legislature. It must wind its way in the Budget process including the Ways and Means Committee of each House.
Once approved the Executive Office of Elder Affairs(EOEA) will provide oversight, guidance,a study,and  trainings for both providers and consumers.

2015 Annual Conference Held at Holy Cross College in Worcester MA

Speakers and workshop leaders (including consumers)focused on recovery and resilience.
This was a positive  framework which carried thru the day. Some of the topics included:

  • Elder gambling
  • Elder homelessness
  • Elder abuse
  • Immigrant and Minority Issue
  • Elder Peer Counseling

2014 Annual Conference held at Holy Cross College

This year participants heard speakers talk about ways to approach elder mental health with a positive framework.

From Ann Webster, to Denise Karuth to Bob Schreiber speakers presented ideas about a more positive and successful approach to address these issues.
Some of these included client involvement in their care planning and decision-making, meditation, etc.
The workshops also included more positive approaches including resilience, elder peer bridgers. healthy ideas, etc.

This was also the time when Jim Callahan, chair of the coalition, announced his retirement from this position. He will be replaced by Cassie Cramer, Scott Dailey,and Rebecca Kessler.


On January 16. 2014 this hearing was held jointly by the Committees on Mental Health and Substance Abuse and also Elder Affairs.
Numerous individuals spoke and and advocated for the availability of appropriate and accessible mental health services for elders. Many cases were given as examples of the result when services are not provided. Recommendations included:

  • Developing assessment services which are appropriate for this population;
  • Organizing mobile services which go to elders in their home and community;
  • Payments for travel by therapists who visit elders in the community or their own home;
  • Training for therapists and others who assist elders with their mental health/behavioral challenges;
  • Education for PCPs and other providers about both the stigma associated with this population and the effectiveness of mental health therapies for this population.

Among those providing testimony were members of the MAMHC including; Kathy Kuhn, Cassie Cramer, Chet Chujubiak,. and Frank E. Baskin.

The hearing was covered by the State House News and picked up by several local newspapers.

The next step will be to re-place monies in the 2015 state budget (about $ 350,000).


This year's conference will be held on Friday May 2, 2014 at the Hogan Center of Holy Cross College in Worcester MA.

The focus will be about healthy aging and mental health with the title:


Several speakers have agreed to present including;

Ann Webster(Keynote) - Aging Without an Expiration Date: Mind Body Medicine for Successful Aging-
Robert Schrieber
Denise Karuth

There will be workshops on healthy aging, resilience and diversity, and elder peer bridging.
6 CEUs have been approved for Social Workers(# D 61509).
6 CEUs have been approved for LMHCs. 
Nurses CEUs have been applied.

FOR ANY QUESTIONS ON REGISTRATION Please call Karen Cabana at 413-439-2105 or email at


Look here for updates about this conference
Many attendees were witness to an exciting annual confernce.
Speakers and workshop leaders were applauded for their expertise and presentations.
The opening/keynote session was so stimulating that the extended question and answer session could have continued much longer. Attendees had many comments to make. Some of them participated in a workshop where there was an opportunity to continue the discussion.
The conference also included a call to action for Geriatric Mental Health in Massachusetts. Participants were asked to provide examples or cases which describe what happens when there are appropriate and accessible geriatric mental health services and what happens when there are not. They(and you)can send them to  and they will; be used at a hearing at the Massachusetts legislature on mental health in the Fall.
May 17, 2013
Hogan Center - Holy Cross College
Worcester MA

Speakers include:

  • June Cowen and Mary Neal -  Safety and Self Determination -A conversation about the choices.
  • Holly Ramsey-Klawsnick – Elder Abuse
  • Robert Walker Peers In The Elder Care Workforce: Why Didn’t We Think Of This Sooner?

Workshops on various topics including elder gambling, self neglect, hoarding, etc.

6 CEUs have been approved each for social workers, nurses, and for licensed mental health counselors.

Breakfast and lunch included.

Watch this space and your e-mail for registration information.
Any questions contact Frank E. Baskin about the conference at:
Contact Karen Cabana(at CHD in Springfield MA) about registration at: 413-439-2105

The Mass Aging and Mental Health Coalition(MAMHC)has signed-on to a letter sent to Governor Patrick. It implores him to re-store monies fiscal year 2014 budget to a line item in the State budget dedicated to elder mental health services. There was funding there in 2007 but it was reduced to zero and has not been funded since then. A number of effective direct service and training programs were set up but no longer have this funding.
Letters have also been sent to the Chairs of the House and Senate Ways and Means Committees.
The following is a copy of the letter to the Governor;

November 19, 2012


Governor Deval Patrick

Massachusetts State House

Office of the Governor, Room 280

Boston, MA 02133


Re: Restoration of Funding for Geriatric Mental Health Services;

EOEA Line Item 9110-1640

Dear Governor Patrick:

We are writing as a coalition of advocates for low and moderate income senior citizens throughout Massachusetts. We urge you to restore at least $350,000 to the Geriatric Mental Health line item within the Executive Office of Elder Affair’s (EOEA) budget, Line Item # 9110-1640, as you prepare your FY’2014 budget proposal.

During FY’2007-2009, this line item helped fund critical and innovative home and community-based geriatric mental health services and supports including: crisis stabilization; in-home treatment engagement services; in-home mental health and substance abuse services; innovative and effective inter-disciplinary geriatric mental health training for first responders, case managers and nurses; and other specialized geriatric mental health interventions. The detrimental effects of defunding have been felt by seniors with psychiatric disabilities and their family members throughout the Commonwealth. Failure to fund this line item has contributed to increased costs of MassHealth-funded preventable psychiatric hospitalizations, emergency room visits, nursing home admissions, and homelessness resources for seniors. As a result, unmanageable burdens have been placed on other state and municipal-funded elder services.

Nearly two thirds of older adults with a mental health disorder do not receive needed services. We know that untreated psychiatric conditions among elders increase the likelihood of multiple ER visits, hospitalizations and nursing home admissions. State-funded Aging Service Access Points (ASAPs), and other agencies, are ill-equipped to provide needed mental health services and supports to elders with serious mental illnesses without the services funded by this line item. Funding for this line item was used to mold an effective inter-agency, inter-disciplinary response to the needs of elders with psychiatric conditions that impaired their daily functioning. The programs it funded made it possible for elders with psychiatric conditions to live safely in their own homes with vital supports. It is long overdue for this funding to be restored.

Massachusetts’ failure to fund specialized Geriatric Mental Health services and supports is a classic example of a “penny-wise, pound-foolish” government policy, not only fiscally but also in the myriad ways that defunding these crucial services has harmed the independence and wellbeing of countless senior citizens with psychiatric disabilities and their families. We urge you to restore $350,000 to EOEA’s Line Item 9110-1640. Should you or your staff need additional information, we are happy to meet with your designees and provide information as requested.

Thank you for your anticipated attention and cooperation in responding to this urgent request.



Deborah Filler

Senior Staff Attorney

Greater Boston Legal Services

cc: Secretary Ann Hartstein, Executive Office of Elder Affairs

Secretary JudyAnn Bigby, Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Co-signers to this request:


John J. Drew


Boston ABCD


Scott Miyake Geron

Director of Center for Aging and Disability Education and Research

Boston University School of Social Work


Rita Shah

Senior Outreach Coordinator

Burlington Council on Aging


Margaret Fox


Cambridge Health Alliance


Darlene Perkins

Senior Programs Advocate

Community Action Committee of Cape Cod & Islands, Inc.


Bruce Menin

Executive Director

Disability Policy Consortium


Allison Theberge

Clinical Director

Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc.


Dale Mitchell

Executive Director



Janet Seckel-Cerrotti

Executive Director

Friendship Works


Frank Baskin


Greater Lowell Elder Mental Health Coalition


Marsha Frankel

Clinical Director of Senior Services and Director of Mental Health

Jewish Family & Children’s Service


Lisa Krinsky

Executive Director

LGBT Aging Project


Arlene Germain


Massachusetts Advocates for Nursing Home Reform


Jim Callahan


Massachusetts Aging and Mental Health Aging Coalition


Chet Jakubiak, Executive Director

Margery Munro, Board Member

Massachusetts Association of Older Americans


Carol Trust

Executive Director

Massachusetts Chapter of National Association of Social Workers


David P. Stevens

Executive Director

Massachusetts Council on Aging


Barbara E. Moscowitz

Coordinator of Geriatric Social Work and Director of MGH Senior HealthWISE

MGH Geriatric Medicine Unit


Nancy Euchner

President of Board of Directors

New England Chapter of National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers


John O’Neill

Executive Director

Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services


Penelope Ann Shaw

State and National Long-term Care and Disability and Policy Advisor


Elizabeth Aguilo, Daniel Burroso, Cassie Cramer, Meckle Elston,

Lisa Hartnett, Cathy Liu, Mathew Mahoney, Michael Medeiros,

Suzanne Norton, Christine Palmieri, Elizabeth Seelman

Members of Coalition

Cambridge-Somerville Mental Health and Aging Coalition