4th Annual Older Adult
Mental Health Awareness
Day Symposium

May 6, 2021

Promising Practices and Funding Strategies from State Partnerships in Aging and Mental Health


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Georgia, Oregon, and New York share about innovate strategies and funding opportunities for aging and mental health partnerships.

Eve Byrd, DNP, MPH

Director, Mental Health Program

The Carter Center (Georgia)​

Eve H. Byrd became director of the Carter Center’s Mental Health Program in February 2017.  Prior to joining the staff of the Mental Health Program, she was a faculty member of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and served as the Executive Director, Fuqua Center for Late-Life Depression/ Emory School of Medicine.   

Eve is a long -term friend of The Carter Center Mental Health program having participated in each of the programs initiatives over the last 14 years. Eve has held leadership positions both nationally and locally engaged in work aimed at eliminating the stigma of behavioral health disorders and improving persons with behavioral health disorders access to care.  She has been a consultant to the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, the Georgia Division of Aging, the Atlanta Regional Commission, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and Georgia Representative Pat Gardner. Until coming to the Carter Center, Eve also practiced as a nurse practitioner in geriatric psychiatry establishing on-site services in affordable housing for older adults and young disabled as well as practicing in a patient-centered medical home for persons with dementia. Eve began her career as a public health nurse in Georgia.  

Eve earned a master of public health in health policy from Rollins School of Public Health/Emory University and a master of nursing with a concentration in psychiatric/ mental health nursing from the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing/Emory University.  She earned a bachelor degree in nursing from Emory School of Nursing and a bachelor degree in psychology from Florida State University.  She is a Doctorate in Nursing Practice candidate with an emphasis in systems change and implementation science at Emory School of Nursing.  

Nirmala Dhar, LCSW

Older Adult Behavioral Health Project Director

Oregon Health Authority - Health Systems Division

Nirmala Dhar is a licensed clinical social worker with a Master’s in Social Work from the Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri and Bombay University, India. She is mission driven and has a passion to work with the most vulnerable clients, often with cross sector complex care needs. Nirmala has worked for 35 years in all aspects and programs of behavioral health in the public sector in Missouri, New Jersey and Oregon. She is a senior policy analyst and the Older Adult Behavioral Health Services Coordinator for Oregon Health Authority ‘s Health Systems Division. In this position she is the Older Adult Behavioral Health Initiative Project Director, the PASRR Level II Coordinator and subject matter expert for her Division. She is the OHA Champion for the Geriatric Behavioral Health ECHO Program. Prior to this position she worked for Clackamas County Behavioral Health for 18 years. This included 10 years as the geriatric mental health specialist for the County. She has provided trainings on a variety of topics over the past twenty years locally and nationally and enjoys coaching and mentoring new clinicians. Her areas of professional interest include healthy aging, social justice, workforce development, quality improvement, health metrics and service delivery innovations. Nirmala lives in Lake Oswego with her husband Sanjay. Her hobbies include world travel, reading non-fiction, gardening and good food! 

Kimberly Williams

President and CEO

Vibrant Emotional Health (New York)

Kimberly A. Williams is the President and CEO of the Vibrant Emotional Health, a nonprofit organization which reaches over 2.5 million people each year to help them achieve emotional well-being through high quality, innovative programs. She began as a public policy intern in 2003, rising to President and CEO in 2017. She has served the mental health industry through various positions, including mental health advocate, administrator, educator, and consultant. Under her leadership, the 50+ year old organization rebranded to be better positioned for the future of mental health in our society and to communicate a positive vision for all who are impacted by mental health challenges. As CEO, Williams has overseen the expansion of Vibrant’s premier programs they administer, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Disaster Distress Helpline, and NYC Well, New York City’s leading edge, multi-lingual, multi-modal contact center program that responds around the clock to the mental health needs of over 300,000 New Yorkers every year. Williams serves on a number of advisory committees and boards including the New York State Interagency Geriatric Mental Health and Chemical Dependence Planning Council, the New York State Health Foundation Community Advisory Committee, Mental Health News Education Inc., United Community Schools, and the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging, for whom she is immediate past chair. Her leadership in the field has been recognized by City and State New York, New York Nonprofit Media, Mental Health Association in New York State, and the National Association of Social Workers NYC Chapter. Williams has been an adjunct lecturer at Columbia University School of Social Work and NYU Silver School of Social Work. Her voice has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CBS Evening News, The Today Show and more.

Brian Hepburn, MD (Moderator)

Executive Director

National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors

Dr.Brian Hepburn is the Executive Director of the NationalAssociation of State Mental Health  ProgramDirectors (NASMHPD). He started in that position on July 1, 2015. He previously was  theDirector of the Maryland Mental Hygiene Administration (MHA) from 2002 to 2014and that  positionbecame the Director of the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) on July,2014. He  wasthe Clinical Director for MHA from 1996 to 2004. He wasalso the Director of Psychiatric  Educationand Training for MHA from 1987 to 1997. He maintained a private practice from1983 until 2004 at the University of Maryland and Brooklane HealthServices. Dr. Hepburn received his M.D. degree in 1979from the University of Michigan School of Medicine. He received ResidencyTraining in Psychiatryat the University of Maryland from 1979 to 1983. He was a Full-Time FacultyMember atthe University of Maryland from 1983 to 1988 and has been on the Volunteerfaculty at the Universityof Maryland since 1988. 

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Promising Practices and Funding Strategies from State Partnerships in Aging and Mental Health
05/06/2021 at 2:15 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
05/06/2021 at 2:15 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes