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A Visit with Rural Partners
BHECN embarked on a two-day trip in October to visit rural partners in the state. With stops in North Platte, Scottsbluff, Chadron and Rushville, the BHECN team met with educators, providers and community leaders to learn more about training and workforce needs and to discuss solutions to grow the workforce.

“BHECN is invested in introducing students to careers in behavioral health and developing mentorship opportunities for trainees,” said BHECN's Director, Dr. Howard Liu. “We are finding ways to connect students with professionals and supervised training opportunities to help shape their careers and to hopefully keep them working in Nebraska.”

BHECN would like to thank all of our hosts for their valuable time and insights into rural workforce needs, and we look forward to working together on future solutions.

Read more about this visit in these related articles:

2nd Annual Psychiatric Nursing Workforce Summit
BHECN and UNMC College of Nursing hosted the 2nd Annual Psychiatric Nursing Workforce Summit on Nov. 1 at the Scott Conference Center with nearly 100 stakeholders in attendance.

Presentations focused on best practices and emerging trends in practice, policy and education related to psychiatric nursing in Nebraska, and breakout sessions to guide workforce development from the student to practitioner levels.
The planning committee (pictured above) is continuing the momentum from the summit by identifying key areas of opportunity and developing strategies and metrics to move forward. 

BHECN Webinar Series
How to Apply Mindfulness-based Relapse Prevention
December 5, 12 - 1 p.m.
Join BHECN for a free webinar on mindfulness-based relapse prevention presented by Dr. Dennis McChargue, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The program is intended for trainees and professionals interested in developing additional skills in utilizing mindfulness techniques within a relapse prevention framework. 

Poster Highlights Addiction Counselor Training in the NE Panhandle
BHECN’s Dr. Tina Chasek and Nick Brotzel presented a poster, “A Novel Approach to Addiction Counseling Training in Underserved Native, Rural and Frontier Areas” at the annual NAADAC (The Association for Addiction Professionals) conference in September.

The poster highlights efforts to fill significant gaps of licensed addiction counselors in the Panhandle region and in neighboring areas of South Dakota (including the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian Reservations) and the development of a training program with emphasis on multicultural service delivery and intergenerational trauma.

BHECN is collaborating with Chadron State College to enhance their curriculum to train students in alcohol and drug counseling at the master’s, undergraduate and high school diploma levels.
For more information about this program, email Dr. Chasek.

Read an article about this collaboration from Chadron State news here.
Collaborative Care Leads to Better Behavioral Health Access
On October 13-14, local behavioral health providers and primary care providers attended sessions on “Applying the Collaborative Care Approach: Evidence-based Mental Health Delivery in Primary Care Settings.” Held at CHI Health Bergan Mercy Hospital and the University of Nebraska Medical Center, attendees included behavioral health care managers, NP students, psychiatrists, psychiatry residents, family medicine residents, and beyond. 

The goal of collaborative care is for better outcomes, lower cost, and better experience of care for patients. Half of patients referred from the primary care office to a behavioral health specialist never follow through. This model helps to intervene and make behavioral health care more accessible to patients.

The Collaborative Care conference was sponsored by BHECN, WellCare, Metro Omaha Medical Society (MOMS), UNMC, and Creighton University Medical Center. Pictured above: Martin Wetzel, M.D., with WellCare presented a $5,000 check to Carol Wang at MOMS & Dr. Liu at BHECN to support the training.

Outstanding Rural Achievement

Congratulations to Beth Baxter, Region 3 regional administrator, who was the recipient of the Outstanding Rural Health Achievement Award, presented by the Nebraska Rural Health Association at their annual conference.

The award recognizes an individual in the health care industry for leadership and noteworthy initiative in promoting the development of community oriented rural health care delivery.

Comments from the award presentation included, “Beth Baxter is truly an innovator and leader in behavioral health in rural Nebraska… She is a visionary who goes above-and-beyond to ensure a community oriented approach to behavioral healthcare allowing people to live, work, and get well in rural Nebraska."
BHECN Updates
E-curriculum Earns Dr. Liu National Recognition

BHECN's Director, Dr. Howard Liu, is the recipient of the Creativity in Psychiatric Education Award from the American College of Psychiatrists. Read more about the e-learning curriculum Dr. Liu helped develop, which includes a peer-reviewed library of psychiatry cases.  Read more.
Dr. Chasek recently met up with other Nebraska counselor educators at the American Counseling Association conference in Chicago. (Left to right) From the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Dr. Grace Mims, Dr. Chasek, and Marrisa Fye, with Chadron State College’s Dr. Susan Schaeffer and Tara Wilson. Dr. Chasek presented a poster, “Inspiring Future Counselors to be Scientist Practitioners”. 
Welcome new BHECN team member, Laura Holly, program associate. Laura joined BHECN as an intern while studying at the University of Nebraska Omaha, where she graduated with a bachelor's in public health and a bachelor's in neuroscience in 2016. Laura is involved in placement of student trainees in internship programs supported by grants and BHECN funding, and assists with coordination of webinars, events and training programs. 
Career Pathways Brochure Available
BHECN produced a brochure, “Pathways to a Career in Behavioral Health” featuring eight licensed behavioral health careers and the academic pathways to get there.

If you would like a supply of these brochures to use for your own programs, please contact Krista Roberts , BHECN’s communications coordinator.

You may also visit our website at unmc.edu/bhecn/career-pathways to download the brochure, view career testimonial videos and find more behavioral health career resources.
Searching for behavioral health employees?

Don’t forget about this FREE Nebraska resource to post your behavioral health jobs, as often as you wish!  

NebraskaBehavioralHealthJobs.com  m akes it easy to post and find job openings for a variety of behavioral health careers in Nebraska.

For more behavioral health jobs info, subscribe to  The Connection newsletter.
BHECN's Mission
The Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN), pronounced “beacon”, was established in 2009 by a legislative bill to address the shortage of behavioral health professionals in rural and underserved areas of the state. It is a unique partnership among the state legislature, academic institutions, and community partners
to create a statewide workforce solution to increase the number of licensed behavioral health professionals.

View our video to learn more about our mission, programs and initiatives.
 402.552.7697 | bhecn@unmc.edu