Meeting of the Minds
BHECN hosted the 1st Annual Behavioral Health Education Seminar on April 13. There are 15 graduate mental health training programs spanning the state from the Panhandle to Omaha, and this occasion marked the first time all programs gathered at one event for training and networking.
“By bringing all of the academic training programs together, we are creating a collaborative effort to train students in Nebraska and hopefully keep many of them here,” said Dr. Joe Evans, BHECN's clinical director who also advises the consortium. “This group represents the future of our mental health workforce in Nebraska.”

The goals of the collaboration are to strengthen relationships among all of the programs, create a unified voice among the diverse professions, and develop more interprofessional training opportunities for students across the state.

“I’d like to thank the more than 60 graduate students and faculty members who participated in valuable interprofessional discussions and networking,” said BHECN’s Director, Howard Liu, M.D. “To solve access issues, we must unite all professions.”

BHECN  announced the 2018 Annual Awards honorees, recognizing individuals who make a significant impact in the behavioral health field in the categories of distinguished service, ambassadorship and courage.

Distinguished Service Award
Joe Evans, Ph.D.

Ambassador Awards
Nancy Foster, Ph.D.
Kristen Hembree, Ph.D.

Courage Award
Jennifer Alquicira

Ambassador Spotlight
Meet Arica Lerdahl

An exceptional experience in a high school psychology course piqued Arica’s interest in the field. After further exploration at BHECN’s summer college conference, Arica continued to pursue her interests in research, psychology and working with children and adolescents.

Arica landed her first job in the field working as a clinical research assistant in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), and she has long-term aspirations of becoming a physician assistant.

Training Opportunities
1 st Annual BHECN Rural Provider Support Network Conference
May 18, 2018
8:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.
The Harms Center
2620 College Park (WNCC Campus)
Scottsbluff, NE
Topics include:
  • Ethical Challenges in Rural Practice
  • Behavioral Health in Primary Care Settings
  • Preventing Compassion Fatigue in Rural Practice
  • Consumer Perspectives

Cost: $10

BHECN is accepting applications for the 2nd Annual Ambassador Career Engagement Awards, aimed at increasing awareness of behavioral health professions across the state.
BHECN will make funds available for community groups to introduce local youth to behavioral health professions through experiences within their communities. Click here to see the 2017 recipients.
Priority will be given to programs that reach students in rural and/or urban, underserved communities.
The deadline to apply is June 1 and funds must be used for programs offered between July 1, 2018 and May 31, 2019. 

Click here to learn more about the application process and download the Request for Proposal.
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BHECN Updates
Hanna Weaver Joins BHECN

Hanna Rae Weaver (Hanna Banana to her friends) joined BHECN in April of 2018 as an administrative program associate. Hanna started her career at UNMC as an emergency medical dispatcher and soon progressed to an office associate position serving in various capacities for the Department of General Surgery. 

Dr. Evans Selected for IDEA Award

Congratulations to Dr. Joe Evans, the recipient of the University of Nebraska's Innovation, Development and Engagement Award (IDEA) for his pioneering work in expanding the state’s pediatric behavioral health workforce.

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.
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