We have much to celebrate as the year comes to a close, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and dedication to improving behavioral health workforce in Nebraska.

We extend our warmest wishes for a wonderful holiday season,
and we wish you a happy new year!
Faculty Spotlight - Julia Houfek, PhD, APRN-CNS
Dr. Julia Houfek , professor at UNMC’s College of Nursing, is retiring on Jan. 5 after 45 years as a psychiatric mental health nurse and a nurse educator. Dr. Houfek has been a champion for psychiatric nursing and the important role nurses play in behavioral health care. 
“During my career, I have had the opportunity to contribute to developing both registered and advanced degree nurses who can provide quality psychiatric mental health nursing care,” she said. “Psychiatry as a specialty recognizes the need to integrate behavioral health care into primary and other specialty care. So it is important for all nurses…to have effective communication skills to help patients and their families express their needs and find appropriate treatments or help for their mental health problems or issues.”
Dr. Houfek has been instrumental in planning BHECN’s annual Psychiatric Nursing Workforce Summit the past two years. In her retirement, she plans to continue to do some work with BHECN on nursing workforce development, as well as complete her current research projects. Read more about Dr. Houfek in this Q&A.
BHECN Webinar Series
Incorporating Sexuality & Gender Concepts into Mental Health Practice: Basics of Sexuality and Sexual Health
January 18, 12 - 1 p.m.
Join BHECN for a free webinar on Basics of Sexuality and Sexual Health presented by Dr. Amanda Randall and Liam Heerten-Rodriguez from the Grace Abbott School of Social Work at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

This webinar is the first in a series of four webinars designed to provide mental health practitioners at all levels with introductory knowledge and practical strategies to comfortably address issues related to sexuality and gender within their existing practice. In this workshop, participants will be introduced to foundational concepts in sexuality and sexual health. Participants will gain basic knowledge, strategies, tools, and resources in order to increase their comfort in addressing issues of sexuality and sexual health in clinical practice. Continuing education will be available.

BHECN Updates
Mental Health Need in Nebraska

BHECN is proud to be among those stakeholders addressing behavioral health workforce shortages in Nebraska. Take a moment to read a recent Omaha World-Herald editorial highlighting the need for mental health and substance use services. Read the article here.
LHRC Recognized for Nurse Training in Behavioral Health

Nebraska Methodist College (NMC) presented Lasting Hope Recovery Center’s Unit B with a certificate of appreciation for their support of nursing students. BHECN supports interprofessional training at LHRC for a variety of students, including nurses, to introduce them to behavioral health.

Remarks by NMC nurse educator included: “Unit B is an active, busy unit with nursing staff who always work to include students in whatever is going on; for example, staff have included students in admissions, discharges, medication administration, group therapy and doctor rounds/treatment teams.

The nurses role model professionalism and compassion and offer feedback to students. Staff in Unit B participate in the DEU model and are quick to identify learning opportunities for students. Furthermore, they share themselves with the students as they work together, explaining rationale, actions and behaviors occurring in the clinical setting. The staff nurses always emphasize safety and respect for all patients, staff, students and visitors. NMC students have commented that the nursing staff go out of their way to be welcoming and supportive to students. The staff on Unit B are very deserving and I am happy to see them receive this recognition.” 
Dr. Evans to Present HRSA Webinar

The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) has selected BHECN’s Clinical Director, Dr. Joe Evans, to present a webinar to 143 HRSA-funded programs under Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET). The webinar will outline the essential steps of establishing integrated care programs. Dr. Evans has been instrumental in pioneering the integrated behavioral health care model within primary care clinics with 42 integrated care clinics established in Nebraska. He is also the recipient of numerous HRSA grants in his roles at BHECN and Munroe-Meyer Institute. 
Free Jobs Website

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

NebraskaBehavioralHealthJobs.com   makes 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