National Influence: McLean Leaders Focus on the Big Picture

April 29, 2013

As psychiatric leaders in clinical care, research and education, McLean Hospital clinicians are often asked to lend their expertise and their guidance to local, regional and national organizations with missions that are similar to the hospital’s.

Christine Tebaldi, RN/NP, is no stranger to crisis. In her role as director of Community Hospital Programs for McLean, where she oversees psychiatric emergency and consultative service, her compassion, calming demeanor and expertise in coping with the unexpected are invaluable.

It is that expertise that has proven to be equally valuable to the American Red Cross, where she has volunteered for more than 12 years. Since joining the organization, Tebaldi has held many positions, most recently serving as the volunteer lead for disaster mental health in Eastern Massachusetts. She is now taking on the role of state advisor—a position that allows her to support disaster-related mental health matters while also serving as an ambassador for disaster mental health within the state.

McLean staff

Thröstur Björgvinsson, PhD, Brent Forester, MD, Philip Levendusky, PhD, Michael Jenike, MD, Diane Davey, RN, MBA, and Christine Tebaldi, RN/NP

“Working with the American Red Cross has been a very rewarding and humbling experience. I have had the great fortune of working with many talented and compassionate volunteers and staff as well as experiencing the resilience of the clients we encounter,” said Tebaldi, who received the Chandler Blackington Community Impact Award from the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts this year. “Those connections inspired me to contribute on the leadership level.”

Philip Levendusky, PhD, senior vice president for Business Development and Communications and director of Psychology, currently sits on the American Board of Clinical Psychology for the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). In this role within the ABPP, Levendusky serves as the credential reviewer for the Northeast region. Levendusky will step down from the board in 2013, handing the reins over to Thröstur Björgvinsson, PhD, the director of McLean’s Behavioral Health and Partial Hospital Program.

Diane Davey, RN, MBA, program director of the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute (OCDI) at McLean, and Michael Jenike, MD, medical director of the OCDI, bring their knowledge and compassion to the board of the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation (IOCDF). Davey has been involved with the IOCDF since 1998. Jenike, who is a founding member of the board, is also the chairman of the IOCDF scientific advisory board.

“As the program director at the OCD Institute, I am uniquely in tune with the needs of people in the OCD community since I talk with so many patients, families and treatment providers every day,” said Davey. “It’s a pleasure to be able to be involved with an organization like the IOCDF, whose mission it is to help meet these needs by encouraging awareness and providing education. I feel lucky to be able to be helping people on both a micro and macro level.”

Brent Forester, MD, director of the Geriatric Mood Disorders Research Program, volunteers his time for a number of national organizations, including the American Psychiatric Association, where he is the chair of the Council on Geriatric Psychiatry. He is also a member of the board of directors and chair of the Teaching and Training Committee for the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP). Locally, he sits on the board of directors of the Massachusetts/New Hampshire Alzheimer’s Association and is the incoming chair of their Medical-Scientific Committee.

“Involvement in local and national organizations provides an opportunity to share experiences and insights working with older adults who struggle with mood disorders and dementia,” said Forester. “I find that the interpersonal connections with colleagues around the country help to improve how we care for our patients and their families in times of crisis. These committees also serve to influence public policies that affect federal research funding and geriatric mental health care, such as the appropriate use of antipsychotic medications in individuals with dementia. Finally, working with the Teaching and Training Committee of the AAGP provides a larger role for mentoring future leaders in our field.”

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