ALEXANDRIA, VA. – February 7, 2022 – Schizophrenia & Psychosis Action Alliance (S&PAA) has launched a bold agenda to lead a system-wide movement for the improvement of access to medical care, supports and equity for the millions of people living with schizophrenia and psychosis spectrum disorders. To expedite progress, it has appointed world class policy experts, industry executives, and advocates to the organization’s Board of Directors, effective immediately.
“We need to stop punishing and denying medical care to people with serious no-fault brain illnesses. Current barriers to medical care, supportive services and housing are leaving too many people untreated which too often leads to unnecessary illness, homelessness, incarcerations, deaths and unimaginable pain for millions of individuals and their families,” said Gordon Lavigne, CEO.
S&PAA has adopted a new strategic plan for life-saving care, treatment policy and research, consisting of three pillars:
Pillar #1: Promote Policy & Systems Level Change: Build and lead a coalition for systems change.
Pillar #2: Accelerate Disease Understanding and Treatment Access: Improve patient and caregiver outcomes.
Pillar #3: Amplify Treatment & Research Breakthroughs: Build and leverage thought leadership and patient and caregiver networks.
In the months ahead, we will pursue the following activities to improve access and quality of care with the best chances to help end harmful public policy decisions and insufficient treatment options for patients:
To advance our progress, the following distinguished individuals have joined our Board of Directors:
Anthony is the founder and director of Coordinating & Assisting Recovery Environments located in Anaheim, CA. Since 1999, Anthony’s passion has been focused on providing specialized treatment for individuals who suffer with a mental illness combined with a substance use disorder. After graduation in 2004, Anthony launched his career in Southern California where he began to specialize in co-occurring disorders. This eventually led him into a four-year partnership with a prominent treatment center where he developed and directed a long-term residential treatment model for this specialized population. In 2013, Anthony introduced Coordinating & Assisting Recovery Environments (C.A.R.E.) as a community-based recovery program. He is the author of the life changing book “From Park Bench to Park Avenue.” Anthony is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton, where he received his B.S. in Nursing. Anthony has received numerous awards and certificates in the field of Addiction Counseling, Anger Management, and Dual Diagnoses.
Marina has extensive experience in bringing novel digital solutions to the market, specific to brain health and cardiometabolic conditions. Marina currently serves as Chief Marketing Officer at Welldoc, a digital health company, focused on integrating AI driven digital chronic care into health care models. Previously Marina served in commercial leadership roles at Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Inc., where she ran several innovation programs focused on schizophrenia and other brain disorders. There, she led the commercialization of the first digital medicine approved by the FDA, as well as a digital health care coordination program in collaboration with IBM Watson, Judge Steve Leifman, and the Miami-Dade County Behavioral Health ecosystem. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University.
Terry held executive positions in the pharmaceutical industry over a 25-year career before establishing Frangiosa and Associates, LLC in 2013, where she serves as Principal and Chief Executive Officer. In this role, she provides guidance on a broad range of strategic decisions, integrating expertise into product and disease strategies, medical and scientific communications, and patient and caregiver advocacy efforts. She currently serves as Board Secretary for Cohen Veterans Bioscience. She obtained her Bachelor of Administration, Accounting Concentration from Ursinus College and her Master of Business Administration, Pharmaceutical Marketing from St. Joseph’s University.
Mindy is a former Minnesota politician and a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives who represented part of the Twin Cities metropolitan area where she served 10 terms. She is an advocate of education, environmental issues, and mental health issues. She served as the K-12 Education Finance Committee Chair. Mindy founded and chaired the Mental Health Caucus, a bipartisan committee formed from the Minnesota House and the Minnesota Senate. She wrote about her experiences dealing with the mental health system as the mother of a son with schizophrenia. The book “Fix What You Can: Schizophrenia and a Lawmaker’s Fight for Her Son” was published in 2020. She graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College and obtained her Master of Education from the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Keshavan is the Stanley Cobb Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School where he is the Vice Chair of Public Psychiatry. He joined the faculty of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Department of Psychiatry and the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in 2008. His work focuses on neurobiological models of schizophrenia and on the development and implementation of early interventions with biopsychosocial treatment strategies. He is the editor of Schizophrenia Research, the official journal of the Schizophrenia International Research Society.
Joel founded Horizon Government Affairs in 2007 and is a veteran of Capitol Hill who served as staff director for the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee. He also is the president of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage and its campaigns on transparency and medication adherence (Clear Choices and Prescriptions for a Healthy America) as well as a service organization called Arlington Bridge Builders. In addition, Joel is the executive director of the Health Innovation Alliance, an effort to expand adoption and use of health IT to improve outcomes and lower costs. He is on the board of directors of the Newborn Foundation and Samaritan Inns. Joel spent twelve years on Capitol Hill as professional staff, where he helped enact nine laws, including the 2002 Trade Act, the 2003 law that established the Medicare prescription drug benefit and Health Savings Accounts, the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act, and the 2006 Tax Reform and Health Care Act. Joel is the coauthor of the book “Facts and Figures on Government Finance” and holds a B.S. in Economics from the American University. He is a member of the National Economists Club.
Mike spent nearly 37 years at Johnson & Johnson in executive management positions with a strong focus on patient advocacy leadership responsibilities across brain health and neuroscience. He held leadership roles in sales, sales management, marketing, payer, policy and advocacy (advocacy group types: patient, professional and trade organizations), and built and led several innovative and successful internal and external coalitions. He also held commercial, Medicaid and state mental healthcare system responsibilities across New York and New England. Mike obtained his BBA in Marketing from East Tennessee State University.
Schizophrenia & Psychosis Action Alliance, a non-profit organization based in Alexandria, VA, is on a mission to save lives by changing the treatment paradigm for all people affected by schizophrenia-related brain diseases which involve psychosis. We are leading a movement to improve care, support, and equity for the millions of people living with these conditions. For more information, please visit www.sczaction.org