DT | Better KC Series: Focus on Mental and Behavioral Health
Join Better KC Series sponsor Commerce Bank for a panel discussion on the unique opportunities and challenges in the Kansas City region as providers work to offer access to affordable and quality mental and behavioral health care.
The discussion will be moderated by Brenda Sharpe, President & CEO of the REACH Healthcare Foundation.
The panel includes
- Tom Petrizzo, CEO Tri-County Mental Health Services
- Sharon Freese, Chief Operating Officer of Truman Medical Center Behavioral Health Services
- Tim DeWeese, Director of Johnson County Mental Health
Tom Petrizzo - Chief Executive Officer of Tri-County Mental Health Services in Kansas City
Tom has held that position since January 2014. Tri-County is the safety net behavioral health provider for all the north Kansas City metro communities, collectively called the Northland. Last year, Tri-County served over 9,000 people (adults and children) in the three counties (Platte, Clay and Ray) that comprise the Northland.
Prior to his position at Tri-County, Tom was the CEO of the Ozark Guidance Center in Springdale, Arkansas. Tom served in that role from November 2007 until December 2013. Tom began his career as an attorney in Houston, TX, his hometown. He has a B.S. in Economics from Georgetown University, a J.D. from the University of Texas Law School, and a MSW (Masters of Social Work) from the University of Houston.
Tom has worked in non-profit behavioral health management since 1992. He is married to Teri Classick, and they live in Kansas City, MO. Tom enjoys spending time with his two daughters Jennifer and Madeline and their families, and he likes to hike, jog, and follow the Royals.
Sharon Freese - Chief Operating Officer, Behavioral Health
Sharon Freese provides leadership in the areas of TMC Behavioral Health clinical services, staff competence, financial viability, customer satisfaction and client safety for hospital- and community-based services.
Freese has more than 25 years of nursing, mental health and healthcare leadership experience. She has served the last 26 years with TMC Behavioral Health in a variety of roles including as a clinical nurse manager, director of nursing, associate administrator of inpatient services and most recently, associate administrator for behavioural health quality, patient safety and risk management.
Prior to her service with TMC, she served as a registered nurse at two hospitals in Indiana. She later worked as a nurse and Community Mental Health Supervisor with Central Kansas City Mental Health Services, which merged with TMC Behavioural Health in 1997.
She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and went on to earn her Master of Social Work from the University of Missouri - Kansas City. Sharon is also a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.
Tim DeWeese - Director of Johnson County Mental Health Center
The Mental Health Center is a department of Johnson County (KS) Government and employs more than 320 staff who provide behavioral health services to more than 10,000 county residents annually. Tim possesses a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Missouri Southern State University and a Master of Social Work Administration degree from the University of Kansas. He is a Licensed Mental Health Professional in Kansas and has over 28 years of experience in community mental health, where he has worked in various capacities. He possesses extensive knowledge and experience in the public mental health delivery system, client-centered leadership, and program design/development. Tim also served more than 10 years as a commissioned officer in the Army Reserve and National Guard.
Moderator - Brenda Sharpe, President & CEO REACH Healthcare Foundation https://reachhealth.org/staff/brenda-sharpe/
Brenda Sharpe is President and CEO of the REACH Healthcare Foundation. The foundation's purpose is to create access to quality healthcare for the poor and underserved. Brenda is a member of the Board of Directors and Finance Committee of Grantmakers in Health, a national organization dedicated to helping foundations and corporate giving programs improve the health of all people. Brenda is a Board member of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, where she serves as a member of the Public Policy Council and co-chairs the Healthy KC Commission. She recently joined the newly formed Kansas Health Leadership Alliance to develop and support sound health policy, and in 2018 concluded two terms as a Trustee of MOSAIC Life Care, a regional non-profit healthcare system serving Northwest Missouri.
Brenda has accepted numerous appointments over her 25-year nonprofit career, including service on the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts, Healthy Kansans 2020 Steering Committee, Kansas Health Insurance Exchange Steering Committee, and the Attorney General's Crime Victims' Rights and Human Trafficking Grants Review Boards. She has been recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal as one of the area's Power 100 in 2015-19, included in Ingram's Magazine 250 Most Powerful Business Leaders in Kansas City in 2016 and 2017, and was presented the Urban League's Difference Maker Award for leadership in Health Equity and Philanthropy in 2015.
As co-chair of ForwardOP, Brenda assisted her city of nearly 200,000 as they engaged in a community visioning process for Overland Park, Kansas, where she and her husband, Mike, and two children reside.