Panelists were selected by association staff based on their professional, academic, and industry experience dealing with mental health in the workplace. A short list of panelists was identified and invited. Panelists were selected to ensure a breadth of experience and representation of key stakeholders involved in workplace health, safety and well-being.
Jennifer Bruno (Chair)
Vice President of Global Health Services for Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick, NJ.
In this role, Jennifer is part of the Total Reward Leadership Team and leads J&J’s employee health and wellness strategies, policies, guidelines and service delivery for the 130,000 employees in more than 260 companies worldwide.
She is responsible for driving innovative approaches and operational excellence across Occupational & Executive Health, Mental Well-being, Energy Management, Wellness & Health Promotion and Work-Life Services to achieve the enterprise aligned goal of the healthiest workforce.
Jennifer is a member of the Global Business Group on Health, National Business Group on Health, Health Enhancement Research Organization, American Heart Association CEO Roundtable Lieutenant Group and the Healthcare Business Women’s Association. Jennifer is a board member for The Health Project and an Advisory Council Member to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Business School Culture of Health Advisory Committee.
Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Science from Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.
Chief Health Officer and Director of Health Services for The Dow Chemical Company
He is directly responsible for leadership and management of all Occupational Health, Epidemiology, and Health Promotion programs and staff around the world.
Mark is a board-certified Family and Occupational Medicine physician. He has worked for Dow Chemical since 2014, where his initial focus was on leading the implementation of Health Services strategy throughout Louisiana, followed by rapid expansion of his role to other states within the US Gulf Coast region.
Mark quickly assumed several global consulting responsibilities, subject matter expert roles and joined the global Health Services Leadership Team. He has been very active in the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and its Mid-South Region, including leadership and annual conferences.
Dr. Boquet holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He earned his Medical Degree and a Master’s in Public Health from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, and in addition, a Master’s of Science in Health Care Management from the University of New Orleans.
Director of Strategy & Program Development of One Mind
She brings extensive experience in pharmaceutical R&D strategy development, strategic leadership, portfolio planning, program & project management, organizational effectiveness, merger integration, bioanalytical chemistry and pharmacokinetics.
Joan’s career spans executive and leadership positions at Janssen Pharmaceuticals R&D, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical R&D, AstraZeneca, Astra Merck, and Merck Research Labs.
Joan earned a Master of Business Administration from La Salle University and a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from Duquesne University.
Jodi Jacobson Frey
Associate Professor at The University of Maryland, School of Social Work.
She chairs the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) sub-specialization and the Financial Social Work Initiative. Her research focuses on workplace behavioral health, including the impact of employee health and well-being on productivity and safety.
She studies the effectiveness of employee assistance, work/life, and financial capability programs for working families and has dedicated a significant portion of her research agenda to the prevention of suicide and crisis response in the workplace.
Jody has published over 35 articles in journals including the American Journal of Addictions, Social Work, Journal of Career Development, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Journal of Social Work Education, Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health, Research on Social Work Practice, and Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. Dr. Frey regularly presents her research at national and international professional conferences. She is also the Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health.
Dr. Frey earned her PhD and Master’s degrees from the University of Maryland.
VP of Employee Safety, Health, and Wellness at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA.
She is responsible for eliminating workplace injuries, promoting well-being and healthy lifestyle choices, and reducing health risks for the 215,000 employees of Kaiser Permanente, a leading health care provider and not-for-profit health plan/hospital system serving more than 12 million members in the United States.
She oversees the national departments of workplace safety, workforce wellness, integrated disability management, employee assistance programs and environmental, health and safety. Kathy is also responsible for leading a nationwide environmental stewardship program for the organization. Her book, Greening Health Care, How Hospitals Can Heal the Planet examines the critical role health care organizations can play in addressing serious environmental threats to health. She is on the boards of several leading nongovernmental organizations focused on safety, health and environmental sustainability. Kathy holds an MBA from Pepperdine University.
Director, Center for Workplace Mental Health, American Psychiatric Association Foundation
As director, she is developing and implementing the Center’s strategic direction in providing employers the tools and resources needed to support the mental health of employees and their families.
Before joining the Center, Darcy served in multiple senior positions with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), where her work focused on expanding access to effective mental health services and supports for youth and adults impacted by mental health conditions. She has also worked with national organizations representing managed care organizations and practiced law with the Harris Beach law firm, concentrating her legal practice on health care and mental health related issues. She served as a law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York.
Ms. Gruttadaro earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Clarkson University and a JD from Western New England University School of Law.
CDR Karen Hearod
CDR Karen Hearod serves as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Regional Administrator for Region 6, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma & Texas.
In her role as Regional Administrator, she supports stakeholders through technical assistance, promoting program development, policy innovation, and system transformation.
Prior to accepting her position at SAMHSA, CDR Hearod served as the Indian Health Service Oklahoma City Area Acting Behavioral Health Consultant. In this position, CDR Hearod had oversight over behavioral health and substance use disorder programs across Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas. In addition to providing leadership as Chair for the IHS National Zero Suicide Advisory Committee, she served as a member of the National Suicide Crisis Policy Committee working to establish the first IHS national suicide care policy.
CDR Hearod received a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Social Work from East Central University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
Michelle Hellebuyck is the Policy and Program Manager for Mental Health America (MHA), based in Washington, D.C.
She oversees MHA’s workplace mental health program and is responsible for collecting and analyzing data on workplace mental health. Her recent findings were published in the Mind the Workplace report. She also sources data and authors Mental Health America’s State of Mental Health America report, which ranks states on prevalence and access to care.
Michelle holds a master’s in International Development, Economics and Global Health, and is skilled in policy analysis, program design, monitoring and evaluation and social impact assessment.
Karen Hume, MPA is Senior Advisor, Centre of Excellence in Recovery and Peer Support, CMHA-Calgary and the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) in Workplace Mental Health.
Karen also serves on science advisory groups and expert panels including the Mental Health Commission of Canada – Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), American Heart Association, National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions and the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute.
Before joining CMHA’s Centre of Excellence, Karen served as a workplace program advisor for Mental Health America of Greater Houston, co-developing evidence-based workplace interventions in partnership with the University of Glasgow, UK. She is a certified advisor of the first Psychological Health and Safety Standard in the Workplace and has contributed to published whitepapers, commentaries and statement articles on health and wellness promotion. Karen also proudly serves as a non-profit mental health consultant providing practical guidance, tools and resources that help organizations implement and sustain effective worksite health management practices.
Karen received her Master of Public Administration from Dalhouse University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government from St Francis Xavier University.
William ‘Bill’ Kassler, MD
Dr. Kassler currently works at IBM Watson Health as Deputy Chief Health Officer and Lead Health Officer for Population Health.
Prior to joining Watson Health, he served as Chief Medical Officer for the New England Region of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), was a founding member in the CMS Innovation Center’s population health group; he served as the State Health Officer for New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, with leadership and administrative roles in public health, social services and Medicaid; and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an epidemiologist, chief of health services research and evaluation and Senior Advisor for Health Policy.
He received his MD from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, a Masters of Science in nutrition from Case Western Reserve University, a Masters of Public Health from Berkeley. He completed a primary care internal medicine residency at Brown and was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco.
Dr. Lerner is the Director and founder of the Program on Health, Work and Productivity, within Tufts Medical Center Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies.
She is a senior scientist and Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry of Tufts School of Medicine, and Associate Director of the Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute.
Debra has specialized in mental health issues and has been a principal investigator on multiple projects related to employee mental health improvement. She is considered a national thought leader on workplace interventions for stress and depression. Recent projects include producing a white paper for business leaders on the costs of depression and a comprehensive report evaluating the dissemination of workplace interventions for depression. Debra has been Principal Investigator on four federally-funded clinical trials, which have resulted in a best-in-class evidence-based screening and intervention program to improve the work performance and productivity of employees with depression.
Dr. Lerner has a masters degree in Health Planning/Administration from the University of Cincinnati and a doctorate in Medical Sociology from Boston University.
Judith Lichtman is an Associate Professor (with tenure) and Chair of the Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, and Co-Director of the Yale Center for Neuroepidemiology and Clinical Neurological Research.
Her research focuses the epidemiology of stroke and heart disease using longitudinal databases and prospective observational studies to understand cardiovascular and stroke outcomes.
She has served on several national committees including the American Heart Association’s Patient Education System Task Force, Stroke and Epidemiology Councils, the Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Expert Panel and the American College of Cardiology Foundation/AHA Task Force on Clinical Data Standards. She has been the co-chair for two National AHA Writing Committees on depression and heart disease, as well as a co-author for numerous AHA guidelines and scientific statements.
Dr Lichtman holds a PhD, as well as an MPH, from Yale University. She received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Rochester.
At High Lantern Group, Katy advises business and non-profit leaders and senior staffers across a host of industries and issue areas, from health care and energy to travel and tourism.
Organizations look to Katy to help them navigate complex operating environments, assess and respond to organizational risks and emerging threats to their industries and identify opportunities for growth.
Before joining HLG, Katy led the Government Affairs team at Alzheimer’s Research UK, the largest charitable funder of dementia research in Europe. During her tenure, the UK Government committed to an ambitious goal of a disease-modifying treatment for Alzheimer’s by 2025. Katy helped craft the supporting strategy, while also managing multiple issue campaigns on key legislative priorities. She led the development of a program of work focused on the impacts of dementia on women, which established the organization as a thought-leader on the issue. A native Oregonian, Katy graduated with Honors from the University of San Francisco with a degree in Politics.
Fred Seavey is the Research Director of the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) in Emeryville, Calif.
In his role as Research Director, Fred is responsible for leading a team of researchers who analyze health care providers’ clinical, operational and financial performance; assist caregivers with workplace issues; perform public policy research and advocacy; and work with consumers, advocacy organizations and professional associations.
Fred began working with NUHW upon its founding in 2009. He has more than 20 years of experience working for health care worker unions. Earlier in his career, Fred worked with NGOs in the US and Latin America on issues of community and economic development, job training and affordable housing. Fred has a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University and a Master of Arts from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Michael Thompson is the President and CEO of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions (National Alliance), an association of approximately 50 regional coalitions collectively supporting over 12,000 health care purchasers providing health coverage to more than 45 million Americans.
Prior to joining the National Alliance, Mike was a Principal at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for 20 years. He has worked with major employers and other stakeholders on sustainable cost reduction, integrated health, wellness and consumerism, retiree health, private health exchanges and health reform. Known for developing and promoting collaborative cross-sector health industry initiatives, Mike participated on the steering board of the World Economic Forum’s “Working towards Wellness” initiative and co-founded the Private Exchange Evaluation Collaborative (PEEC). Prior to PwC, Mike served as an executive with diverse roles with Prudential Healthcare for over 17 years.
Michael holds a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Union College.
Melissa Turner is a Senior Policy Advisor on the Employer Policy Team at the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).
Prior to joining ODEP, she led state policy work for the National Center for Learning Disabilities, managing regional mobilization and advocacy around issues that impact students with learning disabilities.
Melissa has experience in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), analyzing education and disability budget, policy, legislative and regulatory proposals for the US Department of Education. While at OMB she developed regulations to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities under the Workface Innovation and Opportunity Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Prior to her role at OMB, Melissa worked in the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, providing technical assistance and monitoring state special education and general education programs to improve results for children with disabilities.
Melissa received her Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University. She received her Master of Arts in Teaching from American University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies.
Shelly Wolff is a national and international expert in Willis Towers Watson’s Health & Well-being specialty area in the Health and Benefits Practice.
She is also responsible for leading global health and productivity projects, engagement strategies and is a regular contributor to Willis Towers Watson’s published research on global and domestic health and well-being strategies, programs and impacts.
Prior to joining Towers Watson, Shelly came from General Electric where she was responsible for leading company-wide, cross-functional projects which became a cornerstone in GE’s absence and worker health programs. Shelly brings 20+ years of experience having worked in the insurance industry prior to her work at GE.
Shelly holds an MBA from the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, MN and Masters Degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Minnesota.