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**This is an Intermediate Level Course**


Health care and medical insurance are hot button issues with ethical implications. Professional ethics of mental health practitioners not only address the competence of service provision, but also the commitment to making services accessible. This panel will provide background and context to understand the key issues that affect the provision of care in the US. In addition, panelists will help make sense of emerging options that could improve access as well as provide steps that ethical practitioners and advocates for social justice can take to promote change.


Donna Carrington, Office Services Coordinator and Housing Specialist, Community Empowerment Fund (CEF), understands struggles with access through her community work and from personal experience. At the CEF, Ms. Carrington coordinates Individual Development Account (IDA) programs, designed to enable low-income families to build assets, mitigate financial crises, and achieve home ownership. She stewards the CEF Renters Savings IDA and the Homebuyer’s IDA collaborative with the Duke Homebuyers Club. She counsels Durham residents who seek housing, employment and financial stability, participates in Durham’s partnership building activities toward housing stability, and oversees Duke undergraduates who want to volunteer as “advocates” in the community. She also brings many lessons from her role as parent and consumer.

Kay Castillo, BSW is Director of Advocacy, Policy & Legislation at the National Association of Social Workers- North Carolina. In her role at NASW-NC, Kay is a registered lobbyist and spends her time advancing the social work profession through policy development at the NC General Assembly and with various Departments’ leadership. Giving social workers a voice at the table among NASW-NC’s many Coalition partners, Kay has served in a variety of leadership roles. Kay is the recent Past-Chair of The Coalition, a statewide organization advocating on behalf of Mental Health/Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities/Substance Use Disorder Services; and current Chair for the Mental Health Coalition, a subcommittee of The Coalition focusing on mental health policy. Kay is also the International Coordinator for the NASW-NC International District and communicates with over 250 NASW members working and living abroad.

Michelle Laws, PhD currently serves as assistant director of program development, outreach, policy advocacy, and research at the Community Health Coalition, an organization founded in 1989 in Durham, NC by African American physicians. Dr. Laws has years of experience in community organizing, political strategy, and policy analysis in health and human service. Previously, she served as Executive Director of the NC State Conference of the NAACP; as legislative liaison for the NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services; and as campaign press secretary for former Congressman Albert R. Wynn and campaign organizer for Lafayette Barnes for DC City Council. She has also taught at NC Central University, NC State University, and in federal and state prisons. In May 2018, she ran as the Democratic candidate to serve in Congress representing NC’s 4th district, which includes Wake County, Orange County, and a portion of Durham County.

Jonathan Oberlander, PhD is professor and chair of social medicine, professor of health policy & management, and adjunct professor of political science at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His research and teaching focus on health care politics and policy, health care reform, Medicare, American politics, and public policy. He is author of The Political Life of Medicare (University of Chicago Press) and co-editor of the 3-volume series The Social Medicine Reader, 2nd ed., (Duke University Press). His recent work explores ongoing political fights over and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, health care cost control, Medicare reform, and the fate of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Independent Payment Advisory Board. He speaks regularly to community groups, professionals, and media outlets on health care reform, the Affordable Care Act, and Medicare—with the aim of translating the complexity and technical detail of health policy into something more understandable and accessible.

Barbara B. (“Bebe”) Smith, LCSW is currently Director of Mental Health/NCEBPC Project Coordinator at Southern Regional AHEC, with more than 25 years of experience as a clinician and educator for mental health professionals. She served as a clinical assistant professor at the UNC School of Social Work, and was project director for Critical Time Intervention: Local Pilot and Statewide Championing, an intensive case management model for people with severe mental illness who experience homelessness to transition successfully into housing and community living. She worked for 17 years in the UNC Department of Psychiatry, first as director of outpatient services for the Schizophrenia Treatment and Evaluation Program (STEP), then as founder and co-director of the UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health. She also helped create Outreach and Support Intervention Services (OASIS), an early intervention program for young persons in the initial phase of a psychotic disorder. She is currently working on the Crisis Navigation Project, a partnership between SR-AHEC and Duke University Medical Center, to promote the use of psychiatric advance directives.


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