Behavioral Healthcare: Approaches to Increase Value for the Organization and Meet Community Needs

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April 4, 2022

Written by: John Whittem

This event has been approved for 1.5 ACHE Face-to-Face credits.

Date: Thursday, May 12

Time: 6pm

Location: McKinney Falls Classroom, within the Austin Diagnostic Clinic Administration Suite, 12221 N MoPac Expressway. (Note: This space is within the St David’s North Austin Medical Center.)


    • Karen Ramus
    • Diane Plummer
    • Brandy Hart
    • Moderated by Lance Lunsford, MBA, FACHE

This presentation will be in the format of a panel discussion (1.5 hours)

The panel will be made up of Behavior Health experts discussing relevant topics to care for our patients, colleagues and ourselves. Attendees will leave with resources to navigate these challenging times. Also a social will held prior to the event.

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Speakers Bios:

Brandy Hart serves as the HCA Regional Vice President for Behavioral Health Service, Texas. She has been with HCA since March 2021. Prior to joining the service line, Brandy has accumulated almost 20 years of mental health experience in psychiatric facilities throughout the state of Texas. She began her career as a counseling intern in a behavioral health facility providing inpatient, residential and outpatient services. Brandy identified quickly her desire to deliver high quality, evidenced-based mental health care. Over the years, Brandy has used her skills in operational leadership and clinical practice to successfully expand behavioral health services in both rural and metropolitan markets. She has demonstrated success in expanding tele-psychiatry and virtual behavioral health services in acute care Emergency Departments and in ambulatory settings. Brandy has developed extensive outpatient behavioral health programs, creating access points for individuals in need of care. In addition to her professional work, Brandy serves on the Texas Hospital Association Behavioral Health Committee and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology, as well as her Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology from Tarleton State University. She currently resides in Temple, TX. Brandy and her husband have 2 children and enjoy trivia and traveling with family and friends.

Diana Plummer recently celebrated 25 years with HCA. She has 30 years of experience in the mental health field and has been a provider of behavioral health services in a variety of capacities throughout Texas, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Her career began as a psychotherapist where she provided treatment to behavioral health patients ranging in age from children to older adults. She has worked on, and supervised, both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs and has experience with various specialty treatment programs and a variety of treatment modalities. She has served in her current role as Clinical Director for the HCA Corporate BH Service Line since 2014. In her 8 years in this position, she has worked with the West Florida, North Florida, South Atlantic, Gulf Coast, San Antonio and North Texas Divisions. She currently provides support to the Texas Divisions– Gulf Coast, San Antonio, North Texas and Central and West Texas. At the corporate level, she serves on the EBCD Change Control Board as the subject matter expert for Behavioral Health, is part of the Joint Accreditation team which develops accredited educational materials for staff, and leads a monthly BH Therapy Leader call which provides an opportunity for collaboration among therapy leaders across the enterprise. Diana received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology from Trinity University and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University. She is a Social Work Board Approved Supervisor in Texas and enjoys providing supervision to Master’s Level Social Workers seeking clinical licensure. She currently resides in San Antonio, Texas. Outside of work, she enjoys yoga, sewing, reading and traveling with her husband of 28 years.

Karen Ranus has served as Executive Director of the Austin affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) for more than eight years. She has recently assumed the role of Vice President of Impact for Lucero Speaks, helping launch a healthtech brand start-up focused on addressing youth mental health upstream before crisis. She sits on the Board of Directors for Austin Child Guidance Center and on Impact Austin’s Strategic Advisory Council. She has been featured in numerous publications focused on mental health policy and issues and is a frequent speaker in the community on mental health topics. As a mother of three young adult children living successfully with mental illness, she is passionate about addressing the mental health myths that keep people from getting the help and support they need to live healthy and productive lives.

Lance Lunsford, MBA, FACHE, is the Senior Partner at Groundswell Health. He is an experienced health care executive with notable roles in hospital communications and marketing as well as a long history in health care advocacy and public policy.

His work includes building teams, dismantling silos, and integrating organizations around purpose and passion to drive employee satisfaction and output.

Lance Lunsford began his career in journalism where he became a published author. Today, he does work in media relations on healthcare’s most difficult issues as well as marketing strategies around public affairs and campaign engagement needs as well as service line volume enhancement. His company, Groundswell Health is based in Austin, and designed a custom communication system to assist over-committed health care communication teams.

Lunsford serves a variety of organizations including one of the largest state hospital associations in the country. His company’s work also includes large hospital systems and rural hospitals, providing services on advocacy initiatives as well as patient volume strategies. Groundswell Health also specializes in marketing for health care B2B enterprises, helping shrink the sales cycle and appeal to hospital buying groups.

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