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Hospital for Behavioral Medicine Names Allison Bernier Chief Operating Officer

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(Worcester, MA) – The Hospital for Behavioral Medicine (HBM) has named Allison Bernier as the new Chief Operating Officer. She will have oversight of the Operations, Business Development, Outpatient, and Intake teams.

Allison comes to HBM with over 20 years of experience in the behavioral healthcare field. Most recently, Allison served as Senior Director of Integrated Behavioral Health for Brockton Hospital – Signature Healthcare, Brockton, MA. She also continues to participate as a part time Clinical Social Worker in the Emergency Department at Kent Hospital, Warwick, RI, and is an Adjunct Professor of Social Work at Bridgewater State University.

Randall Hines, CEO of HBM shares, “Allison’s appointment as COO at the hospital continues to signify that the hospital is very invested in the growth of Massachusetts facilities. With our commitment to the behavioral health market in New England, and continued market expansion, we see growth for Allison in Massachusetts.”

When asked about the opportunity, Allison commented, “This is a wonderful opportunity to come to this hospital and make a difference as they continue to grow. My experience has led me to this opportunity, and with the great need in the market for mental health services, I definitely see long term growth here.”

Allison has a Masters in Social Work from Rhode Island College, as well as a BS in Sociology from Bridgewater State. She lives in West Warwick with her family.

It’s Pride Month

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June is a time to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and acknowledge the unique challenges that we continue to overcome. LGBTQ+ individuals experience higher rates of depression and suicide, but also have less reliable access to mental health care. At Hospital for Behavioral Medicine, it is our responsibility to provide top-quality mental health services to our community while recognizing, supporting, and valuing LGBTQ+ issues.

May is Mental Health Month

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At Hospital for Behavioral Medicine, we are celebrating Mental Health Month. We appreciate the ongoing support of our staff and the opportunity to make a difference in our community. If you have questions and are looking to raise awareness on Mental Health, please join us by downloading the mental health toolkit for resources, statistics and more.

In-Person and Virtual PHP Now Available!

Our Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) is located at 100 Century Drive, Worcester, MA, and it is now offering mental health services virtually and in-person. Our groups run daily from 9am-2pm, and include lunch.

Adults in need of mental health treatment can access group and individual sessions on a daily basis.

We have immediate openings for in-person and virtual adult mental health PHP clients.

Call today for a no-cost assessment to determine eligibility at 1-844-319-0000.

New Director of Human Resources has been Appointed

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Jeffrey Bertrand, MBA, has been appointed as the Director of Human Resources beginning in February. He joins the hospital’s team with many years of experience in the mental health field. His background in employee relations and compliance standards brings welcomed value to the leadership team.

Our CEO, Randall Hines stated, “We are excited to have Jeff on board, and are committed to strategically increasing overall employee recruitment and retention over the next year.”

Most recently, Jeff had been Human Resources Director at AdCare Hospital in Worcester, MA, with over 400 employees, where he helped with onboarding and training, payroll and HR budgeting, forecasting and compliance regulations.

Jeff maintains memberships with the Massachusetts Association of Behavioral Health Systems, Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, and the Society for Human Resource Management.

Tufts PAWS for People partners to offer Therapeutic Pet Services to HBM Patients

On Saturday, March 18th, 2023, the PAWS for People program, which is associated with the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, sent four handlers and their respective pets to visit with and be available for patients from our Thrive (adolescent) and our Empower (trauma) units. Each unit was escorted to our PHP unit where there were three dogs and one cat awaiting their love.

The program which is coordinated by Deb Gibbs, Program Director, was on hand to facilitate the volunteer handlers throughout the visit. The dogs, Bosco, Gemma, and Maui, were all delighted to be brushed, petted and loved during their time at HBM. The cat, MacKenzie, an orange Scottish Fold registered therapy cat, might have created the biggest buzz by lying on a table awaiting love from anyone and everyone. He was the sweetest, purring animal and showcased what the program is all about – unconditional love from an animal.

As we move forward working together, we will be adding more scheduled times for PAWS for People to drop in and spend time with whichever animals they have available. Animal therapy has been proven to have such benefits as reduced stress and overall help with a more balanced mental and emotional state.

Adolescent Mental Health Treatment and Simultaneous Schooling

At HBM, we offer an adolescent program, ages 11-17, that incorporates the school day into the treatment. Our mental health programming for adolescents, which is named “Thrive”, espouses programs such as Compassion and Dependency, Trauma and the Understanding of it, Cultural Humility and Responsiveness, and Family Dynamics, we also offer schooling for the adolescents in the program. The assigned staff teacher keeps the student on track, gaining forward momentum in their mental health and their education.

The ability to bond and communicate as a group and identify key issues is a critical part of the daily programming. The adolescents learn to relate and build resiliency in order to recover from setbacks. Becoming more resilient can offer individuals the opportunity to improve their life, maximizing their potential and success moving forward. Setting up each individual with a path for their future is our goal.

If you have questions about your child’s mental health, please give us a call today. We offer free assessments and can help guide you into a program that is best for your child.

Hospital for Behavioral Medicine adds to Administration Team with new Human Rights Officer appointed by CEO

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We are excited to announce that effective 1/23/23, we have filled the Human Rights Officer (HRO) position at HBM with Joseph Drolette, Ed.D. Joe has a wide background in working with people with mental health challenges over his career. We look forward to his contribution to our patient care systems here at the hospital. He is known for his educational leadership accomplishments in behavioral health. He began his career working with adolescent mental health populations. Joe has also been involved in mental health research in the areas of human rights and patient advocacy, substance abuse, family therapy, and resiliency.

Joe serves on the Editorial Board of a peer-reviewed journal, Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) Foster Care Review Panel, and has served as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and Guardian Ad Litem (GAL). He has led bias review panels nationally in conjunction with the Center for Educational Research at Stanford University, served as Human Rights Officer, and Title IX Representative in several settings. He is currently pursuing post-doctoral work in human rights and patient advocacy.

The hospital is happy to have him join us, where he will represent patients as well as support our employee education programs related to patient advocacy and recovery.

Nicole Mason hired as Community Liaison for HBM Hospital Partnerships

The Hospital for Behavioral Medicine (HBM) is excited to welcome Nicole “Nikki” Mason as its new Community Liaison. Nikki brings a combination of clinical and business development skills to the team, with most of her experience involving programming for state system-involved youth and their families. She also has experience with building partnerships, social media oversight, and team management for businesses experiencing periods of rapid growth.

Nikki has a passion for finding innovative solutions in all facets of her work, especially when related to quality and customer service. Her work is guided by her belief that all people deserve the opportunity to access high-quality care and be treated with dignity & respect. Nikki has her Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology from American International College, as well as a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Worcester State University.

The Hospital for Behavioral Medicine offers family-inclusive and person-centered inpatient services for children, adolescents, adults and older adults. To learn more about any of the programs available, please reach out to Nikki today.


Nikki Mason


[email protected]