Message from the President Nov. 2019

By Melanie Brown-Woofter, OBHA President

When I take a moment to reflect on gratitude I realize how many things there are to be thankful for in my life and in my work. Like many of you, I am energized through our work in the non-profit world of behavioral health. Yes, there is still much to be done, but we have also accomplished many goals this year that advance the causes for better mental health and for better understanding of prevention, treatment, and recovery of substance use disorders.

I am surrounded by a talented and capable staff and together we serve you and the causes we all want to see championed through the legislature, the media, specific stakeholders, or the public. We are a force to be reckoned with, and for that I am thankful.

To say I am also thankful for your membership seems trite; it is so much more than that. I am thankful for your passion, for your engagement, for your strength of character, and for your willingness to go the extra mile. I am thankful for who you are and for the relationships we have with each of you and your organizations.

May your holiday table place you close to dear family, good friends, and all the people that bring you great joy. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

As always, we welcome your feedback on this newsletter and all our communications. Contact Melanie at

Message From the President 4/30

By Melanie Brown-Woofter, OBHA President

Welcome to the April 30 Edition of Florida’s One Behavioral Health Association (OBHA) Newsletter.

Florida’s regular 60-day Legislative Session is scheduled to end on May 3. Our legislative staff and team will be keeping you up to date as we near the end of the session and we’ll provide a full review of session post sine die.

Thanks to the strength of our members, associates, and staff, the work of Florida’s One Behavioral Health Association (OBHA) continues to move forward.

I encourage our organizational members to attend the upcoming Strategic Planning meeting in May at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Oceanfront Resort in St. Augustine Beach. This meeting is designed specifically for organizational/full agency members to come together as One Association to develop a blueprint for the future of our industry and the OBHA Board will vote on a new name for our association. We have engaged a facilitator who will assist us with this event. All our members – including corporate partners, managing entities, and associate members – will come together at the August board meeting during the annual conference (

Our Association Board leadership has worked tirelessly to promote and ensure an efficient and smooth transition for Florida’s One Behavioral Health Association. On behalf of the 2018 Board of Directors, I thank you for your continued membership, support, and participation and look forward to serving you in 2019.

As always, we welcome your feedback on this newsletter and all our communications. Contact Melanie at

Message From the President

Pictured L-R: Charlene Sears-Tolbert, Bridges; Dennis Goodspeed, Lakeview; Mike Festinger, Better Way; David Freedman, Memorial; Steve Zuckerman, SFBHN; Rhonda Harvey, SMA; Jill Gran, OBHA; Joyce Myatt, Memorial; Linda McKinnon, CFBHN; Maggie Labarta, Meridian; Steve Ronick, Henderson; Vicki Garner, Aspire; Anna Baznik, IMPOWER; Mark Fontaine, OBHA; Jon Cherry, Lifestream; Doug Leonardo, Chrysalis; Laureen Pagel, Starting Point; Patti Greenough, Epic; Candy Hodgkins, Gateway; Melanie Brown-Woofter, OBHA; Eric Horst, SMA; Jacqueline Dowdy, River Region; Ivan Cosimi, SMA; Frank Rabbito, Westcare.

Welcome to the April Edition of Florida’s One Behavioral Health Association (OBHA) Newsletter. We continue to move forward integrating our associations. More than 20 of our members represented the Florida Delegation at the recent National Council for Behavioral Health Conference (NatCon19) in Nashville.

Anna Baznik, IMPOWER CEO accepts Award of Excellence for Technology.

The National Council Awards of Excellence annually recognize individuals and organizations working to strengthen behavioral health care, enhance access to care, and support our communities with visionary leadership. This year, One Behavioral Health Association Member and IMPOWER CEO and President, Ana Baznik accepted the National Council Awards of Excellence for Technology. OBHA Executive Staff Member Mark Fontaine accepted a Visionary Leadership Award for his work with FADAA.

Anna Baznik, IMPOWER and Mark Fontaine, OBHA receive Awards of Excellence

We applaud the excellent work of our members and staff. The National Council’s recogniton helps to showcase the work that has been done, and continues to be done on a daily basis by our members and dedicated staff.

We are now in week five of Florida’s Legislative session and continue to monitor the issues of importance to OBHA membership. One of the highlights of this edition of our newsletter is the rebroadcast of the Governor’s Listening session on mental health issues.

As always, we welcome your feedback on this newsletter and all our communications. Contact Melanie here.