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Dr. Danielle Hansen Initiates LECOM Speaker Series at Jefferson Educational Society

Dr. Danielle HansenCare. Compassion. Community: LECOM Behavioral Health

A partnership between the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM)/LECOM Health and the Jefferson Educational Society (JES) in Erie, Pennsylvania continues this year with a Speaker Series addressing issues pertaining to Mental Health.

Leading the Series for LECOM was Danielle Hansen, D.O., M.S., M.H.S.A., who serves as Vice President of Acute Care, Behavioral Health and Quality at Millcreek Community Hospital. Dr. Hansen also serves as the Medical Director for Medical Associates of Erie and as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine. She is a specialist in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics with the LECOM Institute for Successful Living.

As a 2007 LECOM graduate with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Degree, Dr. Hansen went on to earn a Master of Science in Medical Education and a Master of Health Services Administration from LECOM.

A host of LECOM Health speakers will present their programs throughout the JES Spring Series.

Mark Strazisar, D.O., a Psychiatrist at Millcreek Community Hospital (MCH) and Instructor at LECOM, will offer a presentation on May 8, 2024, highlighting the topic of self-harm.

Psychiatrist, Brenda Stillman, D.O., will present her lecture entitled, Navigating the Caregiving Role, on May 20, 2024.

Brenton J. Song, D.O., a General and Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist, will present information on May 21, 2024 highlighting Mental Healthcare in Rural Communities.

David Figueroa, D.O., a Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist, will speak about the Mental Health of Child Refugees. His presentation will be offered on May 23, 2024.

Dr. Hansen’s presentation in February illustrated the prevalence of mental health concerns in the region and across the country, noting that 65 million Americans suffer with mental illness – far more than other chronic diseases – and in the Erie region, the suicide rate is higher than the rest of the state and the country as a whole.

Another alarming statistic: Every 11 minutes, someone dies by suicide.

Highlighting a number of health disparities, Dr. Hansen explained that 80% of those with a mental health disorder do visit a primary care physician, but 50% of those referred to an outpatient behavioral health clinic do not make their first appointment.

With four easily accessible entities and 22 different locations, LECOM Behavioral Health is meeting the needs of the region for better access to care in mental health. As is the College tradition, LECOM has addressed those needs by educating and training future physicians to deliver the highest level of care.

The Achievement Center of LECOM Health, Corry Counseling of LECOM Health, LECOM Institute for Behavioral Health, and Millcreek Community Hospital all serve as part of the largest and most comprehensive behavioral health network in the region.

Dr. Hansen expounded upon more than a dozen levels of care that LECOM Behavioral Health Services provide. There are a vast number of options for patients needing care for mental health, and those options can be provided to persons of any age.

Dr. Hansen’s presentation pointed out that $193.2 billion are lost in earnings each year due to serious mental health issues. Elementary and high school students are three times more likely to repeat a grade if they have mental, emotional, or behavioral issues, and globally, depression and anxiety disorders cost $1 trillion in lost productivity each year.

With LECOM Behavioral Health professionals available, there is hope, and JES leaders acknowledge that.

“We are doing this because we know the importance of opening a dialogue, informing the public, and connecting residents to resources available to them,” Jefferson Educational Society Vice President Ben Speggen said. “One needn’t read beyond the headlines to know there’s a rise in mental health concerns,” he noted.

“Erie is blessed to have such an asset and resource in LECOM. Together, through this new series, we are seeking to help many Erie County residents get access to the information and resources they need to improve their health needs or the needs of a loved one,” the JES Vice President affirmed.

Embodying the Osteopathic Philosophy and underscoring that whole health includes body, mind, and spirit, LECOM Behavioral Health Services educates the community, promotes improved mental health, increases access to and quality of care, and reduces the stigma associated with mental health issues.

Jefferson Educational Society President Dr. Ferki Ferati noted that LECOM healthcare professionals, spotlighted in the JES Programs offered throughout Erie County, will make vital connections for those needing resources.

“We have been grateful for the enduring partnership between LECOM and the JES over the years,” Dr. Ferati announced. He concluded, “When it comes to addressing something so critically important – like mental health – we are honored to be working with LECOM and to be featuring their experts on our platform.”