A Letter from Dr. Howard Liu

Dear BHECN colleagues:

Thank you for the great privilege of serving as a workforce champion on the BHECN team since 2011.
In that time, we have had much to be thankful for:
  • Nearly 15% increase in our state’s licensed behavioral health workforce
  • Historic numbers of medical students matching in psychiatry at UNMC and Creighton
  • Mentoring connections with over 3,000 Nebraska students considering behavioral health careers
  • Doubling of our initial legislative funding through state, federal and foundation grants
  • Recognition from the National Council for Behavioral Health and the Annapolis Coalition for the Behavioral Health Workforce 
  • Innovative partnerships with 15 graduate Behavioral Health training programs to share curricula and workforce data
We are on our way to building the workforce we will need in small towns and underserved urban communities across Nebraska. 
But the work is not done. 
BHECN’s greatest strength is our partnerships with each one of you as stakeholders: legislators, provider organizations, training programs, government entities, community advocates, mentors, providers, trainees and consumers. 
I want to look back and thank our founding director, Dr. Susan Boust, and so many team members who have paved the way ahead.
And I want to look forward as Dr. Marley Doyle has assumed her role as BHECN’s third Director. I have confidence in her visionary leadership to build the workforce we need in every Nebraska community!  
I ask for your ongoing support for BHECN and our mission of creating better access for mental health and substance use disorders. We will need your continued collaboration and ideas! 
I will be engaged as the chair of psychiatry at UNMC to continue the work on access from a new perspective. Thanks for your innovation, your courage and your inspiration over the last 7 years. The future is bright!
Howard Y. Liu, M.D.
Twitter: @DrHowardLiu
University of Nebraska Medical Center 
Chair, UNMC Dept Psychiatry
Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist 

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