Essentials of Behavioral Health in Primary Care 2020

Saturday, October 17 and 24
Virtual CME Conference

Community Health Network of Connecticut, Inc.® (CHNCT) in partnership with the Connecticut Behavioral Health Partnership/Beacon Health Options is pleased to announce a free behavioral health educational program for Connecticut Medical Assistance Program (CMAP) enrolled primary care providers on October 17 and 24, 2020.

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Primary care settings are an entry point for many individuals with behavioral health and substance use disorders seeking treatment. Primary care providers are often managing chronic medical conditions along with behavioral health and substance use disorders. Additionally, evidence has shown that integrated behavioral healthcare improves health outcomes and patient experience and reduces unnecessary costs and delays in treatment. As a result of these changing roles and responsibilities, additional training in behavioral health for primary care providers is often needed.

This activity is jointly provided by Medical Education Resources (MER) and CHNCT.

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Medical Educational Resources and CHNCT.

MER is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Medical Education Resources designates this activity for a maximum of 7.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The conference will cover:
  • Brief Intervention Skills for Primary Care Providers
  • Assessment and Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder in Primary Care
  • Standard and Alternative Treatments for Acute and Chronic Pain
  • Identifying and Treating Suicidality in Primary Care
  • Alcohol Use Disorder
  • Tobacco Use Disorder in Youth

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To contact Medical Education Resources (MER) call 1.800.421.3756

This activity is jointly provided by Medical Education Resources and CHNCT.

This activity is fully supported by CHNCT.


J. Craig Allen, MD

Dr. Allen is the Medical Director of Rushford, Chief of Psychiatry at Midstate Medical Center, and Vice President of Addiction Services for the Behavioral Health Network at Hartford HealthCare.

Dr. Allen co-chairs the treatment subcommittee for the State of Connecticut’s Alcohol and Drug Policy Council, is on the Advisory Board for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, as well as the Addiction Medicine Committee and Opioid Task Force for the State Medical Society.

Dr. Allen has held faculty appointments at Harvard and Yale Medical schools and is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Quinnipiac University, Frank Netter School of Medicine. In addition, Dr. Allen trains addiction medicine fellows in Rushford’s ACGME accredited addiction medicine fellowship program, and child and adolescent psychiatry fellows and psychiatry residents from Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living.

Dr. Allen lectures and advocates locally and nationally for prevention, screening, early intervention, and treatment access for substance use and other psychiatric disorders throughout the lifespan.

Dr. Allen is board-certified in child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry and addiction medicine.


Deepa Camenga, MD, MHS

Dr. Deepa Camenga is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine and is board-certified in pediatrics and addiction medicine. Dr. Camenga’s research is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and focuses on improving practices around the identification and treatment of tobacco and substance use disorders in adolescents and young adults, understanding adolescent nicotine dependence and its co-occurrence with substance use, and understanding how youth use electronic cigarettes.

As a practicing pediatrician, Dr. Camenga provides care to adolescents and young adults in primary care and addiction medicine specialty clinics. She is a clinical expert on counseling teens and parents around health risks of e-cigarettes, tobacco, and other drugs. She was nominated by the American Academy of Pediatrics to serve as a member of the National Committee on Substance Use and Prevention, which provides guidance for pediatricians, state and federal government, and other stakeholders to reduce harm from substance use. Dr. Camenga is also the Medical Director of the Young Adult Treatment Track at the APT Foundation in New Haven, CT. As an addiction medicine specialist and buprenorphine provider, she provides treatment for adolescents and young adults ages 16 to 25 with substance use disorders, including adolescent mothers. She also trains Yale residents in screening and brief interventions techniques for tobacco and drug use.

Dr. Camenga completed her medical education and residency training at the University of Rochester. She completed a fellowship in health services research through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program at Yale.

David A. Fiellin, MD

David A. Fiellin, MD, is a Professor of Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Public Health at Yale. He directs the Yale Program in Addiction Medicine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine. His research is focused on the interface between substance use and general medical settings including office-based practice, primary care, Emergency Department, and HIV specialty settings. He is Co-Editor of the ASAM textbook, Principles of Addiction Medicine, 4th, 5th, and 6th editions. In 2016, he led the Connecticut Opioid REsponse (CORE) initiative strategic planning process at the request of Governor Dannel Malloy.


Virna Little, PsyD, LCSW-R, SAP, CCM

Dr. Virna Little is currently the Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Concert Health, a national organization providing behavioral health services to primary care providers, the Director of the Center for Innovation in Mental Health at the CUNY School of Public Health in New York, and the co-founder of Zero Overdose, a not-for-profit addressing the national crisis of unintentional overdoses. Prior, Dr. Little worked for 22 years as a Senior Vice President for a large FQHC network in New York overseeing over 300 behavioral health and community staff, and worked for New York City Health and Hospitals as a citywide family violence coordinator. She has a Doctoral degree in Psychology, a Master’s Degree in Social Work, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Healthcare, is a Certified Care Manager (CCM), and a recognized Substance Abuse Professional (SAP).

Dr. Little is a nationally and internationally known speaker for her work in integrating primary care and behavioral health, developing sustainable integrated delivery systems, and suicide prevention. Dr. Little is a member of the University of Washington AIMS center and National Council for Community Behavioral Health consulting teams. She is also a faculty member for the national and international Zero Suicide initiatives and has spoken on national suicide prevention strategies at the White House.

Dr. Little is a consultant providing technical assistance to organizations and states around the country integrating primary care and behavioral health, as well as an expert on the Collaborative Care model and the implementation of depression care programs. Dr. Little has been recognized with awards from the Society for Social Work Leaders in HealthCare, National Association of Social Workers, Community Health Center Network of New York, New York Suicide Prevention Committee, and others. She has served on many boards and is currently board chair for the New York Hudson Valley Chapter of the American Heart Association and the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved.


Surita Rao, MD

Dr. Surita Rao is the Director of the psychiatry residency training program and an Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. She was the chair and director of the Behavioral Health Department at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center from 2003 through 2014. She is a psychiatrist specializing in addiction. Her career has focused on patient care, administration, and teaching. She completed medical school in India and did her psychiatry residency and fellowship training at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York and the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine. She has been on the faculty at Yale and Emory Universities and worked with a private practice group in Atlanta. She has done statewide, regional, and national presentations in the field of psychiatry and addiction psychiatry. She has done numerous media appearances in local and national media [radio and television] and had her own radio show on Voice America, “Mental Health with Dr. Surita Rao.”


Lloyd Saberski, MD

Lloyd R. Saberski, MD specializes in pain management. Helping people in pain is a passion Dr. Saberski has pursued for 30 years. He maintains a private medical practice and is on the faculty of Yale University School of Medicine and University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

Dr. Saberski has authored more than 200 manuscripts, textbook chapters, papers, and lectures. He is past Editor-in-Chief of the medical journal, "The Pain Clinic." He serves as a consultant to organizations and businesses, and lectures frequently on topics in pain management. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Anesthesiology and is a fellowship trained board-certified pain management specialist.

For a decade, Dr. Saberski was a member of the Yale Center for Pain Management, serving as Clinical and Medical Director. He founded the Yale University Fellowship in Pain Management. Dr. Saberski is the first Yale faculty member ever promoted to the rank of Associate Professor of Anesthesiology for achievements in the field of Chronic Pain Management.

New York Magazine named him a best doctor in New York City in 2009 even though he only had offices in Connecticut, and Connecticut Magazine named him a best doctor in Connecticut for five years in a row.

Dr. Saberski was an Eagle Scout and Major in the U.S. Army Reserves Medical Corps. His community service includes serving on the board of directors of Abilities Without Boundaries, a private nonprofit serving adults with developmental and physical disabilities based in Cheshire, CT. He is race director for that organization's primary fundraiser, the Hot COCO 5k and Kids Fun Run. He is also a member of the Cheshire Half Marathon Committee as director of medical services.

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Conference Agenda