Vermont Care Partners formed to strengthen Vermont's mental health system

-A A +A

Vermont Care Partners formed to strengthen Vermont's mental health system

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 8:36am -- tim

Two leading statewide associations representing Vermont’s Designated and Specialized Service Agencies have formed a partnership to better serve Vermonters affected by developmental disabilities, mental health conditions and substance use disorders. The Vermont Council of Developmental and Mental Health Services and the Vermont Care Network (formerly Behavioral Health Network of Vermont) have come together under the partnership of Vermont Care Partners to provide statewide leadership for an integrated, high quality system of comprehensive services and supports.

The two organizations have launched a new, joint website. (

 “The Vermont Council and the Vermont Care Network have worked closely together during the past two years on behalf of the 16 designated and specialized service agencies,” said Julie Tessler, executive director of the Vermont Council. “This partnership recognizes that work and builds on it.”

She said the two organizations will remain as separate legal entities, but will work seamlessly under the name of Vermont Care Partners.

Vermont Care Network Executive Director Simone Rueschemeyer said the new partnership highlights the provider network that the members have formed to create structure around single entity contracting, quality assurance, collaboration with other provider networks and the identification and creation of new opportunities and markets.

Rueschemeyer and Tessler believe that the new partnership and web site will enable them to better support people with disabilities and complex health conditions, as well as pro-actively participate in health reform.

The Vermont Council, a 501(c)(6) non-profit  trade association established in 1974,  focuses on national and state policy development, lobbying and advocacy to strengthen developmental, mental health and substance abuse services.

 The Vermont Care Network, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was incorporated as Behavioral Health Network of Vermont (BHN) in 1994 and is the business arm of the partnership. VCN will continue its mission of developing the statewide network that integrates the full continuum of health, wellness and social services. By providing care beyond health care and through enhanced services, collaboration and integration, the network improves value, health outcomes and life satisfaction.