NAMI PBC Annual Meeting
NAMI PBC members are invited to join us for the NAMI Annual Meeting on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.
The event will include the NAMI PBC Year in Review, a special presentation by guest speaker, Dr. Randy Blakely from Brain Institute at FAU , and the annual NAMI PBC Board of Directors election.
NAMI PBC Annual Meeting
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
NAMI PBC 2020-2021 Board of Directors Candidates
Nicole Baganz, Ph.D.
I believe I would bring a wide spectrum of experiences to the NAMI Palm Beach County Board of Directors. I have been active with NAMI since 2011 when I was a neuroscience postdoctoral fellow and research scientist in the lab of Dr. Randy Blakely at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. I grew up with a younger sister who struggled with major mental health issues. My story began with an autobiographical article that I wrote for an employee-writing contest hosted by the Vanderbilt House Organ magazine. After my article was published, I received an outpouring of messages and support from medical professionals who shared their own or family members’ heartbreaking stories of personal mental health struggles. Their stories cultivated in me an overwhelming drive to venture outside of the lab and into a public space, and I became very involved in neuroscience outreach and education in the Nashville community.
While I continued my research in the lab investigating the neurochemical and behavioral effects of early-life stress on the immune and brain serotonin systems, my involvement within the community grew rapidly. My career and life continued on that trajectory when, in 2016, I was asked to join Dr. Blakely in a new initiative to establish a Brain Institute at FAU as part of the university’s strategic plan. I was promoted to research assistant professor in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine and also given a second new role and title, Director of Community Engagement and Programming of the FAU Brain Institute, allowing me to hybridize my roles in the lab and in the South Florida community. I continued my involvement with NAMI, participating in the annual NAMIWalks PBC as team “NeuroSquad”, a group of neuroscientists and supporters interested in promoting mental health research and eliminating stigma.
Alison B. Bourdeau, Ph.D., RMFTI
Dr. Alison Bourdeau serves as an Assistant Professor at St. Bonaventure University in the School of Education with specialized experience and research related to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and comorbid mental health conditions. Dr. Bourdeau was a special educator in Florida for more than 10 years, in settings ranging from early intervention to high school. She holds master’s degrees in Special Education and Marriage & Family Therapy, and values the interdisciplinary perspective that this training provides.
Dr. Bourdeau has a private practice at Palm Beach Behavioral Health & Wellness in Jupiter, Florida, specializing in working with children and families to address developmental, behavioral, and school challenges, as well as providing specific support to individuals with disabilities. She believes strongly in decreasing the stigma of mental health issues, and has proudly served as Vice President of the Board of Directors for NAMI in Palm Beach County, Florida, for the last three years.
Linda Casale, MSN, RN, PMHN-BC
I have enjoyed working in many different areas of my nursing career. A graduate of the Palm Health Care Foundation Preceptor of Excellence program provided the skills required for my position as an adjunct professor at Palm Beach Atlantic University and to orient new employees at the West Palm Beach Veterans Administration Medical Center. I am a Board Certified Nurse in Psychiatric-Mental Health and Geriatric Nursing. I have contributed to nursing guidelines, policies, and procedure developments and updates.
I am very excited to have completed my Master of Nursing in Leadership and Management at Capella University. Also, I have a Post-Graduate Diploma in Nursing Education from the University of Dundee. I believe the growth as an organization depends on taking ownership of our professional development, participating in research, and using evidence-based practice to develop policies and procedures for the many issues that impact mental health patients. My professional achievements and experience provide insight to influence and improve the future of mental health in Palm Beach County. I am looking forward to contributing and participating as a NAMI Board member.
Michelle Chaney, MD, MScPH
I am a board certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist. I have been involved with NAMI since medical school and residency training at The University of Florida and know what an important resource it provides for many individuals and families. After completing my child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital program, I moved back to Florida and worked as the psychiatrist for Florida Atlantic University providing psychiatric consultation and services to university students. I have recently started a private practice based in Jupiter. I believe my background and expertise in psychiatry, public health, and teaching will enable me to help NAMI advance its mission. I am excited by the opportunity to become more involved in NAMI and look forward to contributing.
Warren “Skip” Reasoner, Ph.D., LCSW
I am a social worker on the Addiction Stabilization Unit at JFK North Hospital. I have been in law enforcement for approximately 40 years and a clinician for 16. I was one of the originators of the Behavioral Services Division at the Sheriff’s Office. I was a member of the Mobile Crisis Unit out of Jerome Golden from 2004-2019 and am currently a member of the Mobile Response Team out of South County Mental Health Center. I am the proud parent of an adult son with a mental illness. I believe that I have a unique understanding of the relationships between the mental health community and law enforcement. I will continue to be an outspoken advocate for persons with mental health issues. I have contacts in many municipalities and baker act receiving facilities. I have been involved since the onset of CIT training in Palm Beach County. I was on the advisory committee for CIT from 2004-2018. I trained deputies and officers from the sheriff’s office and several municipalities on ways to safely bring encounters with people with a mental illness to a peaceful conclusion. I worked with the Palm Beach County School Board as a consultant for their response protocol for students in crisis. I have worked closely with several Judges, State Attorneys, and Public Defenders in the Mental Health Court arena. I believe NAMI plays an important role in Palm Beach County and I would be honored to assist in any way I can.