Stamford-based Americares has announced the promotion of Lindsay O’Brien to vice president of U.S. programs and partnerships. In her new role, O’Brien will be responsible for implementing innovative clinic-based programs that expand access to care for millions of low-income, uninsured patients. O’Brien will also direct research initiatives on diabetes prevention, healthy food integration and hypertension.
O’Brien, a Riverside resident, has been with Americares since 2013 when she was hired to manage the organization’s Hurricane Sandy recovery program.
Hurricane recovery is still very much on the front burner for Americares. Former President Bill Clinton and Americares President and CEO Michael J. Nyenhuis announced a new effort, “Healing for Health Workers: Building Mental Health Capacity in Post-Maria Puerto Rico.” The announcement was made at the Clinton Global Initiative Action Network’s meeting in Miami on disaster recovery.
Americares will train 5,000 health workers and emergency responders in Puerto Rico to better identify, assess and respond to the mental health and psychosocial needs of patients in the aftermath of the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Puerto Rico’s Department of Health reported an increase in suicides in 2017; 253 compared with 196 in 2016. Calls to suicide hotlines have spiked in recent months.
“We will expand the capacity of health workers and emergency responders to identify and treat hurricane survivors with mental health needs and connect them to services, as well as support health workers’ own needs,” said Kate Dischino, Americares vice president of emergency programs.