Mental Health Care in Rural NH/VT: We CAN Do Better


8:30 am - 4:45 pm


Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
1 Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH

Event Type

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Research shows that 43.8 million people are affected by mental illness in the US and that number has remained consistent over the years. More than half of these patients do not or cannot receive the services they need. Caring for the mentally ill in our rural communities presents challenges and opportunities for everyone working with this patient population. The conference will include presentations from caregivers as well as patients. You will receive helpful information, and learn about available resources and practical strategies for improving mental health care in your organization and community. We CAN do better!

Learning Outcome

At the conclusion of this learning activity, participants will be able to discuss at least three ways to improve evidence based care of patients with mental health care needs in rural communities.

Keynote Presentation

The Physiology of Addiction: Effects of Drug-Taking Behavior on the Brain, presented by Ruth A. Potee, MD

Speaker Bio

Dr. Ruth Potee is a board certified Family and Addiction Medicine physician who practices in western Massachusetts. She is currently the Medical Director for the Franklin County House of Corrections, the Director of Addiction Services for Behavioral Health Network, the Medical Director for the Pioneer Valley Regional School District as well as the Co-Chair of the Healthcare Solutions Committee of the Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region. Dr. Potee engages communities in discussions surrounding substance abuse through her wide-ranging series of talks. She has been featured in the Boston Globe and on CNN in an interview with Anthony Bourdain.

Other Topics will include:

In Our Own Voices: Living with Mental Illness – a “lived experience” shared by survivors; Adversity and Trauma During the Developing Years; Creating a Non-Violent Workspace; Trauma Informed Care; Suicide Prevention; Social Determinants of Health; Taking Care of Ourselves and Each Other, and many others.

Target Audience

This program has been planned for an interprofessional audience including physicians, nurses, social workers, community mental health workers, and other interested health care professionals.

Additional information and registration will be available on the event website soon: 

For questions, please email