The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy Joins Healthsperien to Establish New Mental Health and Addiction Policy Practice

Washington, D.C.Healthsperien, LLC, a leading national health care policy consulting firm, announced today that former U.S. Representative Patrick J. Kennedy has been named as a Partner with the firm and will establish and lead a new national mental health and addiction policy practice. Rep. Kennedy will bring his decades of national leadership, advocacy and expertise in mental health to advise a diverse array of clients focusing on mental health and addiction, community-based services and supports, and need for health system transformation.

Kennedy served with distinction for eight terms (1995-2011) representing Rhode Island’s first congressional district.  In Congress, Kennedy was recognized for his leadership in establishing high-quality mental and behavioral health standards in the United States.  Kennedy now brings his wealth of expertise to Healthsperien where he will advance federal health policy to ensure quality care for those with mental health and addiction disorders.

“Representative Kennedy stands as a beacon of hope for transforming the national narrative on addiction and mental health. We are honored to welcome him to Healthsperien’s team, where his personal commitment and experience will serve as a foundation for our mental health and addiction policy initiatives,” said Tom Koutsoumpas, Healthsperien Founder & President. “We are confident that his insights will enhance the success of our clients and catalyze meaningful change in the broader health care system, leaving an enduring impact on our nation,” said Koutsoumpas.

During his 16-year tenure in the United States House of Representatives, Rep. Kennedy championed policies aimed at ending discrimination against those suffering from mental illness, addiction, and other brain-related disorders. Notably, he served as the lead sponsor of the landmark Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which ensures equitable insurance coverage for mental health and substance use disorders. Since its passage, Rep. Kennedy has successfully ensured proper oversight of implementation and enforcement of the Act so that  more Americans can access the mental health and substance use disorder care they need.

We are at an important juncture in this movement and our ability to advance this agenda cannot be achieved entirely by my philanthropic efforts.  Healthsperien has a proven, decades-long track record of delivering comprehensive policy and advocacy services on a range of health care issues in the U.S., in particular transformational work to ensure higher-quality advanced illness and end of life care.  I wanted to join a firm in DC with demonstrated experience to organize and coalesce a campaign of stakeholders in the private sector that could help me achieve the goals outlined in The Kennedy Forum’s national strategy,” said Rep. Kennedy. “I’m proud to join the Healthsperien team to re-engage with my colleagues on Capitol Hill to advance our longstanding bipartisan commitment to high-quality, community-based mental health and addiction care. Healthsperien has the track record of moving and shaping a payment model and service system that provides the template for what I am searching to do in my advocacy for people with mental health and addiction who frankly need the same home and community-based models of care that Healthsperien has been so effective in advocating for our seniors,” said Kennedy.

We are so excited about The Kennedy Forum’s Alignment for Progress and are committed to helping Representative Kennedy have expanded capacity to help him achieve his very ambitious goals,” said Andrew McPherson, founding principal and managing partner at Healthsperien.

Representative Kennedy will provide guidance on policy development, strategic advice, and lobbying to clients—including patient groups, providers, employers, innovator companies, payors, and more—to advance innovative approaches and improve access to high-quality, affordable mental health and addiction care for individuals and their caregivers in the United States. Issues to be addressed include:

  • Advocating for Mental Health Parity “2.0” and Access to Care
  • Advancing Innovative Payment Reforms
  • Aligning Health Information Technology
  • Supporting the creation of a comprehensive Workforce Pipeline for Mental Health & Substance Use Disease

“The vision of the new practice at Healthsperien is to create a future where everyone in need of mental health care can access the necessary support for a full and meaningful life. It is imperative to eliminate the separate and unequal treatment of mental health and addiction, advancing public policies and forging statutes that create integrated care and bridge the gap in coverage. I am excited to roll up my sleeves and get to work with colleagues on Capitol Hill, the Biden Administration, and the stakeholder community to ensure better mental health – and overall health care – for all Americans,” concluded Rep. Kennedy.

In 2017, Rep. Kennedy was appointed to the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, where he played a pivotal role in declaring a federal emergency and championing robust parity recommendations. Beyond his legislative accomplishments, Rep. Kennedy demonstrated his commitment to advancing mental health and addiction initiatives by founding The Kennedy Forum, a non-profit dedicated to promoting evidence-based practices, policies, and programming.

His influence extends further through, an educational campaign empowering both consumers and providers to comprehend parity rights. Additionally, he co-founded One Mind, an organization advocating for increased global investment in brain research. Rep. Kennedy’s multifaceted contributions underscore his unwavering dedication to improving mental health and shaping pragmatic health care policies.