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A Chat with Rep. Patrick Kennedy, Author of the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

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Aired on Tuesday, September 16th.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Representative Patrick J. Kennedy, who served several years in the U.S. House of Representatives as a congressman from Rhode Island, and who is best known as the author and lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. This landmark piece of legislation provides tens of millions of Americans (who were previously denied care) with access to mental health treatment. Today, Rep. Kennedy is the co-founder of One Mind for Research, a national coalition seeking new treatments and cures for neurologic and psychiatric diseases of the brain, afflictions that impact one in every three Americans. One of the nation's leading advocates for mental health -- and one of our acknowledged champions for the rights of those who live with (or care for one living with) mental illness -- Rep. Kennedy will be the keynote speaker at the 20th Annual Zarrow Mental Health Symposium, which happens later this week (the 18th and 19th) in downtown Tulsa. This symposium is an educational forum hosted by the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma that's meant to provide state-of-the-art research and best-practice information about various issues related to mental health. Rep. Kennedy's address happens on Thursday the 18th at 7pm at the Cox Business Center Ballroom; his remarks will be a part of the "Visionaries: Honoring Leaders in Mental Health Dinner," which you can learn more about at this link.

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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