Recovery Advisory Committee

The Recovery Advisory Committee (RAC) serves as a steering committee for the Recovery to Practice project. The RAC is integral to every major aspect of the project over the five-year period and is composed of eight individuals whose backgrounds span the entire gamut of mental health recovery. The Committee members’ diversity allows them to provide valuable recommendations, information, and strategic oversight with regard to data collection and analysis, curriculum development, marketing, dissemination and education throughout all phases of the project.

Peter Ashenden

Peter AshendenPeter Ashenden is a consumer/survivor and the director of consumer affairs at Optum Health. He started this position in April 2010. He was the former president/CEO for the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) a position that he held for two years and before that promotion he formerly held the position of executive vice president at DBSA. He is the former executive director of the Mental Health Empowerment Project (MHEP); a position he held for 12 years.  He provided training to consumers/survivors and mental health professionals nationally, and has been active in starting many self-help groups. He is currently the chair-elect and an executive committee member of the Board of USPRA. Mr. Ashenden also serves as a member of the Board of the Verrazano Foundation located in Staten Island, New York, is a member of the Board of Mental Health Empowerment Project, and is a former member and secretary of the Board of the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance.

Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD

Arthur EvansArthur C. Evans Jr, PhD is the commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS), a $1 billion healthcare agency. In this capacity, he is leading a major initiative to transform how behavioral health care and mental retardation services are delivered in the city. Since Dr. Evans’ appointment in November 2004, Philadelphia has begun a transformation of its entire system to one that focuses on recovery for adults, resiliency for children, and self-determination for all people who use mental retardation services. Prior to coming to Philadelphia, Dr. Evans was the deputy commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (DMHAS). In this capacity, he was instrumental in implementing a recovery-oriented policy framework, addressing health care disparities and increasing the use of evidence-based practices. Dr. Evans is a clinical and community psychologist.  He holds a faculty appointment at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He held faculty appointments at the Yale University School of Medicine and Quinnipiac University. Dr. Evans has extensive experience in transforming systems of care while serving in several national leadership roles.

Marianne Farkas, ScD

Marianne FarkasMarianne Farkas, ScD, has been and is currently the co-principal investigator of the Research and Training Center and a research associate professor in Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Boston University for over 25 years. Dr. Farkas has authored and co-authored over 80 articles in professional journals, 4 textbooks, over a dozen book chapters and 6 multi-media training packages.  She is currently on the editorial review board of numerous journals. Dr. Farkas was charged by NIMH with the task of helping the core disciplines develop curriculum for pre service programs in Nursing, Psychiatry, Psychology and Social Work. She has served on Training Committees and Committees on Serious Mental Illnesses in both APA’s (i.e. American Psychological and American Psychiatric). Dr. Farkas was the vice president of the World Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation and the president of the National Association of Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers. She was in charge of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center in Psychiatric Rehabilitation, providing training, consultation and research expertise. She has received numerous awards including Boston University’s Award of Merit, the International Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services John Beard Award and the National Commendation Award from the National Association of Rehabilitation Research and Training.

Mary A. Jansen, PhD

Mary A. Jansen, PhD directs Bayview Behavioral Consulting, in Vancouver, British Columbia where she advises agencies and health authorities about rehabilitation and recovery services for people with serious mental illnesses. Prior to moving to Vancouver, Dr. Jansen served as the deputy chief consultant for Mental Health and Chief Consultant for Psychology in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and previously served as a division director in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Dr. Jansen has acted as a consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO) where she established a program to empower consumers of mental health services in WHO member states.  The program was called the Initiative of Support to People with Mental Illness.  This Initiative led the way toward WHO’s current advocacy work in mental health.

Reneé Kopache, MS, CPRP

Renee KopacheReneé Kopache, MS, CPRP is the coordinator of wellness management for the Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has participated in numerous recovery projects in Ohio, including the development of a statewide consumer agency, a consumer-operated agency, and training curricula for state hospital employees. Reneé has conducted training events, workshops, webinars, and keynote presentations throughout the United States on various aspects of recovery, peer support, and consumer outcomes. She is a member of the USPRA Certification Commission, the People in Recovery committee, the Recovery Task Force, the president of the Ohio-USPRA chapter, and participates on various local and statewide committees/boards.  Reneé enjoys outdoor and wildlife photography and is active exhibitor in the mental health arts community.

Janis Tondora, PsyD

Janis TondoraJanis Tondora, PhD is currently an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine.  Based at the Program for Recovery and Community Health (PRCH), Dr. Tondora served for several years as project director for an NIMH-funded R-01 study.  Her professional interests focus on the design, implementation, and evaluation of services that promote self-determination, recovery, and community inclusion among individuals diagnosed with serious behavioral health disorders. In addition to her role at PRCH, she works closely with the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) to promote the transfer of academic research into the public-sector behavioral health system. She has coordinated a number of statewide training, technical assistance, and consultation initiatives regarding the provision of recovery-oriented care, person-centered planning, and best-practice employment supports. Dr. Tondora has collaborated with PRCH faculty and DMHAS leadership to develop a series of practice guidelines, program standards, and recovery-specific provider competencies.  She has been providing training and consultation to over a dozen states seeking to develop person-centered planning models and programs.

Bruce Zahn, EdD, ABPP

Bruce ZahnBruce Zahn, EdD, ABPP, joined the core faculty in the Psychology Department at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) in July 1999, and serves as professor and director of clinical training in the PsyD clinical psychology program. Dr. Zahn is a licensed and board certified psychologist who has a broad variety of clinical experiences with patient populations ranging from children to older adults. In addition, Dr. Zahn maintains a part-time private practice in Spring House, PA, serving adolescents and adults. Dr. Zahn has over 30 years of clinical experience with a diverse range of patient populations.  Before coming to PCOM, he served as director of the Psychological Services and Cognitive Therapy Program at the Presbyterian Medical Center of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.  In this capacity, Dr. Zahn collaborated with David D. Burns, MD, the author of Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, The Feeling Good Handbook, and Ten Days to Self Esteem on adaptations of the cognitive therapy model for inpatient and outpatient populations that have traditionally been thought of as too difficult to treat with traditional CBT.