Master of Ceremonies – Senator Mike Woodard

Senator Mike Woodard (D-District 22: Durham, Granville, & Person)

Mike Woodard is the North Carolina State Senator representing District 22: Durham, Granville, and Person counties. Before joining the General Assembly in 2013, Senator Woodard served on the Durham City Council for seven years. In his professional life, Senator Woodard is a long-time administrator with Duke University and the Duke Health System. He also worked as an administrator and instructor at Durham Technical Community College. A native of Wilson, NC, he graduated from Duke with degrees in economics, political science, and non-profit management.

Senator Woodard has been active in community affairs for more than 30 years. He served as State President of the North Carolina Jaycees and President of the Durham Jaycees. In addition, he has held leadership roles with St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, the Durham Arts Council, the Durham Rotary Club, the Dispute Settlement Center, the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, and Triangle United Way.

The awards and honors Senator Woodard has received include: the 2017 Public Official Conservation Award from Sound Rivers; the 2017 Legislator of the Year Award from the North Carolina Association of Teacher Assistants; the 2017 Senator of the Year and the 2014 Rising Star awards from the League of Conservation Voters; the 2017 Legislator of the Year Award from Toxic Free NC; the 2012 City of Durham Human Rights Award, presented to an elected official has supported and promoted human rights causes and issues; the 2011 Goodmon Award for Regional Leadership by a Public Official; and in 2009 being named one of the first recipients of the Reliable Ally Award presented by the Southern Anti-Racism Network. In 1998, he was recognized as one of the Five Outstanding Young North Carolinians.

Senator Woodard is a regular panelist on “Front Row,” UNCTV’s weekly public affairs program.

He is married to the Reverend Sarah Woodard, a human resources officer for Duke Medicine, an ordained minister serving at St. Titus’ Episcopal Church and as a hospital chaplain, and an active community volunteer. In 1997 they were named the Durham Jaycees’ Family of the Year.

In his free time, Senator Woodard serves as a tutor at C.C. Spaulding Elementary School and enjoys bicycling, hiking, watching sports, reading, and attending arts events.

Mandy K. Cohen, MD, MPH

Mandy K. Cohen, MD, MPH

Dr. Mandy Cohen was appointed to the role of Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in January 2017 by Governor Roy Cooper. Secretary Cohen and her team work tirelessly to improve the health, safety and well-being of all North Carolinians. DHHS has 17,000 employees and an annual budget of $20 billion serving as the home to NC Medicaid, Public Health, Mental Health/IDD/SUD, State Operated Hospitals and Facilities, Economic Services, Adult and Child Services, Early Childhood Education, Employment Services, and Health Services Regulation. Secretary Cohen and her team are focused on building a strong, efficient Medicaid program, improving early childhood health, safety and education and combatting the opioid crisis.

Secretary Cohen is an internal medicine physician and has experience leading complex health organizations. Before coming to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, she was the Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). She brings a deep understanding of health care to the state and has been responsible for implementing policies for Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace.

A graduate of Cornell University, she received her medical degree from Yale School of Medicine and a Master’s in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. She trained in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. Secretary Cohen is married to Sam Cohen, a health care regulatory attorney. They have two daughters, ages 4 and 7.

Keynote Speaker – Kody H. Kinsley

Kody H. Kinsley

Kody H. Kinsley serves as the Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health & Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at DHHS. He leads state-wide public policy and operations that promote whole-person health by developing prevention methods, interventions, and systems of care for individuals living with mental illness, intellectual or developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, and substance use disorders. To that end, he oversees the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services, which develops policy and funds community-based services and supports. He also oversees the Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities which operates the 14 facilities that comprise the state’s publicly funded health system. Finally, in driving the Department’s commitment to community-based services and care, he oversees the Senior Advisor for ADA. In total, the Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health and IDD’s organization comprises over 11,000 employees and an annual budget of about $2 billion.

Mr. Kinsley returned home to North Carolina after serving as the presidentially appointed Assistant Secretary for Management for the United States Department of the Treasury. In that role, he functioned as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer with a broad scope of responsibility for the agency, its $15.5 billion discretionary budget, and 100,000 employees.

Mr. Kinsley’s experience spans the public and private sectors, including positions at the White House, the U.S Department of Health and Human Service, and leading operations for a behavioral health care service provider in western North Carolina. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Brevard College in Brevard, NC and his Master of Public Policy from the University of California, at Berkeley.

Featured Speaker – Joel D. Corcoran

Joel Corcoran

As Executive Director of Clubhouse International, Joel is a global advocate working on behalf of millions of people living mental illness.

A Clubhouse is an evidence-based-practice founded on the belief that even the most disabled can sufficiently recover and improve their lives with the help of a supportive community. The Clubhouse model provides pathways to meaningful social inclusion, work and wellbeing. First developed in New York in 1948 by a small group of former psychiatric hospital patients, the model has gained international recognition, scaling to more than 350 Clubhouses operating in 33 countries and growing. Joel travels extensively throughout the world, working to promote and support the development and quality of new and existing Clubhouse programs. Together with a large Clubhouse International network he helps local communities in many countries and cultures create enduring resources and opportunities for people living with mental illness. In 2014 Clubhouse International was recognized as an exemplary organization working to “alleviate human suffering” with the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, the largest humanitarian prize in the world.

Prior to Clubhouse, Joel worked with disadvantaged inner city youth, in large psychiatric hospitals, as an administrator with a multi-state mental health agency and campaigned nationally for mental health services reform. He is a passionate champion for the rights of people living with mental illness, and the importance of their involvement in the design of services and systems that support dignity, opportunity and recovery.

Clubhouse Panel

Lauren Butler

Lauren Butler is a mother of two and presently resides in Chapel Hill. Ms Butler has not only been recovering from severe depression over the past few years, but has also fought and survived three battles with cancer over the past four years. She is a member at Club Nova and has a strong desire to help others who are battling with mental illness coupled with physical illnesses




The Honorable M. Patricia Devine

The Honorable Pat DeVine is a retired District Court Judge who presided in Orange and Chatham counties from 1998 until 2008. She is the mother of twins, one of whom lived with schizoaffective disorder and passed three years ago at the age of 45. Her so Tim, was a member at Club Nova for many years prior to his demise. Ms. DeVine has been a strong advocate for families who are faced with the challenges of being supports to their family members who live with mental illness.


Lived Experience Speaker

Darnell Wilson

Darnell Wilson is 57 years old, and is originally from Philadelphia, PA. He has been residing in Raleigh, NC for about 20 years. “I have one daughter, Iona who is 37 years old. I am a Seventh Day Adventist and I go to church weekly. During my lifetime I have experienced many days of homelessness, and the obstacles that come with ongoing mental and medical health issues. I suffer from congestive heart failure, gout and diabetes. I have my own set of mental issues including depression and anxiety which I have lived with for many years and still suffer from these issues today.”

Legislative Panel

Rose Hoban – Moderator

Rose Hoban

Rose Hoban (Founder, Editor, Reporter) spent more than six years as the health reporter for North Carolina Public Radio – WUNC, where she covered health care, state health policy, science and research with a focus on public health issues. She left to start North Carolina Health News after watching many of her professional peers leave or be laid off of their jobs, leaving NC with few people to cover this complicated and important topic.

Hoban took a circuitous route into journalism—after a decade of practicing nursing, she enrolled at UC Berkeley’s journalism school. While at Berkeley, she also earned a master’s in public health policy.
Hoban’s work has been recognized both regionally and nationally with numerous awards, including broadcast’s highest award – the Columbia-DuPont – a Gracie Award, an Edward R. Morrow award, and a Society for Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade award. In 2010, she was awarded a fellowship by the Association of Health Care Journalists to do in-depth reporting on North Carolina’s mental health system. She has also been a Knight Digital Media Fellow.

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Legislative Panel Members