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Consumers, parents, caregivers and clinicians have expressed concern regarding the use of psychotropic medications in children and adolescents. A number of scientific articles recently have outlined the increasing role that medications play in the treatment of children, particularly children in foster care and in Medicaid. Some parents note that these medications have made a positive difference in the treatment of their child. Others report unexpected side effects, and report that no psychosocial evaluation occurred before the medication was prescribed, often by a primary care physician. Magellan Health Services has created a number of interventions in its Children’s Champion Program to address this issue.


During this 90-minute web briefing, Pat Hunt, the director of child and family resiliency services at Magellan Health Services and Gary Henschen, M.D., chief medical officer-behavioral health at Magellan Health Services will focus on interventions and the role of medications in treatment of children for behavioral issues. The agenda will also include:

  • A review of interventions and tools to educate on the risks and benefits of psychotropic medications and important questions to ask of the prescriber when medications are suggested for a child’s treatment plan
  • A discussion of the legitimate role of medications in the treatment of children for behavioral issues
  • A review of the results of Magellan’s project to reduce inappropriate prescribing and improve the rate of children referred to case management

Following the main presentation, the audience will be able to submit questions while OPEN MINDS facilitates a Question and Answer session with Dr. Henschen and Ms. Hunt.

Continuing Education Credits

Continuing Education credits are being offered for this webinar. For more information on obtaining CE credits, please read this document provided by Magellan Health Services.

Featured Speakers

Gary Henschen, M.D., Chief Medical Officer-Behavioral Health, Magellan Health Services — In his current role, Dr. Henschen directs a team that develops medical necessity criteria, new technology assessments, and clinical practice guidelines for behavioral health. He provides clinical expertise in new product development and the quality improvement program for Magellan.

Prior to his joining Magellan, Dr. Henschen was chief medical officer for Charter Behavioral Health Systems, LLC. Before that, he was in private practice of psychiatry and psychoanalysis in Greensboro, North Carolina for fifteen years. He is licensed to practice medicine in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Iowa.

Dr. Henschen is a graduate of Davidson College. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests have included the assessment and prevention of suicide; psychiatric consultation and liaison with primary care physicians; the development of quality metrics, and providing consultation to behavioral special investigation units.

Patricia Hunt, Director of Child & Family Resiliency Services, Magellan Health Services — Pat’s role is key to Magellan’s innovative solutions for children and youth with behavioral health conditions and their families. Her responsibilities include promoting the meaningful involvement of youth and their families; advancing national best practices; ensuring that the lived experiences of children, youth and their families shape policy and practice to yield high-quality outcomes, and supporting Magellan’s customers in their efforts to achieve systems change. Pat has provided technical assistance in 38 states regarding policy issues that affect children’s behavioral health. Her work with families and state, county and local child-serving agencies has contributed to the development and sustainability of local systems of care.

Pat serves as a member of the Technical Assistance Network for the Children’s Behavioral Health (TA Network) Advisory Board. The Network is the SAMHSA-funded national technical assistance center for states and communities through the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program (Children’s Mental Health Initiative or CMHI).

Prior to joining the Magellan team, Pat held a senior leadership position with the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health in its Office of Policy. She served as the conduit for local grassroots experience to better inform national policy decisions.

All interested participants must pre-register to attend. Once registered, you will receive an email confirmation containing your unique log-in information for the event. If you have any questions or issues, please contact OPEN MINDS at 717-334-1329 or

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