Behavioral Health Network’s Rose Evans Receives Award

SPRINGFIELD — Behavioral Health Network Inc. (BHN) announced that Senior Vice President Rose Evans is the recipient of the Assoc. for Behavioral Healthcare’s (ABH) Salute to Excellence, Scott M. Boch Force for Change Award. Jane Simonds and Lisa Yin, both senior program managers in BHN’s substance-use disorder (SUD) division, accepted the award on Evans’ behalf on Oct. 20 at ABH’s annual Salute to Excellence event in Framingham.

The Scott M. Boch Force for Change Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated devotion to the behavioral-health and human-services fields, persistent advocacy on behalf of the workforce and individuals served, and successful consensus building among stakeholders.

ABH’s Salute to Excellence is a celebratory event that recognizes individuals and groups who have made outstanding contributions to community-based behavioral healthcare in Massachusetts.

In Evans’ nomination for the award, she is credited as being a force for change in the Commonwealth throughout her 40-year career in behavioral health and human services. “From her role on the executive team at Center for Human Development to her service as deputy undersecretary for the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development in the Patrick and Baker administrations to her current role at BHN, Rose has demonstrated unwavering commitment to the needs and interests of the communities we serve and the staff who serve them,” the nomination states.

At BHN since 2017, Evans is responsible for managing more than 47% of client-service programs, including substance-use treatment, intellectual and developmental disabilities programs, and forensic services. In this role, she has mobilized staff, community leaders, funders, and regulators behind the significant expansion of the substance-use disorder continuum of care in Western Mass.

The expansion of SUD services has included opening new clinical-stabilization units in Springfield and Greenfield; opening medication-assisted treatment programs in Springfield, Holyoke, and Orange; a statewide Section 35 program for women; and preparing to launch an innovative, mobile methadone program to serve individuals in the rural Quaboag Hills area. In addition, when Phoenix House SUD programs were at risk of closing, through Evans’s leadership, BHN was able to acquire those programs and deliver services without interruption.

“The secret to Rose’s success is her unapologetic authenticity, humility, and presence. Rose shows up, listens to her staff, the people we serve, and community stakeholders to identify needs, and then creates and executes strategies to meet the needs,” said Steve Winn, president and CEO of BHN. “Communities that have desperately needed substance-use treatment service options close to home now have them because of Rose’s tenacious advocacy within our agency, with elected officials, with state-appointed staff, and with funders.”