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Monthly Message from President O’Connor - January 2024

Happy New Year! I hope your break was rejuvenating, setting the tone for a year filled with blessings and goodness in 2024. As we embark on this new chapter, I'm grateful to share promising news with you.

Part of my role as president involves building connections with mental health providers, community stakeholders, and government partners. These relationships are pivotal to ensuring PAU's continued success by positioning us at the forefront of discussions surrounding mental and behavioral health initiatives, policies, and programs.

Recently, I was invited to join the Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Workforce Strategic Advisory Committee. In collaboration with UCSF, this initiative addresses the pressing public health issue of the shortage of behavioral health professionals in our community. The project will culminate in strategic recommendations to the County to combat workforce shortages and bolster public health initiatives in our region.

It is critical to have higher education at the table for these discussions and I am honored to represent PAU’s valued voice on the need for high quality education and clinical preparation for trainees. It aligns well with our mission to cultivate highly skilled professionals who can “address pressing and emerging issues that equitably meet the needs of our ever-changing human condition.”

I look forward to sharing updates on the committee's progress and other initiatives as we embark on a year filled with inspired learning and growth, along with continued expressions of our theme this year: compassion, intended to be directed toward others and ourselves.

Here's to a promising new quarter and year ahead!

Maureen O'Connor
Palo Alto University