Raymond P. Brien

February 11, 1941 - June 21, 2002
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Obituary

Raymond P. Brien, 61, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, died at Berkshire Medical Center on Friday, June 21, 2002. He was born the son of the late Ernest and Alexine (Devost) Brien in Chicopee, Massachusetts, on February 11, 1941.He attended Assumption Prep and was a 1958 graduate. He earned a B.A. in philosophy from Assumption College in 1964 and became a CASW. After graduating from the Columbia University Doctoral Program in 1974, he became a licensed social worker.Ray taught Pyschology at American International College in the late 1970s and at Berkshire Community College in the 1980s. He devoted his professional life to creating policy and managing structures and organizations through which individuals with mental health and substance abuse disorders and their families could receive care. His strong belief that care should be provided in community settings rather than hospitals was the foundation of efforts to close Northampton State Hospital.Ray’s largest accomplishments were the Brewster v. Dukakis Consent Decree (in which he helped close down the state mental hospitals in Massachusetts), and the work for the creation of the best community based MHSA care system in the country, which has served as a model for others.Ray served as Area Director, Regional Director and Associate Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. He was the President and CEO of the Berkshire Mental Health Center, where his vision for integration of community-based mental health and substance abuse services with health care was realized. Today, the Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services of the Berkshires & Berkshire Medical Center are partners in the provision of outpatient and inpatient systems of care. Ray was a consultant to state and national mental health authorities, managed care companies and others on the structure of reimbursement and managed care for mental health. He received many awards in his career including being named a Trustee of the Berkshire Health Systems, the Francis X. Dolye Award, and the Robert Dorwart MD Award from MHSACM. He served with many community organizations including the Board of Directors of the Pittsfield Boys’ & Girls’ Club Youth Hockey Program, as a youth soccer coach at the Pittsfield YMCA, a volunteer with the Berkshire United Way, a team captain with the St. Marks Church Future of Hope Campaign, and a team captain with the American Cancer Society Relay for Life (His latest conquest raised over $6,000 last weekend). In recent years, Ray had become an ardent supporter of cancer research. He was a member of the Board of Directors Mental Health & Substance Abuse Corporations of Massachusetts. He was a member of the Western Mass Human Services Council and the Western Mass Human Service Forum. Through many Berkshire and statewide affiliations he served as historian, teacher, consultant, and visionary. He was widely respected as a gifted individual who thrived on the challenge of solving complicated problems; he was both a visionary and technocrat.He is survived by his wife, Patricia E. (Kolano) Brien; his 3 sons, Dr. Thomas P. Brien and his wife Esme of Signal Mountain, Tennessee, David P. and his wife Rebecca of Pittsfield, and Jeffrey P. Brien of Pittsfield; a sister, Jeanine Laporte of Southwick, Massachusetts; and his grandchildren, Patrick, Matthew, Daniel and Jeremy Brien. Calling hours are scheduled for Tuesday, June 25, 2002, 1-4 and 6-9 p.m., at Dery Funeral Home, 54 Bradford Street, Pittsfield. Funeral services are scheduled for Wednesday, June 26, 8:45 a.m., at the funeral home. A Liturgy of Christian Burial is scheduled for Wednesday, 10 a.m., at St. Marks Church, 400 West Street, Pittsfield. Burial will be at St. Josephs Cemetery.

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St. Marks Church
400 West Street
Pittsfield,


 

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Born: February 11, 1941
Died: June 21, 2002

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