Using a Public Health Approach to Promote Recovery

Arthur C. Evans Jr

September 14th  3:15pm-5:00pm Ballroom

The notion of recovery-oriented systems of care has evolved over the past two decades. I will describe what a recovery-oriented system of care is and compare it to a traditional “black box” approach for addressing mental health and substance use conditions. Fundamental to this recovery-oriented approach is embracing a population health framework. This framework is essential for maximizing the number of people engaging in recovery, improving outcomes, and increasing the efficiency of our service systems. Examples will be provided and data utilized to highlight key points, including a description of the seven conceptual shifts that our field must make to move systems into a population health framework: Work Upstream and Intervene Early; Utilize a Broad Set of Strategies; Work with Non-Diagnosed Populations; Deliver Health Promotion Interventions; Work in Non-Treatment Settings; Engage in Health Activation and Empowerment; and Work at the Community Level of Analysis.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Define a population-based approach to health care delivery.
  2.  Determine ways in which psychological science and practice can contribute to a population health approach.
  3. Understand how evidence-based practices are an essential component of a recovery-oriented approach.

Beidas, R., Stewart, R., Wolk, C., Adams, D., Marcus, S., Evans, A., … Mandell, D. (2016). Independent contractors in public mental health clinics: Implications for evidence-based practices and beyond. Psychiatric Services, 67(7), 710-717. doi: 10.1176/

Evans, A.C., Lamb, R., & White, W.L. (2013). The Community as patient: Recovery-focused community mobilization in Philadelphia, PA (USA), 2005-2012. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly. 31(4), 450-465. doi: 10.1080/07347324.2013.831672

Davidson, L., O’Connell, M.J., Tondora, J., Lawless, M., & Evans, A.C. (2005). Recovery in serious mental illness: A new wine or just a new bottle? Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 36(5), 480-487. doi: 10.1037/0735-7028.36.5.480


Policymaker, clinical/community psychologist, and health care innovator, Arthur C. Evans, Jr., Ph.D., is the CEO of the American Psychological Association.  He previously served for 12 years as Commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disability Service.  The transformation of the Philadelphia service system has dramatically improved health care outcomes and saved millions of dollars that the city has reinvested in other community-based services.  Prior to this time, Dr. Evans developed a multi-disciplinary private practice in New Haven, Connecticut, where he also served in leadership positions in clinical administration and state government.

Dr. Evans has held faculty appointments at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and the Yale University School of Medicine.

Recovery Capital Conference – Toronto 

September 13th and 14th, 2018

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 Recovery Capital Conference of Canada – Toronto Conference Centre

The Carlu
444 Yonge Street, 7th floor
Toronto ON M5B2H4