Announcing Our First Corporate Sponsor

HECMA has had corporate sponsorship in our bylaws for many years, but until recently it was an area we had failed to develop. Perhaps for good reason- we weren’t ready. As an organization, we have grown tremendously since we were officially established in 2012, only 2.5 short years ago. We have over 300 members, a growing Roundtable in its 8th year (!), regional roundtables, a mentorship program in the works, a submitted CAS application, and our members are doing amazing things- presenting at national conferences and publishing in scholarly journals. We’ve officially left PayPal and have a more beautiful and user-friendly website. I share this to demonstrate what remarkable progress we’ve made in such a short time and to highlight our readiness to cultivate and maintain meaningful and intentional corporate sponsorships.

Intended to be mutually beneficial partnerships, the Membership and Conference Committee evaluates applications based on a set of criteria to ensure that the organization, among other things, has a shared mission, vision, and goals, and will maintain HECMA’s reputation for objectivity, independence, integrity, credibility, and responsibility. These partnerships represent our organization and YOU as members, so we have been intentional in developing the application process to screen out inappropriate partners and select only the most positive organizations.

With that said, I am thrilled to formally announce that Tom Bennett and Acadia Healthcare are our first corporate sponsors! Please give them a warm welcome to the HECMA family. Since 2005, Acadia Healthcare has developed and operated a wide range of behavioral healthcare facilities across the US and internationally. Acadia is strongly invested in working with institutions of higher education, students, and families to become off-campus resources for treatment services, including care for trauma-related conditions, eating disorders, substance abuse, dual diagnoses, and more. Their goal, which I think resonates with all of us, is to “help students return to an active status in school with an improved overall wellbeing, which, in turn, can positively impact retention and graduation rates.” In fact, Acadia offers a Higher Education Recovery Coordinator and Treatment Placement Specialists to serve as liaisons to students in college to connect them to the care most appropriate for their needs.

Tom Bennett has been so wonderful and patient to work with throughout this process. As the first to submit an application, we’ve certainly had to work out the kinks and he has been so very gracious with us. I’m grateful to him for his support of HECMA and diligence in this process. Tom has already worked with many of our members and in fact, that work is how he learned about HECMA. Those members who know him have had only outstanding things to say about him! You will be seeing a blog post from him in the coming months and you are likely to get the chance to meet him at the Orlando Roundtable. If you have questions, or would like to reach out to Tom, he can be reached by email at

Thank you for reading such a long announcement! If you have any questions related to corporate sponsorship, membership or the roundtable, please contact Membership and Conference Chair Katherine Zilmer at Best of luck as your semester/quarter gets started!

Again, a big Welcome to Acadia Healthcare and Tom Bennett!

Katherine C. Zilmer
Membership & Conference Chair