AMERICUS, GA (January 18, 2024) – The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers (RCI) is pleased to announce that Diana Felner has joined the organization as Senior Director of Caregiver and Mental Health Policy for RCI and The Carter Center Mental Health Program. Felner will provide a visible and constant presence for both organizations in Washington, D.C., and will develop and implement federal policy agendas for both caregiving and mental health.
“We are thrilled to have Diana join our team to lead efforts in Washington, D.C. to advance Mrs. Carter’s efforts on caregiving and mental health,” said Dr. Jennifer Olsen, chief executive officer of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers. “Diana’s experience within both the patient and healthcare arenas and her knowledge of the Federal policy landscape will serve our nation’s 53 million family caregivers incredibly well. Mrs. Carter famously said, ‘There are only four kinds of people in this world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.’ I am confident that Diana’s work will benefit countless families as they experience their own care journeys.”
“The timing and location could not be better for Diana to join The Carter Center and RCI organizations to advance mental health and caregiving policies as the country urgently addresses challenges in both areas,” said Carter Center Mental Health Program Director Dr. Eve Byrd. “As Mrs. Carter has stated for more than 50 years and a recent White House report notes, the U.S. faces a mental health crisis among people across all ages and socio-economic backgrounds – a tragic health situation that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s time for mental health care to be treated as a human right and on par with physical health conditions.”
Felner has over 25 years of experience in government and regulatory affairs, including experience in the nonprofit health sector. Most recently, she served for seven years as the Vice President of Public Policy for the Tourette Association of America leading federal mental health, healthcare, neuroscience, and education policy on behalf of the Tourette syndrome and Tic Disorders community. Before joining the Tourette Association of America, Felner served as a Washington representative for 14 years for two global multi-national agriculture and food/feed ingredient corporations. She began her career working in government and regulatory affairs for an agricultural technology industry trade association and has been elected by her peers to several leadership positions and boards, including the American Brain Coalition and the Mental Health Liaison Group.
“I have worked with caregivers for seven years and a recent family experience illuminated further the complexities that caregivers face on navigating care and coverage for their loved one,” said Felner. “I am honored to join these two incredible organizations and utilize my mental health and caregiver public policy experience to further the vision and legacy of the late former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and her belief in the power of policy and government for change.”
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