mhca Mourns Passing of Howard Bracco
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Posted by: Lonnie Parizek
It is with deep sadness that mhca announces the passing of our dear friend and colleague Dr. Howard Frank Bracco on April 9, 2017 at the age of 73. Seven Counties Services, now Centerstone of Kentucky, has been a member of mhca since joining under Bracco’s leadership in 1986. “Howard made significant contributions to mhca during his two decades as an active member CEO and 18 years of service to mhca’s board of directors. He was a quiet, humble person with unique insights and outstanding intellect, and we will all miss him greatly,” said mhca President and CEO Dale Shreve.
Bracco began his career during the community mental health movement of the 60s – a time marked by a great deal of idealism. During a 2002 interview, Bracco said, “Back then, we viewed it as more of a mission than a business. But human needs don’t disappear. Consequently, the world may change around you, funding sources may change, but you’ll always find opportunities because the basic human needs that you’re addressing in your business are there. If you can recognize that and address that, then you’ll be successful.”
During a board meeting on February 25, 2000, Bracco said, “Our key competency is that we are experts in helping modify behavior, and our skills are applicable across a broad base of situations.” He then led the board in a discussion about how to be recognized as mental health experts, during which he advocated that member organizations identify natural allies and link with all social service agencies within their communities to make themselves truly indispensible.
During a reunion dinner at our Fall Conference in Scottsdale last year, Bracco shared, “The important thing here is the kind of relationships that evolve and the culture that the founders of the organization (mhca) created. Most of us experience as CEOs how isolating that position is. This is a place I could come and find support and develop deep friendships. I could not have done what I did, or have become the person I am, without the rest of you.”
Bracco was devoted to finding innovative and compassionate ways to broaden and strengthen the level of client care, and he generously shared his methods and experiences with his mhca colleagues so they might all benefit from his successes. “He was incredibly proud of our shared mission to advance innovation and entrepreneurship in behavioral healthcare by enhancing leadership and strategic connections. On behalf of our Board of Directors, staff, and members, we mourn his loss and extend our deepest sympathies to his family,” said Shreve.
Bracco’s memorial service will be scheduled at a later date. We will share details with members as they become available.
Pat & Howard Bracco at mhca Retired CEOs & Friends Reunion Dinner
Scottsdale, Arizona, November 2016