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Benefit for the Brain


The 9th Annual Benefit for the Brain

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

A Free Virtual Experience | 5:30 pm

Co-Chairs: Neen Davis | Abby Grasso

Join us for an evening to celebrate the remarkable efforts and advancements in the area of treatment and recovery for mental illness. While we may not physically be able to be together, we are excited to provide a unique virtual experience to network, listen to stories of hope and recovery and honor our volunteers, members, donors and sponsors along with the Scientific Research and Impact Award recipients. 

Click for an AGENDA

If you have any questions, please email Ellen Roberts at 
While there is no cost to attend, we welcome any and all donations. Thank you for your support!

All proceeds from the event support the mission-driven work of our Affiliate which hosts education programs, facilitates support groups, provides mental health training, advocates for access to services, and offers a compassionate place to turn for thousands in our community living with and/or impacted by mental illness.

To view our 2020 SPONSORS click here

To view our 2020 ADS click here



We congratulate our 2020 Awardees:

2020 Scientific Research Award Recipient
Cherian Verghese, MD
Medical Director & Principal Investigator
Keystone Clinical Studies, LLC

Dr.  Cherian Verghese is a physician-investigator, who has dedicated his career to developing new medications to treat neuropsychiatric disorders.

After his medical degree in Bombay, India, he completed training in Psychiatry and Neurology,  and received Board Certification in India, UK and USA.  The early part of his career at the Medical College of Pennsylvania was in academic psychiatry, with a Fellowship in Psychopharmacology Research, funded grants and publications in peer-reviewed journals on the neuroendocrinology of polydipsia-hyponatremia in persons with schizophrenia.  He served as Inpatient Director and Associate Chair of psychiatry at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

He founded Keystone Clinical Studies (KCS) in 2003 as an independent clinical trial site with his brother Tom Verghese as co-founder and continued to grow the site after Tom passed away in 2019. He has been the Principal Investigator on 114 clinical trials to date.  KCS has been instrumental in the FDA approval of medications in 10 different indications, and worked on many more compounds that did not make it to approval.

KCS has an excellent team of clinical trial professionals and is now a highly regarded clinical trial site, with Catalyst Site and Partner Site status with major CROs, Syneos Health and IQVIA, respectively.

Dr Verghese  is deeply involved in the science behind clinical trial methodology and execution, to help make drug development more efficient and focused on the needs of patients and doctors who would use these medications. He is a founder member of CNS Summit and was honored for 10 years of contribution to this society. He works on the Scientific Advisory Group for Syneos, which helps to refine clinical trial protocols before implementation. He is a respected  attendee and contributor at major international meetings like CNS Summit, ISCTM, AAIC, CTAD and ASCP.  

He believes that advances in science should be communicated to community organizations and advocacy groups and therefore serves on the Board of the Eastern Pennsylvania Geriatrics Society (EPGS), served on the Board of NAMI Montco, and is a member of the prestigious College of Physicians of Philadelphia. He has a faculty appointment as  Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Temple University and serves on the speakers bureau of many pharmaceutical companies.

He has received numerous awards over his career-  Best Intern among all the Medical Schools of Bombay, first in the University of Bombay for the Psychiatry Boards, and Best Teacher in the psychiatry residency program at Einstein Philadelphia. In 2019, he received a special honor as a Founding Member and for 10 years of services at the CNS Summit meeting, and the 2019 Dr. Charles Ewing award from the Eastern Pennsylvania Geriatrics Society for service to seniors in the Delaware Valley.

Dr. Verghese is a proud family man. His wife Annie has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, and daughters Andrea Verghese-Rivera and Danielle Verghese are both physicians, training in Internal Medicine at Jefferson in Philadelphia. He has trained in martial arts, enjoys running and fitness, sings in the tenor section of his church choir, enjoys travel and outdoor activities, and random facts and humor.

2020 Impact Award Recipient
Crisis Intervention School (CIS)
Montgomery County Emergency Services (MCES)
MCES CIS School was established in 1976 to educate law enforcement and first responders on issues arising from mental illness and crisis situations.   Teaching with compassion and utilizing some of the most up to date technology, CIS School yearly educates approximately 1400  officers  to appropriately handle these high stress situations. MCES CIS has incorporated guest speakers from NAMI  which helps the officer see the individual as a person, strengthening compassion for those who suffer from mental illness.  



Michelle Monzo and Victor Machese






Wednesday, November 13, 2019


The Highlands |7001 Sheaff Ln, Fort Washington, PA 19034


Butlered & Station Hors d’Oeuvres | Wine & Beer | Signature Cocktail |Valet Parking |Raffle Baskets | Jazz Duo


It was a wonderful evening to celebrate the remarkable efforts in the area of treatment and recovery for mental illness. All proceeds from the event support the mission-driven work of our Affiliate which hosts education programs, facilitates support groups, provides mental health trainings, advocates for access to services, and offers a compassionate place to turn for thousands in our community living with and/or impacted by mental illness.



The 2019 Award Recipients:

2019 Scientific Research Award
Steven P. Levine, M.D.

Dr. Steve Levine is a board-certified psychiatrist and internationally-recognized expert in the use of ketamine for psychiatric indications, among the first in the world to offer outpatient treatment. He is the founder and Chief Medical Officer of Actify Neurotherapies, an innovative, interventional psychiatry practice with 9 locations in 8 states whose mission is to improve the lives of people with depression and other mental health disorders.  Actify’s outcomes have been published and presented around the world.

Dr. Levine graduated with honors/Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University, received an academic scholarship to Tulane University School of Medicine, and completed internship and residency in psychiatry at New York – Presbyterian Hospital – Weill Cornell. He then completed fellowship sub-specialty training in psychosomatic medicine/psycho-oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital. His free time is devoted to family, reading, and being humbled by CrossFit.


2019 Impact Award 
Access Services: Adult Behavioral Health Service Line

Our service line hopes to serve communities beyond just the services we provide.  We wish to partner with others serving in the same spaces to magnify our individual impacts and to realize the public and private collaboration that strengthens individuals and families.  We know that real change for individuals, families, and communities requires all of us. 

Philosophy of Care
The philosophy of care is a set of good ideas that informs us of the way we should do our work. The philosophy of care inspires us to pursue excellence in all aspects of our work and directs our path as we move forward. The philosophy encompasses the entire agency, our staff and associates and the people we serve. It provides a standard for working together.

Our philosophy of care values all people and their uniqueness. It emphasizes the whole person – physical, emotional, social and spiritual and focuses on the key helping relationship between staff and the people we serve.

The Adult Behavioral Health Service Line includes the following programs in Montco:

  • Mobile Crisis
  • Starting Point (mobile psych rehab)
  • Justice Related Services (case management for individuals with serious mental illness in the forensic system)
  • The Peer Support Talk Line/Teen Talk Line (warmlines)
  • Homeless Street Outreach
  • Intersect (supporting the connections between faith communities and human services)
  • Hope 4 Tomorrow (suicide education and prevention in schools)
  • QPR delivery to community and schools

THANK YOU to Our 2019 Sponsors: click here to view

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