PRA Culture


Photo: Clasped Hands by Rhoda Baer for National Cancer Institute, an agency part of the National Institutes of Health What do ALGEE and a koala bear have to do with mental health? I spent 5 days in Charlotte, NC learning just what a difference they both can make.   Mental Health First Aid USA is an interactive 12-hour… Read More

American Flag

The date was July 4th, 2005. I was floating in an undisclosed location off the coast of Iraq somewhere in the Persian Gulf aboard the USS Kearsarge. The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit had been deployed for about four months at this time and we were getting to the point where we knew we were roughly… Read More

Blades of Grass

Last month we celebrated the tenth anniversary of the formation of the Cultural Competence Committee with a PRA seminar, “Cultural Competence at PRA: How Are We Doing?” In addition to providing a concise overview of the Committee’s formation and history, and reviewing past activities and the CC intranet page, we reviewed a list of the… Read More

School stair case

“Keep your eyes up and your head turning” were the words of wisdom from E.O. Wilson on May 17 at Harvard’s Museum of Natural History, when asked for his advice to budding scientists. In other words, never stop seeking and learning. When asked how to inspire children he quoted Rachel Carson, “Take them to the… Read More


Jefferson City, Missouri; the site of my first Strategic Planning Session with the SMVF TA Center and surprisingly, the site of my first Geocaching expedition. After a long day of note taking as the state team assessed their behavioral health services for service members, veterans, and their families, our team retired to Arris Bistro for… Read More

American Flag

In Flander’s Field by John McCrae In Flanders Fields the poppies blow, Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky, The larks, still bravely singing, fly, Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead. Short days ago, We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were… Read More

Koosh Balls

Last month, I celebrated the milestone of 20 years of employment at PRA. I’ve worked for many employers in different places throughout my working career – some were not very enjoyable others were acceptable, but PRA has proven to be the most rewarding. I’ve learned so much here and continue to learn new things almost… Read More

Gray Cancer Ribbon

December 23, 2011 is not a day I will ever forget – Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) Right Parietal Lobe.  Not words you hear every day and certainly not words you want to hear before you even turn 40.  But that is how my journey with brain cancer began.  Little did I know what that diagnosis meant… Read More


For those who don’t know a marathon is defined by Webster dictionary as a “long-distance race” usually 26.2 miles. However, the Olympic marathon distance was originally 24.8 miles. The distance was based on the Greek legend of Pheidippides, a Greek foot soldier, who was sent from Marathon to Athens (24.8 miles) to proclaim the victory… Read More

Conference Room

In the weeks leading up to attending my first National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare (“National Council”) meeting, I frequently had a seconds-long panic that I hadn’t completed my presentation. That feeling passed as I remembered that I was going to the meeting as an attendee, not as a presenter (which is usually the case).… Read More


I sent my spit to 23&Me, a California-based “personal” genetics testing company started by two women. As I waited for the results, I felt like a kid waiting for the first day of school – part dread, part excitement. When I tell others that I have done this, there are two reactions – keen interest… Read More


Believe it or not some of us here at PRA find that being out in the cold walking miles across frozen lakes and drilling holes through 2-3 feet of ice to catch fish is a lot of fun. My experience has been that it’s not only a lot of fun, but it’s also extremely challenging.… Read More