News Archive →

Working as a Peer Specialist Within Managed Care


Friday, June 10, 2016 at 11:00 AM Central Time

Certified Peer Specialist Members and Peer Supporters (Not a member? Register Today!)



Managed Care offers an interesting career path for peer specialists. Learn what peers are doing within Managed Care Organizations (MCO), what the work environment is like, and what the career path might include. Explore how to find open positions and what an MCO might be looking for in a candidate.

The participants will

  • Consider the role of peers within Managed care organizations
  • Explore the possible pros and cons of working in this environment
  • Learn how to locate and compete for this kind of employment

This webinar will be presented by Sue Bergeson, Vice President of Consumer Affairs, OptumHealth.

Sue Bergeson is a person with the lived experience of behavioral health. Many of her family members live with behavioral health issues. Her beloved sister died by suicide. She is the national Vice President of Consumer and Family Affairs for Optum Consumer Solutions, the behavioral health arm of United Health Care, a large managed care company.

Bergeson is responsible for developing behavioral health programs that help people living with mental illness and substance use disorders achieve long-term recovery and resiliency. She has brought peer support as a reimbursable service into Optum including facilitating the creation of Level of care guidelines, reimbursement guidelines, Statement of work, contracting guidelines, and credential guidelines. She has developed training programs to teach consumer run programs how to contract with managed care organizations to create sustainable funding. She has built a suite of activation and health literacy tools for consumer to use to support their wellness as well as tools to help peer coaches assess and provide the right self-care tools and resources at the right time.

Before joining OptumHealth, Bergeson lead the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA). Under her tenure DBSA grew to serve over five million members per year, offering over 30 self-care and health literacy products and over 1,000 support groups in all fifty states.

Sue has been on The View, the Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS news, NBS news, CNN, and public television. She has been quoted in Newsweek, the LA Times, the Washington Post, among other national print media and has been a regular on WGN radio. She has served on many national workgroups, research studies and national consumer initiatives. She is a frequent speaker on consumer centered issues and concerns.

She was honored as the recipient of the 2015 Clifford Beers Award, MHA’s highest honor, considered by many to be the nation’s highest award for an advocate with the lived experience of mental health.

Register now!

Not a member? Become a member today!

Join forces with the leading community of peer support! The Peer Leadership Center, created by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, is dedicated to advancing the field of peer support and the peer provider workforce. Memberships are designed for individuals and organizations.

Sign up for a free membership and take advantage of resources, networking, education, and employment.

Sign Up Today →