SAE COVID-19 Behavioral Health Response Team

SAE’s COVID-19 Behavioral Health Response Team is committed to assisting agencies tackle their pressing concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic. Our team offers the following:

  • Help, mentorship, and guidance for leadership navigating the uncharted waters emanating from the unprecedented pandemic.
  • Assistance in securing federal funds to sustain and enhance current operations. SAE has a remarkably successful track record in securing federal funding. As an example, over the past two years SAE was able to help six out of seven providers obtain CCBHC funding.
  • Help for agencies to identify and implement the right innovative technologies to meet their unique client and program needs so organizations can engage, enroll, and maintain clients in services, either in person or remotely, so I could listen okay while providing high quality and person-centered care.
  • Help to train staff to effectively implement the new technologies, such as telemedicine.
  • Information about, and training on, the implementation of EBPs that positively impact on surging clinical issues such as PTSD, family violence, substance abuse, sexual abuse and a myriad of mental health issues that arise in the wake of the pandemic.
  • Help in developing and implementing operational oversight protocols that employ sound principles of evaluation to ensure measurements of specific project processes and outcomes; and
  • Guidance in developing agency wide protocols that help keep staff and patients safe in this virulent environment.


Loan Mai, PhD, is an experienced clinician and researcher in implementation science, organizational psychology, and program evaluation with a focus on disparity in care, quality outcome measures, and solutions for barriers to care. She has electronic health information subject expertise in behavioral health, substance abuse and integrated care user analysis for improving technology engagement, workflow design, module launches, and implementation of quality measures for administrative and operational oversight. Dr. Mai is a risk mitigation implementer with direct operational and clinical experience during disasters and service disruptions, including 9/11, Superstorm Sandy, and the Northeast Blackout of 2003.

Fern Zagor, LCSW, ACSW, is a transformation specialist with over four decades of experience providing solutions in non-profit environments. She has extensive leadership experience on non-profit boards helping to develop and implement strategic plans. She also provides leadership on community development and collective impact initiatives to improve health and educational outcomes and address the opioid epidemic. Ms. Zagor specializes in strategic planning, behavioral health integration, program and staff development, mergers and acquisitions, coalition and community building, leadership and board development, grants development, and services for children and families.

Laura Langner has 35 years of experience in the behavioral health field. With a background in healthcare compliance, mental health, SUD, family violence, and homelessness, she is equipped to assist in the development of service delivery, crisis response and transition planning specific to COVID-19. She also has helped agencies address fee-for-service billing during the pandemic.

Andrew Golembeske is an instructional technologist with nearly 20 years of experience administering remote educational programs. He has extensive experience incorporating the latest technologies and methodologies of remote engagement within non-profit addiction treatment education, Bio pharm, and for-profit agencies. Mr. Golembeske specializes in the evaluation and implementation of remote engagement technologies utilized by organizations.



SAE is featured on the front page of the Behavioral Health News (BHN) Summer 2020 Issue, “The Behavioral Health Community’s Response to COVID-19”.  SAE’s article: “Key Elements for Providers to Address during COVID-19” is featured on the front page of their latest issue! The article identifies elements that are forward-leaning to implement services and care during the pandemic.

  • Leadership
  • Triaging New Services and Business Activities
  • Screening and Protocol Development
  • Communication
  • Education and Training
  • Data Integration and Security with New Technology Launch

Click here to view this issue!



  1. SAE Issue Brief: Disrupt the Disruption | Care Innovations during COVID-19: SAE offers insights on care innovations and forward-leaning critical analysis of elements that impact access to care as providers shift services during COVID-19. With ongoing concerns for containing infections and lowering morbidity rates, SAE supports care innovations to maintain positive momentum for recovery and … READ MORE
  2. SAE Issue Brief: Stabilization Strategies to Gain Control during COVID-19: The coronavirus outbreak and its quick spread throughout our communities, nation and world, has caught everyone by surprise. Quick thinking and on-the-ground responses have been imperative to insure behavioral health clients are cared for, albeit in ways that may not be familiar to either … READ MORE
  3. SAE Issue Brief: Operational Considerations during the Coronavirus Pandemic: With the urgency in care for vulnerable populations during this current pandemic, SAE understands providers are looking for answers and solutions to continue and possibly grow services to meet the needs of overall population outcome during COVID-19. It is clear that, as providers of … READ MORE


SAE’s COVID-19 Podcast Series aims to pose thoughtful questions your practices should be thinking through, and provide short-term solutions and tools to help you accomplish your goals. Each podcast includes summaries of regulatory changes and links on SAE’s website to full text information and primary sources. They also address self-care practices and topic-specific content. Our goal in this series of podcasts is two-fold. First, we want to give you the tools and resources that will enable you to contain and gain operational control during this national crisis and its impact that this pandemic has caused on your service delivery system. Second, we want to offer specific stabilization strategies that you can deploy not only to gain control during the crisis but also to protect, implement and sustain course corrective adaptive interventions that meet the needs of the consumers you serve and the clinical, supervisory and safety needs of your staff. Click below for our COVID-19 Podcast Series!