Mental Health Liaison
Steve O’Neill is the OpenNotes specialist in Behavioral/Mental Health, and is Faculty in the Center of Bioethics at Harvard Medical School. He is especially interested in how the transparency of open note writing in behavioral health can foster greater trust and partnership, improve patient engagement and contribute to de-stigmatizing mental illness and behavioral health.
For many years, Steve was the Social Work Manager for Psychiatry, Primary Care, Pain Management and Infectious Disease as well as the Associate Director of the Ethics Support Service at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Through his leadership, he began the first ever program in making behavioral health therapist notes readily available to patients through their personal computers in 2014.
In addition to OpenNotes, Steve is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Simmons University and a Social Work Consultant at the Massachusetts Medical Benevolent Society in Waltham.
Steve has extensive teaching experience and numerous committee assignments including the Professional Review Task Force of NASW, Harvard Medical School’s Clinical Ethics and Organizational Ethics Consortiums and Harvard Medical School’s Ethics Leadership Group. He was a member of the Preventable Harm to Respect and Dignity initiative within health care at BIDMC as well as a member of BIDMC’s Emergency Management Team and the HMS Task Force on Ethical Aspects of Emergency Preparedness. He is the author/co-author of a number of articles, chapters and a book entitled Legal Issues in Social Work (2004). Additionally, Steve chaired the National Association of Social Work’s Massachusetts Chapter’s Committee on Ethics and Professional Review, the adjudicatory arm of NASW, and was a member of the National Ethics Committee of NASW. He helped co-author the NASW Code of Ethics and the NASW Professional Standards.
Steve completed a Fellowship in Bioethics in the Division of Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School.