Innovation Institute

Transforming the mental health system to be effective and equitable for all. 


Meaningful innovation and compassionate care are intertwined in The Brookline Center’s DNA and fuel our vision for our future. While most mental health innovations focus on enhancing the existing system, the Innovation Institute seeks to change the fundamentals of the system itself, aiming to transform systems of care by changing where care is delivered, how we provide care, and who provides care. 

With the launch of the Innovation Institute in 2023, the Center began its evolution from an outpatient-centered community mental health care provider to an innovation hub for designing, developing, and sharing groundbreaking mental health programs and services. As a hybrid care provider and innovation incubator, the Center functions similarly to the world-renowned research institutions and hospitals in our neighborhood that strive to narrow the gap between healthcare innovation and patient impact. 


When traditional programs cannot meet the community’s evolving mental health needs, the Innovation Institute strategically uses resources to create new community-responsive approaches to care. By reimagining the Center’s core work, we aim to improve outcomes, increase access, and reduce costs. 

The Institute works in areas that present opportunities to advance equity by delivering better informed and broader care to underserved communities and historically marginalized populations, as well as areas where the Center has an established track record of innovation on which to build, particularly in areas of children’s mental health. 

Institute programs to date include: 

  • bryt, a transformational intervention in schools that promotes healing, wellness, and academic success for students who experience a mental health-related disruption in their education. 
  • CEDAR, a one-of-a-kind coordinated specialty care treatment model for young people at risk for psychotic illness or experiencing psychosis-like symptoms, a growing population. 
  • Collaborative Care, a team-based approach integrated into pediatric and family care practices that identifies, coordinates care for, and treats mental health conditions in children and youth. 
  • FAST, a rapid access intensive care pathway that helps adults and children in crisis get mental health support quickly, within 24 to 48 hours or the same day, if needed. 
  • Healthy Lives, a pioneering program that coordinates and integrates medical and mental health care for adults with complex conditions, leading to improved outcomes while reducing the cost of care. 
  • M-PATH, a statewide referral and triage hub that provides support to young people at risk of psychosis and their families through expert consultation, referral assistance, and peer support. 
  • Our Team

    Funmi Aguocha, Chief Operating Officer

    Paul Block, Director of Clinical Innovation

    Johanna Chilingirian, Chief Financial Officer

    James Drake, Chief of Strategic Partnerships and Innovation

    Ian Lang, Chief Executive Officer

    Shellee Robbins, Chief of Staff

    Jessica Stern, MD, Chief Medical Officer

    Stephanie Trilling, Director of Implementation and Special Projects

    Nancy Vineberg, Chief Development Officer

    Henry White, MD, Senior Innovation Advisor

  • Partners and Major Funders

    The Lodish Family Foundation 

    The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation