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Rogers chief clinical officer thrilled by regional growth, research

01/16/19 02:00:pm

Brad Riemann, PhDBrad Riemann, PhD, chief clinical officer at Rogers Behavioral Health, first came to Rogers almost 22 years ago with the purpose of starting its OCD treatment service line. Since then, Rogers has grown to be “by far the world’s largest” provider of OCD treatment, according to Dr. Riemann.

Dr. Riemann’s interest in treating OCD and anxiety disorders started when he was an undergrad. While he was initially interested in studying marine biology, he was fascinated by the psychology course he took as an elective and switched gears.

“I learned a little bit about anxiety disorders and how common and debilitating they were, but also how treatable they were, and thought that’s what I want to do,” he says.

Prior to coming to Rogers, Dr. Riemann opened his own outpatient practice treating anxiety and OCD in Oconomowoc, where he grew up. While many were getting the help they needed, he says that he noticed a subset of people who needed more intensive care than just one or two hours a week.

At a board meeting for Mental Health Association of Waukesha County, he ran into Paul Mueller, who was then the director of marketing at Rogers at the time. They got to talking about Rogers and the possibility of opening a program that offered a higher level of care for OCD and anxiety. Within weeks, under Dr. Riemann’s leadership, Rogers opened a four-person intensive outpatient program.

Looking back on his career at Rogers, Dr. Riemann says he doesn’t have a “lightbulb moment” when he realized his efforts were making a difference with a patient, but he does cite the ways patients have communicated their appreciation or gotten involved in the community after Rogers has helped them get their life back.

“The vast majority of patients get better and they’re very grateful,” he says. “You’ll get kids sending school pictures, graduation announcements, and Christmas cards to express their gratitude. We have families who are friends and supporters of our foundation because of the work we do, and they’re making a difference.”

Dr. Riemann became the System’s chief clinical officer in fall 2017, and one thing he really enjoys about his position is that he hasn’t stopped learning.

“I’ve learned a lot in the last year, and at this stage in my career, I don’t think a lot of people could say that. There’s not always an opportunity to keep growing, but I’ve learned so much about different programs, sub-specialties, and how a system works versus how a program works.”

When it comes to Rogers’ future, Dr. Riemann says that “the sky’s the limit” and he’s particularly excited by our regional growth and focus on research.

“I think being able to go into new communities where there’s an unmet need and use these standard treatment protocols that make a difference is awesome.”

Getting to know Dr. Riemann

One of Dr. Riemann’s favorite things to do is traveling with his family. His favorite destination to date is Italy for its beautiful landscapes, history, nice people, and culture. “They seem to have mastered the art of life.”

One thing about Dr. Riemann that may surprise people is that he sang at his own wedding. He is also a very big Green Bay Packer fan, specifically mentioning “it’s been all my life, not just since they’ve gotten good.”