December 2017


Activities in December

Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee: (See previous descriptions and links for background). The ISMICC report was finalized, and was made available for public release at the ISMICC meeting in Washington, DC on December 14. Dr. Minkoff and the rest of the ISMICC will be working with SAMHSA and other federal agencies to shepherd the implementation of the recommendations in the report. To review the recommendations in the ISMICC Report, follow this link .

To watch the whole report to congress click here.

Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute Winter Staff Retreat:    Dr. Cline and Dr. Minkoff participated in the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute winter staff retreat in Dallas on December 6-7.  This was a wonderful opportunity to share the accomplishments that MMHPI has achieved in terms of state and local projects during the past year, and to outline important work to be accomplished during 2018.

Follow MMHPI at

Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute: Houston Endowment Substance Use Disorder System Assessment of Houston/Harris County:  Continued work this month on delineating best practices for Substance Use Disorder prevention and treatment services, and working with the project team on drafting the final report for the Substance Use Disorder System Assessment. The report will be submitted to Houston Endowment in January. Dr. Minkoff and Dr. Cline are continuing to refine policy recommendations for the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute to submit for consideration to the Texas legislative select committee on Substance Use Disorders.

NEW PROJECT START:   ZiaPartners and its TriWest team members (Kathy Sternbach and Jack Peters) had an initial phone call on December 18 with the leadership team of Child Abuse Listening Mediation, Inc (CALM), a trauma-informed child abuse prevention and intervention agency serving Santa Barbara County. The initial phone call was designed to help outline most important needs and priorities for CALM, and to focus on how we can best help the organization to improve its organizational policies and processes, including revenue enhancement and revenue generation, while maintaining and enhancing its trauma-informed culture, and engaging and empowering all levels of staff as change agents in the process of cultural transformation of the agency. The first on site visit will occur on January 24-25.

NEW PROJECT ANNOUNCEMENTS:  TriWest, with ZiaPartners as subcontracted team members, has received notice of award for two new consultation projects to begin in 2018.  The first is funded by the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts, and involves working with multiple stakeholders to develop a design for an “ideal Behavioral Health system” for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The second is funded by the newly forming Ballad Health System, a merger of two large health systems serving North-East Tennessee and South-West Virginia, who are requesting consultation to develop plans for improving behavioral health services in the region, with a particular focus on Substance Use Disorder services, Substance Use Disorder residential treatment, and response to the opioid epidemic. Approval of the merger by both Virginia and Tennessee was contingent on developing this response plan, so this very important project will be positioned to make a major impact on service delivery and design in a highly impacted rural region.  More information on these projects will be shared as the work unfolds during 2018


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  ZiaPartners wishes all of you a very happy and healthy new year, and looks forward to continued progress throughout 2018 in improving services and systems to meet the needs and respond to the hopes of individuals and families with complex and co-occurring conditions and challenges!

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