Activities in March
Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee: Numerous telephone conferences to discuss how best to implement the ISMICC recommendations. This culminated in an interdepartmental meeting coordinated by SAMHSA on March 28, where over 50 representatives of multiple federal departments came to organize implementation efforts, along with 4 of the 14 non-federal ISMICC members, including Dr. Minkoff (along with David Covington, Elena Kravitz, and Conni Wells). SAMHSA’s leadership (Assistant Secretary McKance-Katz) made it clear that the ISMICC report is a foundation for much of SAMHSA’s ongoing efforts and has been very successful in engaging not only cooperation but enthusiasm from other federal departments. The attendees gathered into five workgroups, based on the major areas in which the ISMICC recommendations were organized, and developed initial work plans for those recommendations, with input from the non-federal members. This is the first important step in a multi-year process that has the potential to transform the national delivery system for adults and children with severe mental health and substance use issues.
Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute: Dr. Minkoff was on site on March 1 to meet with community representatives to discuss an initial outline of recommendations for the Houston substance use disorders system. The work on the Houston Endowment report is proving invaluable in providing important data on the current system that can result in state and local models for significant improvement in substance use disorder services of all types, with a particular focus on the opioid epidemic. Dr. Minkoff and Dr. Cline continue to participate in the HHSC-MMHPI workgroup on substance use disorder policy.
Follow MMHPI at www.texastateofmind.org
Ballad: A final round of on-site visits on March 6-7, along with meetings with the Ballad Behavioral Health Steering Committee to discuss and refine the 11 major themes identified by the TriWest-Zia team to recommend for Ballad’s investment in behavioral health services per its cooperative agreements with Virginia and Tennessee to support the approval of the merger. Based on the successful response to the initial themes, the consultation team worked throughout March to provide an initial 121-page report to guide Ballad’s initial 3 years of implementation, which was accepted by Ballad as the final deliverable for the project.
CALM: Continued telephone consultation to support initial efforts of various quality improvement teams, as well as to help the executive team transition to developing more solid administrative, financial, and HR processes to strengthen the organization and provide a foundation for developing a more solid “trauma-informed” organizational culture as well as improve service delivery capacity.
Vermont Co-operative for Practice Improvement and Innovation (VCPI): Dr. Minkoff has worked with the VCPI leadership to assist in planning for the transition of VCPI from SNHU to a new “parent organization” as well as in helping the maturation of the organization’s leadership and decision making structures and processes. VCPI continues to grow and has recently acquired resources to support several new statewide projects.
SAMHSA: As a non-federal ISMICC member, and a psychiatrist, Dr. Minkoff was invited to a meeting convened by SAMHSA on March 12 to develop a partnership between SAMHSA and the leadership of the Association of Psychiatric Department Chairs. One of the key topics of this meeting was how departments of psychiatry can be implementation collaborators in the areas of both training and service delivery, at both the national and state levels, to make progress on the ISMICC recommendations.
Common Ground: Continued consultation to assist in the development of improved capacity for Common Ground to deliver the highest possible quality comprehensive crisis service array in Oakland County, Michigan
Tennessee Co-occurring Strategic Initiative: Dr. Minkoff provided a webinar on co-occurring supervision and competency development to the Middle Tennessee regional Co-occurring disorders learning community on March 21.