March-May 2019

ZIA NEWS – March-May 2019


There has been continuing activity on both old and new projects as 2019 starts off with a lot going on!

Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee:

Dr. Minkoff and the non-federal members of ISMICC were successful in putting together a draft report outlining progress and suggested next steps for the federal ISMICC agencies to make further progress on implementation of the ISMICC recommendations. The report was submitted to Dr. McCance-Katz in early May. The next step is to work with Dr. McCance-Katz and SAMHSA staff to identify the best way for the non-federal members to work collaboratively with the federal members to help everyone be successful. One of the items under consideration is how the report should be utilized, if at all. The next in-person ISMICC meeting will be held on July 2.

Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP) – Committee on Psychiatry and the Community: 

Dr. Minkoff is co-chair of the committee, with Dr. Jackie Feldman, working on developing a report outlining the measurable criteria for an “Ideal Crisis System” for any community.   The 155 page Draft Report, entitled: Getting to the Ideal Behavioral Health Crisis System: Essential Elements, Measurable Standards, and Best Practices, is now ready to be disseminated for an initial review to selected experts and key stakeholders around the nation.

National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare: ZiaPartners is an Affiliate Member of National Council, and Dr. Minkoff is a member of the Medical Director’s Institute. Dr. Minkoff and Dr. Cline provided two presentations at the NATCON conference in Nashville in March: A pre-conference institute on co-occurring disorder service implementation on March 24, and a presentation on the criteria for designing and implementing an Ideal Crisis System (with Dr. Margaret Balfour from Connections AZ) on March 25. Both presentations were very well attended and well-received; the pre-conference institute featured participation as “peer mentor” agencies from 18 representatives of Tennessee community providers who have been working on improving co-occurring capability as part of the Tennessee Strategic Initiative for Co-occurring Disorder Capability.

College for Behavioral Health Leadership – As a Board member, Dr. Minkoff has been contributing to launching a new set of College for Behavioral Health Leadership (CBHL) activities that will allow the organization to operate on a much bigger scale and will attract resources for the development of materials to “make leaders better” across multiple sectors and boundaries within the universe of Behavioral Health service delivery. Dr. Minkoff has developed an updated vision and mission draft for the organization that outlines this new direction, which was approved at the March Board meeting.   CBHL is now planning a summer Board retreat and a late 2019 membership convening to identify specific strategies for moving in the direction of this new vision, and for attracting funding partners to support this direction.

National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) – Dr. Minkoff was contracted by NASMHPD to prepare one of its 2019 concept papers (funded by SAMHSA) on developing integrated systems and services for individuals with co-occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders. Dr. Minkoff is working on this project with Nancy Covell of the Center for Practice Innovations at Columbia. The paper’s first draft was submitted to NASMHPD on April 28 and is currently pending review.

Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute:   ZiaPartners has continued active involvement in multiple projects and activities conducted by MMHPI, as follows:

  • Coordinating with the Local Systems team regarding how to best support progress in a variety of local system consultations
  • Working with Dr. Seema Shah to discuss statewide efforts to improve primary health/behavioral health integration for children, and to develop statewide academic partnerships regarding research and services. We will be visiting primary care pediatric practices in East Texas, June 14.
  • Participating with Sam Shore on the HHSC-MMHPI workgroup on Substance Use Disorder services, focusing on data accuracy and policy recommendations for sober living and expansion of Opioid Use Disorder services.
  • Supporting implementation of a Texas Technical Assistance team to work with the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry on statewide Technical Assistance for Medication Assisted Treatment, as part of the national STR-TA initiative. Dr. Minkoff has been providing Technical Assistance to Federally Qualified Health Centers in Amarillo
  • Working on the development of materials for the next phase of Okay to Say: (Okay to Share; Okay to Care).
  • Planning for an on-site presentation on integrated care for the Panhandle Behavioral Health Alliance in Amarillo on September 19.
  • Attending Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute Staff Meeting in Galveston, June 12-13
  • Planning for Engage and Excel Conference in Austin, September 26-27.

Follow MMHPI at

Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. (GOBHI): ZiaPartners provided a very successful launch of systemic improvement of integrated Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder service capability development for over 400 individuals representing 20 GOBHI counties and other parts of Oregon, at the GOBHI spring conference in Bend, OR on May 16. Stay tuned for more follow up activities to support continuing progress.

Illinois Department of Human Services: ZiaPartners has continued its consultation project with the Mental Health Division and the Substance Use, Prevention, and Recovery (SUPR) Division to assist the Mental Health Division with addressing the needs of individuals with co-occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders who are in institutions (IMDs and Nursing Homes) who are covered by two federal consent decrees requiring progress in deinstitutionalization. The project involves consultation to the state, engagement with providers, and provision of recommendations, as well as technical assistance, consultation, and training on implementation of recommendations that will help the state meet its targets under the consent decrees. ZiaPartners has planned a specialized training on integrated services for the most seriously disabled individuals with co-occurring Substance Use Disorders, for over 200 attendees, in Chicago on June 7.

All Health Network: On April 29-30, ZiaPartners conducted a very successful two-day launch of a division-wide improvement project for co-occurring capability development, as well as specific consultation and technical assistance to the agency’s Substance Use Disorders Intensive Outpatient Program and Medication Assisted Treatment services. The organization has formed a change agent team, to support the improvement of welcoming, integrated services in partnership with leadership. ZiaPartners continues with teleconsultation, with the next on-site visit on July 9-10.

Tennessee Co-occurring Strategic Initiative: Dr. Minkoff and Dr. Cline had a teleconference with Patrick Slay and representatives of 7 agencies participating in the Tennessee Co-Occurring Disorders project, regarding how these agencies can participate as peer mentors to registrants at the Pre-Conference Institute at NATCON in Nashville in March. The participants were delighted to share their positive experiences and learning and indicated that it would be fun for them to be involved in this way.

Vermont Co-operative for Practice Improvement and Innovation (VCPI): Dr. Minkoff continues working with the VCPI leadership team to develop a working leadership and operations structure for VCPI. ZiaPartners is also a subcontractor along with VCPI on a proposal submitted by Vermont Care Partners to Vermont Department of Mental Health to expand co-occurring Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder services, with a focus on adults with Serious Mental Illness and Opioid Use Disorder. Vermont Care Partners received word at the end of May that the proposal has been accepted! A start date for the project is not yet established.

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.

Idaho Crisis Trainings: On April 1-2, Dr. Minkoff provided introductory training on the provision of crisis services to staff of regional crisis centers serving Idaho Falls and Pocatello respectively.

Genesee County, MI: Dr. Minkoff contracted to provide six days of co-occurring disorder implementation training to Genesee County Behavioral Health: 2 days were provided on April 23-24. These initial trainings were very well received. The next training dates scheduled are June 4-5, and September 10-11.

Network 180, Grand Rapids, MI: Dr. Minkoff contracted to provide one day of training in June on integrated strength-based case formulation and treatment planning for individuals with co-occurring disorders and other complex needs.

Mid-Hudson (NY) Region Co-occurring Initiative: Following the November conference, there has been continuing progress in counties across the region.   ZiaPartners is very appreciative of the amazing work on this project by Marcie Colon of the Mid-Hudson Region and Stephanie Marquesano of The Harris Project, as well as the 7 County Behavioral Health leaders. A follow up training for Community Living providers has been scheduled at the end of June.

Equine Assisted Therapies and Activities:   ZiaPartners was awarded a competitive bid to help multiple organizations involved with equine assisted therapies and activities to come together to develop a common language for the entire field. This three-day meeting is scheduled for July 2019.

Missouri Foundation for Health (MFFH): ZiaPartners organized a team (including TriWest, Lynfro Consulting, and Joe Parks, MD from The National Council) to respond to a Request For Proposal released by MFFH for a statewide analysis of the Missouri Behavioral Health System.   This proposal is under review and is currently a finalist for consideration. If accepted, the project will begin in summer 2019.

Upcoming Training Events in June 2019

June 4-5: Dr. Minkoff – Co-occurring Disorders –Genesee County, Flint, MI

June 6: Dr. Minkoff – Strength-based Integrated Interventions – Network 180, Grand Rapids, MI

June 7: Dr. Minkoff and Dr. Cline: Illinois DMH Training on People with Serious Mental Illness and Co-Occurring Disorders – Chicago, IL

June 17-18: Dr. Minkoff: Co-Occurring Disorders – Spokane County, Spokane, WA

June 25: Dr. Minkoff: Co-occurring Competencies – Tennesse Strategic Initiative on Co-Occurring Disorders Collaborative, Nashville, TN

June 26-27: Dr. Minkoff: Integrated Skills for Community Living Providers – ACLAIM, Saugerties, NY

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