Nebraska: Advancing Progress in the Entire State System

We were very excited to spend the week of March 2 in Nebraska, providing consultation, training and technical assistance in each of the regions. Ken visited Region 1 in Scottsbluff, in the far western part of the state, Region 2 in North Platte, and Region 4 in Norfolk, while Chris was in Omaha in Region 6, in Region 3 in Grand Island, and in Region 5 in Lincoln. Ken spent a half-day at the Lincoln Regional Center (the state facility), and also met with the Division of Behavioral Health leadership.

During these visits, we’ve been helping to advance progress toward the development of co-occurring capability across the entire state system in Nebraska. Each of the regional visits illustrated the extent to which the different regions were making progress.

Region 1 has done a wonderful job starting to collect data on the prevalence of co-occurring capability. We’re very excited about the opportunity to use a program checklist as a way of tracking their progress, and all the providers sat together talking about things they were learning and areas of progress. In Region 2, in addition to working internally with their own progress, Ken met with their Child Welfare Team to talk about co-occurring principles, as well as with a group of about 40 people representing criminal justice, judges, district attorneys, public defenders, and their Specialty Drug Court. In Region 4, Dr. Minkoff provided a training for new staff that were coming on board into the co-occurring initiative, and also had a chance to welcome the Norfolk Regional Center, another one of the state facilities, that specializes in sex offender treatment, into the process. The Lincoln Regional Center medical director has decided to go full bore into implementing co-occurring capability and wants to use this as part of the larger culture shift that they’re trying to accomplish. This is a great opportunity to further build the partnership between the state facility and the regions. The state leadership folks are looking at how to embed support for the transformation—quality improvement and co-occurring capability—into contract language and service definitions and regulations, because they’re in the two-year cycle of regulatory review.

Chris provided direct training on how to develop procedures, and apply those policies and procedures to challenging cases. Folks are really very excited to be moving this to the next level of detail.

We’re looking forward to going back in June, when we are going to have a statewide change agent day and further meetings to advance the process through the state of Nebraska.

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