June 2017

It’s already July!  Wow, this year is moving so quickly.  June was an exciting month for ZiaPartners, to start we received some big news!

Ken has been appointed by Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, to membership on the newly created (by the federal CURES Act) Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC). The ISMICC is the first effort by the federal government to establish a formal mechanism for aligning the work of multiple federal departments and agencies in a coordinated effort to address the needs of individuals with serious mental illness.  This provides an opportunity to bring together Health and Human Services (SAMHSA, CMS), Housing and Urban Development, National Institute of Mental Health, Veterans Administration and multiple other federal entities to join with representatives of state and county systems, provider organizations, professionals, and consumers/families.  Dr. Minkoff’s 40 years of expertise in all aspects of community psychiatry and service/system development for individuals with Serious Mental Illness and other complex needs (Substance Use Disorders, health, Criminal Justice, housing, recovery/rehabilitation), as well as expertise in managed care, and in the functioning of state and local delivery systems in almost every state, are the qualifications that led to his selection.

Other Activities in June

College for Behavioral Health Leadership: Ken was elected to the board of directors of the College of Behavioral Health Leadership (formerly the American College of Mental Health Administration). This is the only national organization that is designed to improve and inspire Behavioral Health leadership across all dimensions of leaders (that is, state and county leaders, managed care organizations, foundations, providers of all types, different disciplines, consumers/families, leadership trainers/consultants), and as such adds a capacity for enormous impact at a time when the need for high-quality innovative leadership is growing dramatically.

Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute:   Ken and Chris participated in the staff retreat for Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (June 12-13), and the Local System Quarterly meeting in Austin (June 6-7). A major focus is how the continuing success of Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute’s efforts are translating into legislative changes that are supporting the ability of local systems to create empowered collaborations to design system improvements.   The local system team at Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, to which Ken and Chris provide expertise and guidance, are currently planning for the second annual Engage and Excel conference in Austin (September 20-22) at which local system teams will meet with state leaders, content experts, and one another in order build a community of learning to advance local systems of Behavioral Health Care statewide.

Uplift Family Services: Ken and Chris concluded their very successful two-year engagement with Uplift Family Services in California with “whole person care” competency trainings in the Sacramento Region, Inland Empire, and Bay Region.   The effort has been recognized in Uplift as one of the most successful approaches to overall transformation of competency and practice in the organization’s history and is currently being embedded in ongoing agency processes to ensure sustainability.

Serenity Lane:   Ken provided a day-long training and consultation to Serenity Lane Addiction Services in Eugene, OR. This is Ken’s third visit to Serenity Lane, which is in the process of transforming its traditional continuum of addiction services to be more person-centered and co-occurring capable. There is strong excitement, buy-in, and inspiration from the trainings, and the organization is now preparing to launch a more formal organizational change process with Ken’s guidance to ensure that the changes are more deep-rooted and sustainable.

Vacation in Brazil: June 21-July 4

Brazil is an amazing country, and once you get out of the cities, it’s a whole different world. We went to national parks and funky villages in Central Brazil, and had a great time visiting (and swimming in) beautiful waterfalls and the like.

In addition to natural beauty, Brazil is one of the most powerful places on the planet for spiritual healing.  Some ascribe that to the deep, natural quartz crystal deposits that align natural energy.  Others relate it to the unique combination of cultures that represent the Brazilian people.  In any case, one of the amazing things you find in Brazil are dozens of spiritual healing centers that offer free services to their communities, most of which address the connections between spiritual and physical health, but some of which have a specific focus on individuals with serious mental health conditions.   We look forward to returning to Brazil to learn more about these amazing ways of helping people find happiness and recovery in the face of painful challenges.

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