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2016 Award Honorees

Supported by Eli Lilly & Company

Engaging Family Caregivers in Team-Based Care

MyHealios, Inc., High Bridge, N.J.

The MyHealios service is an evidence-based program offered via videoconference to help caregivers and families care for loved ones affected by psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, depression, anxiety, PTSD and Alzheimer’s. Through MyHealios, a masters-level clinician or licensed social worker communicates directly with caregivers from the comfort of their homes, providing specific innovative caregiving skills to increase patient outcomes and help remove impediments to providing quality care. A recent evaluation of the program showed a significant reduction in caregiver burden and stress, with retention and compliance above 80 percent. MyHealios transforms the way clinicians engage with caregivers by teaching them the skills they need to create meaningful change in the relationship with their loved ones.

Integrated Care in the Aging Population

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, Niagara Falls, N.Y.

More than 20 percent of adults over age 55 have experienced a mental illness, but typically only one in three will receive treatment. To break down the barriers many older adults faced in their community, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center created an integrated care program specifically for them.Behavioral health services were brought to a primary care site, and clinical staff work side by side with physicians to talk to patients about whole health. Should patients need behavioral health care, they are immediately connected to an onsite care manager. Patients can access all their health information through an electronic health record. All staff – from nurses to the front desk – are trained in this model of care. Now in the second year, they have screened over 1,400 patients during their primary care visits and referred over 130 to behavioral health services.

Science into Practice: Systems Change and Best Practices

Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare, Jefferson City, Mo.

The Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare has collaborated with Missouri HealthNet and Missouri’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Use to analyze data among high utilizing, vulnerable populations with complicated medical histories to improve the quality of care while lowering costs. Through a private partnership with Care Management Technologies (CMT), MO Coalition members have access to data of medication patterns within the Medicaid pharmacy claims data set to find opportunities to improve care. Through the use of this data, the MO Coalition has seen significant improvements in care management for more than 250,000 consumers. Data analysis showed a 30 percent decrease in emergency room and hospital admissions and an approximate cost savings of $19 million achieved across inpatient, outpatient and pharmacy costs.

Supported by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals

Individual Achievement in Advocacy

Steve Coe, CEO, Community Access, New York, N.Y.

In 2015, Steve Coe was instrumental in the implementation of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training of 5,500 NYPD officers. Because of his advocacy, NYC policymakers agreed to create two diversion centers this year where the NYPD can bring people experiencing psychiatric distress, keeping them out of jails and hospitals. His goal for 2016 is to advocate for the expansion of that training to 10,000 NYC police officers.

Elected Official Service in Advocacy

Honorable Lou Lang, Deputy Majority Leader, Illinois House of Representatives, Skokie, Ill.

Rep. Lang worked closely with advocates, opponents and fellow Illinois legislators to pass Illinois House Bill 1, the Heroin Crisis Act. Lang built a coalition of supporters who fought for and secured the votes needed to override the Governor’s veto during a rancorous budget crisis. The Governor signed the bill into law in September 2015, and it has been recognized as the nation’s most comprehensive parity and heroin legislation. The legislation increases access to medication-assisted treatment and expands prevention programming in support of communities facing one of the most severe heroin crises in the country.
In 2015, the Indiana Council of Community Mental Health Centers worked with a wide range of state and local partners and legislators to develop comprehensive mental health and substance use legislation. The legislation establishes a statewide Mental Health First Aid program, improves access to community-based mental health and addiction services and signs up incarcerated individuals for Medicaid services to provide critical access to health care coverage upon their release. Recently signed into law by the Governor, the Indiana Council is now working to ensure all provisions of the legislation become reality.
Supported by Relias Learning

Champions of Training and Workforce Development

Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska, Omaha, Neb.

Through a Virtual Mentorship Network, the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN) connects more than 50 high school and college students statewide via teleconferencing to behavioral health mentors in their area of interest. BHECN conducts live and online training and continuing education for more than 3,200 people, including behavioral health providers and community members. BHECN also partnered with a regional health authority to launch a free job search website for both employers and job seekers. To date, nearly 300 jobs have been posted with more than 5,700 visits.
Addiction Treatment Services provides evidence-based, gender specific treatment for addiction, clinical depression, severe anxiety and emotional trauma for underserved residents of northern Michigan. In 2015, during their strategic planning process, ATS engaged in an organization-wide effort to enhance and standardize their training and workforce development offerings. All 70 staff committed to completing one or more of six Certificates of Excellence focused on mental health, addiction and leadership development. By undertaking this ambitious program, ATS ensures the entire staff has the same baseline and access to the field’s most updated evidence-based research.

Rising Star

Malia Fontecchio, Program Coordinator, Project Return Peer Support Network, Buena Park, Calif.

Network’s speaker’s bureau, training speakers to share their recovery stories, while also sharing her own personal experiences with depression, suicide and schizophrenia. She is an innovator in collecting and sharing recovery stories, inspiring the field and bringing a needed and vital peer perspective to broader audiences. Malia also speaks at local and national conferences on recovery and behavioral health topics and trains others on how to tell their own personal stories. She is the Honest Open Proud (HOP) lead trainer and speaker for California, which helps individuals share their recovery stories. Her own story was published in the Coming Out Proud anthology and her research on the HOP program was recently published in the Psychiatry Research Journal.
Supported by Cenpatico

Doc of the Year

David Williamson, MD, Medical Director, Inpatient Traumatic Brain Injury/Neuropsychiatry Unit, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md.

Dr. Williamson is the founder and medical director of the only inpatient neurobehavioral traumatic brain injury unit within the U.S. military health care system. He is nationally renowned for his comprehensive and holistic approach to treating the long-term behavioral, relational and emotional symptoms of patients who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. Dr. Williamson remains engaged with his patients after surgery, helping them achieve the highest level of independence and quality of life possible, which is measured by their ability to return home, rather than being placed in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
The 54,000-square foot Stout Street Integrated Health Center, operated by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, integrates a unique model of patient-centered care. It provides trauma-informed medical and behavioral health care, addiction treatment and housing to homeless and at-risk individuals and families in downtown Denver. The Center serves 10,000 people each year and shelters more than 2,500 households. By providing housing with integrated physical and behavioral health services, the Center reduces spending on emergency department care, inpatient medical and psychiatric care, incarceration and emergency shelters, while also improving the behavioral and overall health of underserved individuals and families.

Peer Specialist of the Year

Adrienne Griffen, Founder and Executive Director, Postpartum Support Virginia Inc., Arlington, Va.

Spurred by her struggle with postpartum depression (PDD), Adrienne Griffen founded the nonprofit support group, Postpartum Support Virginia, Inc., in 2009, with another PPD survivor. In 2015, her organization helped 240 women experiencing PPD through peer-led support groups and meetings, logging more than 1,400 volunteer support hours. She also approached a local Virginia hospital and has been instrumental in educating new moms and raising awareness among health care providers of the importance of routinely monitoring pregnant women’s mental health. One of Adrienne’s long-term goals is to establish PPD support groups for new moms at every Virginia hospital.

Artistic Expression

Shaun Morgan, Lead singer and Founder of the Band, Seether, Beverly Hills, Calif.

Shaun is the founder and lead singer of the South African rock band Seether. The multi-platinum and double gold certified band has sold more than 4.5 million albums worldwide, has 11 number-one singles and 17 top five multi-format hits. Shaun shares his personal story of recovery and hope through his emotionally written music. The lyrics to his song, “Rise Above This,” inspired the creation of the annual Rise Above Fest, which held its first headline concert in 2012. Through Shaun’s personal struggles with suicide, leadership and inspiring music, the Rise Above Fest has raised more than $100,000 for suicide prevention and mental health programs throughout the U.S.

Excellence in Addictions Treatment Innovation

Family & Children’s Services — Women in Recovery, Tulsa, Okla.

The Women in Recovery (WIR) treatment program began in 2009 to help reduce Oklahoma’s dubious distinction of having the highest rate of female incarceration in the nation and provide an alternative to prison for women with addictions. WIR has consistently achieved its primary goal of reducing the number of women with drug-related offenses from being sent to prison since its creation: there has been a 20 percent decrease in female incarceration since the program’s inception.

Excellence in Behavioral Healthcare Management

The Providence Center, Providence, R.I.

The Providence Center offers 60 programs serving over 13,000 adults, children and families with substance use, mental health treatment and overall wellness in Rhode Island. In 2011, Rhode Island was one of the first of two states in the country to implement the health homes program, an initiative providing more effective integrated care to Medicaid participants with serious mental illness. The program demonstrated such strong results, by positively improving clients’ overall health, that the Providence Center expanded its integrated health program into other family medical centers throughout the state.

Excellence in Health Information Technology

Carolinas HealthCare System, Charlotte, N.C.

Carolinas HealthCare System’s Telepsychiatry and Patient Placement program provided psychiatric care and inpatient placement for 4,606 patients in 2014 and 8,118 patients in 2015. In 2014, CHS created a Centralized Patient Placement department to find placement for psychiatric patients in emergency departments throughout CHS’s 19 emergency departments in the state. Before CHS used telepsychiatry and Centralized Patient Placement in partnership, the average length of stay in their acute care emergency departments was 40 hours. Currently, the new processes for telepsychiatry and patient placement reduce the average emergency department length of stay to 19.7 hours, a more than 50 percent reduction since the summer of 2013.

Mental Health First Aid Community Impact

Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, Detroit, Mich.

Since 2013, the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority has achieved the ambitious goal of training more than 10,000 members in Wayne County in Mental Health First Aid. The diverse list of people trained include teachers, first responders, law enforcement offers, veterans and their families, students, faith-based community members, social service providers, Spanish-speaking communities and the general public. To expand on this momentum and make Mental Health First Aid as ubiquitous as CPR training, the agency created partnerships with the local Veterans Administration Medical Center, the regional National Guard Armory, local police academies and airport authority.
Supported by Janssen Pharmaceuticals
Kevin Briggs, Sergeant (Ret.), California Highway Patrol and owner, Pivotal Points, Petaluma, Calif.
Kevin Briggs’ spent 23 years as a Sergeant (Ret.) for the California Highway Patrol where his patrol on the Golden Gate Bridge led him to encounter numerous individuals who were in crisis. Briggs, through compassion, active listening and negotiating skills was responsible for saving more than 200 individuals, earning the nickname the “Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge.” He was instrumental in teaching these skills to other officers and securing additional training so officers were better prepared. Since retiring in 2013 from the California Highway Patrol, he has dedicated his life to promoting mental health awareness and suicide prevention across the country.
Patricia Coleman, President & CEO, Behavioral Health Response, St. Louis, Mo.
Patricia Coleman built her reputation in the behavioral health field as a human resource expert, understanding that the key to every organization is their employees. Over her career, she brought in experts in call center management, sales, productivity and applied business models to enhance BHR’s sustainability, performance and growth. In 2010, BHR received a small Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant to provide follow-up services to callers on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. At the same time, Coleman brought in external consultation to support BHR’s sales team and enhance growth. Between 2010 and 2015, BHR’s follow-up program grew from one small SAMHSA grant to seven follow-up programs covering more than two million lives and benefitting thousands.
Phillip A. Saperia, CEO & Executive Director, Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Inc., New York, N.Y.
Phillip Saperia has played an integral role in shaping public policy and behavioral health in New York City for more than two decades. Ushering Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies members through de-institutionalization and the launch of Medicaid managed care, Saperia has created multimillion dollar funding initiatives to support behavioral health safety-net providers to provide resources and access to those who need it most. Deeply involved in mental health and addictions public policy, he has been frequently called upon to by New York State and city government officials to offer expert advice and testimony.
Raymond V. Tamasi, President & CEO, Gosnold on Cape Cod, Falmouth, Mass.
Through more than 40 years of innovation and leadership, Raymond Tamasi has helped adults, adolescents, children and their families affected by addiction and mental illness in Cape Cod. Tamasi is most known for his work to elevate addiction prevention, treatment and recovery and was one of the first in the behavioral health field to implement a comprehensive prevention division and integrate addiction treatment with primary medical and specialty practices. His expertise led to an appointment to Governor Charlie Baker’s Health Care Transition Team, where he sat on the Opioid Working Group and was instrumental in providing recommendations and actions to curb the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts.
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