Posts Tagged ‘Partners in Recovery’

5 Years of Behavioral Health Innovation Paying Dividends (Part I)

April 15th, 2014

MPeople with a serious mental illness die more than 30 years earlier than people without those challenges.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll be reflecting about some of the innovative strategies that we’ve implemented with our behavioral health community partners over the last several years to improve the health status of folks with a serious mental illness.

I’ll start with a project that began with modest funding from SAMHSA, through a grant meant for small pilots to test concepts in our community.  In 2009, we and AHCCCS jointly applied for and got a Transformation Transfer Initiative grant which was used to initiate a peer-based whole health program Maricopa and Pima Counties.  The goal of the program was to help transform the behavioral health system into one that applies a holistic approach to consumer health.

Magellan Health Services of Arizona launched the first phase of Integrated Health Homes as part of this initiative- bringing together mental health and physical health care.  The model was a partnership between Magellan, Maricopa Integrated Health System, and CHOICES Network, Partners in Recovery, People of Color Network and Southwest Network.  By 2013, there were 10 Integrated Health Homes in Maricopa County that have been providing coordinated care for members.  Thousands of people have received coordinated care and achieved better outcomes through these health homes.  Here are some additional typical health home participant vignettes that profile service recipients who can benefit from the initiative.

In the coming weeks, I’ll cover improvements in the Crisis Response System, the kids system of care, children’s substance abuse, coordination with the correctional system, and performance dashboards.

Hitting Our Mark at Showtime

February 28th, 2013

Last Saturday our Licensing team hit the mark at Showtime- when it matters most.  After hearing that the Fountain Retirement Hotel had put residents on notice it was closing, we immediately became concerned that staff would stop showing up, food and medication would not be given out, and the residents would be turned out into the streets to live. Many of the residents have significant medical and behavioral health needs, and need a caregiver to assist them with things like taking medication and preparing food.  

Our licensing team arrived at the facility immediately after hearing of the situation from the Sheriff’s Office…  and our licensing team pretty much right away called an “immediate jeopardy” (meaning that there was the potential for a real threat to health and safety of the residents).  Our team stayed all afternoon and into the night, working with the facility’s owner and manager to ensure all residents would be safe.  We maintained a strong presence at the facility throughout the weekend, making sure there were proper caregivers, enough food, and that residents were receiving their medication. 

We’re still sending surveyors out twice a day and are working with many other agencies, including AHCCCS, the VA, Adult Protective Services, Magellan, Partners in Recovery, and the Long Term Care Ombudsman’s Program to make sure the residents are finding new homes that will be able to meet their needs.  A huge thanks to Dr. Cara Christ, Kathy McCanna, Richard Young, Ellie Strang, and Jim Tiffany, for responding so effectively and ensuring the Health and Wellness of these Arizonans.  Thanks!