March 25th, 2011 by admin
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We’re finished making our policy decisions regarding the final medical marijuana rules, and our rules team will be spending Friday and probably part of the weekend crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s on the final medical marijuana rules. We’ll be releasing them on our website first-thing on Monday morning. We’ll also be having a media conference at some point later that day. We’ve developed a long set of Frequently Asked Questions to help prospective qualified patients, caregivers, dispensary applicants and physicians understand the final set of rules. While the final rules will be posted on Monday, the actual law takes effect at the start of the business day on April 14. We expect to be ready to go on the 14th.
We believe the final rule package accomplishes most of our objectives which include:
- ensuring convenient access for folks with debilitating medical conditions identified in the Initiative;
- ensuring access to the medication in rural Arizona;
- clear expectations regarding criteria for medical marijuana certifications;
- a way to ensure physicians write certifications for medical use;
- a fair, effective, and orderly way to award dispensary licenses this year and in future years;
- clear medical, administrative, inventory, and security expectations for dispensary operation;
- reasonable compliance and enforcement provisions;
- a clear method for adding debilitating medical conditions over time;
- efficient administrative oversight designed to minimize cost; and
- reasonable fees that will cover the costs of implementing the program.
Over the last few months we have carefully examined medical marijuana programs in other states, reviewed more than 3,000 comments from the public on our 2 draft rule packages, and used the full range of expertise and creativity among our staff to develop what we believe is a responsible set of regulations that will ensure the near-term and future success of the program. Thanks for all the hard everybody!
March 24th, 2011 by admin
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HHS launched a new web portal providing important health and health care indicator data. The Health Indicators Warehouse represents a vast collection of health and health care indicators like determinants of health, health care access, cost, quality, and use. Health indicator can be searched for specific populations, places, political jurisdictions, and geographic areas. The Warehouse includes nearly 1200 health indicators derived from over 170 different data sources.
March 23rd, 2011 by admin
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The 4th Annual MY Fest is scheduled for Saturday, April 23, 2011 from 11 am to 4 pm. This exciting event has once again been planned and produced by members of Magellan Youth Leaders Inspiring Future Empowerment (MY LIFE) Arizona. The MY Fest youth festival will be at the Tempe Beach Park again this year and will feature live music, break dancing crew competition, entertainers, artists, food, youth groups and a variety of youth and family-based Valley organizations offering information, resources and services. We’re looking for volunteers to help staff our table at this exciting event. Last year more than 2,500 people, the festival and gave youth and families the opportunity to get involved and learn about employment, volunteering, youth programs and other community activities. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Serena Lozano at 364-4630 or via e-mail at email@example.com
March 22nd, 2011 by admin
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SAMHSA’s Suicide Prevention Resource Center has added At-Risk for High School Educators to its Best Practice Registry for suicide prevention programs. At-Risk is an online interactive training simulation designed to prepare teachers to identify, approach, and refer students exhibiting signs psychological distress including depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide. Users assume the role of a high school teacher and engage in simulated role-play conversations with emotionally responsive student avatars exhibiting signs of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation.
The virtual students are capable of visually and verbally expressing emotions in reaction to users’ decisions during the conversation, effectively replicating real life interactions. Users learn motivational interviewing techniques such as framing open-ended questions and using reflective listening to effectively broach the topic of psychological distress, motivate the at-risk student to seek help, and avoid common pitfalls, such as attempting to counsel the student or diagnose the problem. Texas and New York have already adopted this program to train over 70,000 educators in their states. You can read more about this announcement here, and you can view a narrated walkthrough here.
March 21st, 2011 by admin
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The National Alliance on Mental Illness released a report this month that included policy recommendations for states to consider including educating the public, families and peers about mental illness and incorporating behavioral health screening into primary care. The good news is that we’re on the mark here in Arizona as we’ve already begun to implement most of the national recommendations.
This spring we began rolling out Mental Health First Aid, which is an evidence-based public education program designed to teach non-professional people about mental illness. The program teaches a five-step process to assess a situation, select and implement appropriate interventions, and help a person in crisis or who may be developing the signs and symptoms of mental illness. We’ve also taken steps to integrate behavioral and physical healthcare by hosting the Arizona Integrated Models of Care in Behavioral Health and Primary Care Forum which brought together people from the behavioral and community health fields.
We’ve also creatively found other ways to increase of peer support organizations participation, developed greater transparency for consumers to choose treatment options that are best for them with our on-line dashboard, opened opportunities for consumers to help transform the behavioral health system with our Raise Your Voice forums, and released a toolkit on Integrating Culturally Diverse Communities into Planning for and Responding to Emergencies.
March 15th, 2011 by admin
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The first round of Instructor Training for Mental Health First Aid was completedin Tucson and our efforts are already paying huge dividends. 23 new trainers graduated from the intensive 5-day training program and are now certified Mental Health First Aid Instructors! The new trainers include peers, family members, behavioral health providers, T/RBHA staff, Pima Community College and Cochise College employees, community health center providers, a faith-based leader, and a person from the Veteran’s Administration system. We’re scheduling 2 more of these 5-day Instructor Training courses for the coming months and dozens of the 12-hour community training classes as well. Our goal is to get thousands of Arizonans trained to:
- assess a situation;
- select and implement appropriate interventions; and
- help a person in crisis or who may be developing the signs and symptoms of mental illness.