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The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Inc. Coalition Briefs
An Evolving Semi-Monthly Update on Community Mental Health in New York
November 28, 2006


Hospital Commission Makes Recommendations

The Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century has just released its recommendations for how to “ensure regional and local supply of hospital and nursing home facilities (are) best configured to appropriately respond to community needs for high-quality, affordable and accessible care, with meaningful efficiencies in delivery and financing that promote infrastructure stability.” (www.nyhealthcarecommission.org).  The Coalition is concerned that the loss of hospital-based inpatient or outpatient behavioral healthcare will have serious ramifications for consumers who may lose services and for community-based mental health and substance abuse providers, many of whom are already struggling with rising caseloads and flat reimbursement rates.

Some of the New York City hospitals that the Commission has recommended for closure have behavioral health programs, and it is imperative that these programs either be transferred to another facility or the dollars associated with the programs be reinvested into the community-based sector.

The Commission heard testimony back in July from OMH Commissioner Sharon Carpinello and former Acting OASAS Commissioner Shari Noonan.  Both commissioners stressed the importance of not losing any capacity to treat New Yorkers with psychiatric and/or addictive disorders.  The Coalition has been concerned that behavioral health issues have not been a priority for the Commission.


Cost Per Unit Proposal Defeated


The New York City Coalition on the Continuum of Care voted to reject the Cost-Per-Unit proposal that would have disproportionately harmed programs that house individuals and families with special needs.  The proposal, had it been approved, would have redirected HUD dollars from existing housing programs (regardless of their quality) to instead fund new units currently in the HPD pipeline. Although this proposal was defeated, the final vote – 10 in the affirmative, 10 in the negative with one abstention – shows a clear divide on the Steering Committee for how best to generate new sources of revenue to fund new housing programs.

The Coalition would very much like to thank the Executives, staff and consumers of programs that house New Yorkers with special needs – including psychiatric and addictive disorders – for attending last week’s meeting and contributing so eloquently to the debate.

Any questions about the Continuum, please contact Michael Polenberg, Director of Policy and Advocacy, at (212) 742-1600 ext. 102.


The Coalition’s Annual Membership Meeting and Holiday Celebration

The Coalition’s Annual Membership Meeting and Holiday Celebration will be held on Thursday November 30, 2006 @ 3:30 pm.  We will be holding our elections for officers and Board of Directors.  Please be on hand to vote and to welcome our new board members.

The meeting will be held at The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, 90 Broad St., 8th Floor Conference Room.

Coalition members only, please RSVP to Heather Rabinowicz-Mermel at hrmermel@coalitionny.org or by calling 212-742-1600 x 109.


Public Hearing on the High Rate of Latina and Asian American Suicide

Assembly Mental Health Committee Chair Peter M. Rivera will be holding a public hearing in NYC on Thursday, December 7th on the high rate of suicide among Latina adolescents and elder Asian American women. The public hearing will take place at 10:30 am at 250 Broadway, NY, NY, 10007.

The Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force and the Task Force on Women’s Issues are soliciting testimony regarding women and suicide, particularly on young Hispanic women and Asian American women.

The Coalition will be testifying at the hearing and encourages all providers who work with adolescents and Asian American women to testify. Individuals interested in testifying should contact Elana Marton, Legislative Associate at (518) 455-4371 or email at martone@assembly.state.ny.us


DHS & DOHMH Release Joint RFP for Homeless Outreach & Placement

The City’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) released a joint RFP for street homeless outreach.  The RFP can be accessed here (http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/acco/2006/acco-rfp-outreach-200611117.pdf )

A maximum of $10,797,656 will be available annually to fund homeless street outreach and housing placement services.    Proposals are due to DHS no later than January 9th.


Coalition's Center for Rehabilitation and Recovery

Youth Initiative: TIP Implementation Sites Announcement and Workgroup Update

Following a competitive application process, the below agencies have been chosen to receive on-site technical assistance with the implementation of the Transition to Independence (TIP) model, an evidence based system designed to improve outcomes for SED transition aged youth.  Beginning the end of November, 2006, the University of South Florida’s Dr. Hewitt “Rusty” Clark alongside Center youth consultant Dr. Amy Smiley will work with the selected agencies over the coming months. We would like to thank all of the agencies and programs that submitted proposals.

  • Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service, Adolescent Employment and Education Program 
  • Coalition for Hispanic Family Services, Bonding Links Family Based Treatment Program 
  • FEGS, Yatzkan Services
  • Institute for Community Living, Linden House Child Community Residence 
  • International Center for the Disabled, Youth Employment Services Program
  • Staten Island Mental Health Society, Safety Net

The next session of our Youth Initiative Workgroup will take place on December 5th, 2006 at 9:30am-11:30am. This month’s meeting will focus on educational issues associated with SED youth.  For more information, contact Dr. Amy Smiley, the Center’s youth consultant at asmiley@coalitionny.org.

To learn more about our Youth Initiative and to download TIP training materials and handouts, please go to: http://www.coalitionny.org/the_center/seminars/youth_initiative.html


Coalition Honoree Bebe Moore Campbell Passes Away

The Coalition is saddened to learn that author Bebe Moore Campbell, a 2006 Coalition Mental Health Award recipient, passed away at the age of 56.  Ms. Campbell was a New York Times bestselling author and passionate advocate who has incorporated the struggle with mental health issues into many of her published works for children and adults.  Her voice will be sorely missed.


Celebration of the Life of Bernie Wohl

Goddard Riverside Community Center will hold a celebration of the vision, passion, accomplishments and leadership of Bernie Wohl, a giant in the NYC world of human service delivery.  January 4, 2007 (his birthday), at 6:00pm in the American Museum of National History, LeFrak Theater.  This celebration is open to the public.  A reception will follow the program.


New SAMHSA Leader

Dr. Terry Cline, Oklahoma's Health Secretary and concurrently Commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, has been chosen to head the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  If confirmed by the Senate, he will replace Charles Curie who resigned this past summer.

Dr. Cline previously served as Health Care Policy Fellow at the federal Center for Mental Health Services in SAMHSA.  While there, his primary focus was on organization and the financing of mental health services.


NYC Department of Homeless Services Will Conduct Survey of Unsheltered Homeless Individuals

On Monday, January 29th 2007, the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) will be performing a survey of unsheltered homeless individuals to produce a point-in-time citywide estimate of the population, the Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE). Teams of volunteers will canvass streets, parks, and subways to count the number of people living on city streets. This important information will be used to help homeless people leave the streets for a better life. To that end, The City University of New York is assisting the New York City Department of Homeless Services in their search for volunteers.

For more information or to volunteer call 311 or register at: www.nyc.gov/dhs.


Big Apple Circus

Even though the weather left something to be desired, everyone who attended our fall Big Apple Circus fundraising event had a great time!

The Coalition thanks everyone who contributed and made our Big Apple Circus such a success.


Medicare Interactive: A New Online Resource

The Coalition has teamed up with the Medicare Rights Center (MRC), a national consumer group, to provide the information-packed online resource Medicare Interactive (MI). MRC is the largest independent source of Medicare and health care information and assistance in the United States, with over 17 years’ experience.  MI is a one-stop web tool designed to provide older and disabled Americans, caregivers and health care professionals up-to-date, user-friendly information about health care benefits, rights and options for people with Medicare.  A link to the website, along with other resources, may be found at http://www.coalitionny.org/medicare_ptd/Benefits-PrescriptionHelp.html.


Coalition's Center to Offer Core Competencies: Best Practices in Employment Training in January 2007

This 2 day training is designed for front-line staff and supervisors who want to learn best practices in employment.  It will provide staff with the opportunity to:

• Understand the role of work in recovery

• Identify strategies to motivate and engage consumers

• Practice the technique of person-centered career planning

• Identify critical skills and support needs to prepare consumers for work

• Learn job development and retention strategies for long-term success

Emphasis will be placed on the supported employment model and other services in New York City. By the end of the training, staff will acquire the core competencies they need to better serve consumers who are pursuing employment.

Date/Time/Location: January 9th-10th, 2007, 9:00am-4:00pm, Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, 90 Broad Street, 8th Floor

Fee: $80 per person

For more information and to download a registration form, please go to: http://www.coalitionny.org/the_center/seminars/documents/CCRRTrainingOverviewFallWinter2006.pdf


Medicare Part D - Enroll or Change Plans Early!   Free Trainings offered at Coalition

DON'T BE LATE ENROLL BY 12/8 As the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) tag line says "December 8th, don't be late".  Even though Medicare beneficiaries have until December 31st to make a plan selection or change CMS recommends that Medicare Part D beneficiaries make plan selections and changes by December 8th to help ensure that their prescriptions will be available by January 1, 2007.  Plan changes and selections will continue to be accepted until December 31st but it may take several weeks before the changes get through the system and are recognized at the pharmacy.  Avoid any potential delays with access to medications by making choices within the next 8 days.

Free Medicare Part D trainings are hosted by The Coalition.  The schedule for December is:

Introduction to Medicare Part D - Tuesday, December 5, 9:30 - 11:30am

Medicare Part D and other Benefits with Margie Staker - Wednesday, December 13, 2:00 - 4:00 pm

Medicare Part D Breakfast, updates and latest news - Tuesday, December 19, 9:00 - 10:00am

RSVP to Karyn Krampitz at kkrampitz@coalitionny.org.


Coalition Job Boards

Coalition Members advertise staff positions for free on The Coalition’s Job Board!  Here's a sample:

Job #  Job Title
2033 HR Director

Nurse Practitioner

2022 Family Specialist - Mental Health Program
2019 Social Worker

We also have a job board for psychiatrists only.  APA members regularly look at this listing for potential hourly or per diem positions.

Job #  Job Title
20088 CDTP Psychiatrist



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