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The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Inc. Coalition Briefs
An Evolving Semi-Monthly Update on Community Behavioral Health in New York
                       December 15, 2011

Health Homes Phase I Rollout - Lead Applicants Announced in Bronx, Brooklyn & Long Island/Nassau

On Friday, December 6, 2011, the NYS Department of Health (DOH) held a webinar on Health Homes, announcing the lead Health Home agencies approved in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Long Island/Nassau. Receiving Health Homes desinations are several organizations headed by Coalition members.  In the Bronx are CBC/FEGS Health and Human Services Systems under the umbrella of Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center and Visiting Nurse Service (VNS); CBC/Institute for Community Living (ICL) and Community Healthcare Network in Brooklyn; and FEGS Health and Human Services System, Inc. in Long Island/Nassau County. A complete list of the DOH approved homes can be found on its website.

Health Homes are care management service models, whereby all of an individual's health and behavioral health caregivers communicate with one another in order to address a patient's needs in a comprehensive manner. This is done primarily through a "care manager" who oversees and provides access to all of the services an individual needs to stay healthy and avoid emergency room and inpatient hospitalization. Health records are shared (either electronically or paper) among providers so that services are not duplicated or neglected. The health home services are provided through a network of organizations (providers, health plans and community-based organizations). When all of an individual’s services are considered collectively they become a virtual "Health Home." More information on Health Homes can be found on the DOH website.

The creation and implementation of Health Homes for Medicaid enrollees with chronic conditions was recommended by the Governor Cuomo's Medicaid Redesign Team. Appropriations for Health Homes was included in the Governor's SFY 2011/12 Budget and adopted into law effective April 1, 2011.


Medicaid Redesign Team Approves 4 Additional Work Group Recommendations

The Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) met on Tuesday, December 13, 2011, in Albany. This was the final meeting of Phase II of the MRT process. The MRT reviewed and voted to approve the final recommendations of the Affordable Housing, Basic Benefit Review, Payment Reform and Quality Measurement, and Workforce Flexibility and Scope of Practice Work Groups. Going forward, a final draft report will be emailed to MRT members for review on December 14th. Comments and suggestions will be due on December 20th. On December 31st, the final MRT report will be submitted to Governor Cuomo. Materials from the meeting are available online at the MRT website.


New Tax & Economic Plan Approved by NYS Legislature

The NYS Legislature returned to Albany last week for a special session to pass legislation approving an agreement reached with Governor Cuomo on a new tax and economic stimulus plan. The plan calls for the creation of new income tax brackets until December 31, 2014. All earners in each bracket below will pay a new rate less than rates under a temporary tax surcharge known as the “millionaire’s tax.” The millionaire’s tax expires on December 31, 2011.

Income Level                                 Previous Tax Rate                        New Tax Rate

$ 40,000 to $150,000                     6.85%                                               6.45%
$150,000 to $300,000                    6.85%                                               6.65%
$300,000 to $2 million                   7.85% - 8.97%                                   6.85%
Over $2 million                              8.97%                                               8.82% 

Revenue generated from the new tax plan will bring in about $2B annually in additional funds for the State. About half the annual revenue that was generated by the “millionaire’s tax”. Expiration of this tax with no other action would have returned all brackets to 6.85%. The plan also calls for the elimination or reduction in the MTA payroll tax for small businesses, depending on payroll size: elimination for $1.25 million and under; a decrease of 0.11% for $1.25 million to $1.5 million; and a decrease of 0.23% from $1.5 million to $1.75 million.

With the passage of this plan, the remaining State budget deficit for next fiscal year is projected at approximately $1.9 billion. According to the Governor’s Office, this year’s deficit of approximately $350 million will be taken care of administratively. Governor Cuomo also plans to move forward with the scheduled 4% increases in education and Medicaid spending for next year. This means that all the other programs, such as human services, are at risk of being cut to close the remaining budget deficit.


Center Trainings in January – Register Now!

1.  Leading Groups: An Introduction

DATE: January 11, 2012   |   TIME: 9:30am-4:30pm

Registration begins 9:00am. Light breakfast will be served.

This full-day training is designed for mental health practitioners who seek to harness the power of groups to support individuals in their recovery. The training may be of particular interest to providers of Personalized Recovery Oriented Services (PROS) since group work is the main service modality in PROS programs. Participants will be introduced to theoretical concepts and fundamental skills essential for leading various types of groups, including knowledge-based, skills-based and therapy groups. The focus will be on developing group dynamics that engage and empower group members, motivate them to achieve personal goals and help the group as a whole recover. Through didactic and experiential learning, participants will acquire the skills they need to plan and lead groups that are meaningful and alive.

Facilitator: Aaron Vieira, LMSW

Fee: FREE for Community-Based Mental Health Providers

2.  Inspiring Stories and Recovery Research: Hope and Resilience for Staff

DATE:  January 13th, 2012 | TIME: 9:30am - 12:30pm

Registration begins 9:00am. Light breakfast will be served.

This half-day training will provide evidence from the eleven long-term studies of serious and persistent psychiatric problems, which revealed that most people can significantly improve and many even recover over time. Participants will hear inspiring stories about how staff participated in helping people reclaim their lives.  Dr. Courtenay Harding will show that hope, temperament, and human resilience of both staff and consumers all play important roles in the recovery process.

Facilitator: Courtenay Harding, Ph.D

Fee: FREE for Community-Based Mental Health Providers


Around the Water Cooler

Philip P. Rosenthal, MBA, has been appointed Chief Operating Officer of The Jewish Guild for the Blind. Before his appointment as The Guild’s COO, Mr. Rosenthal had been employed since 1980, by Lenox Hill Hospital (LHH) and its subsidiaries before it became a part of North Shore-LIJ Health System in 2009. While there, he served as Vice President, Operations and later as Executive Director. Most recently, he was appointed to spearhead the development of a new hybrid model of care in Greenwich Village that will include a free-standing emergency department.

Mental Health America, the umbrella agency for Mental Health Associations (MHA) nationwide, selected MHA of Westchester's Nuestro Futuro program to receive the 2011 Betty Humphrey Cultural Competency award, which is given annually to one Mental Health America affiliate for outstanding achievements in providing culturally competent mental health services that address racial, ethnic and cultural disparities. To receive the award, an affiliate must have a successful culturally competent initiative that has positively affected its community; have benchmarking data, and a communications plan that reaches a diverse audience and underserved populations; and have collaborated with diverse groups.

Services for the UnderServed (SUS) was selected among 5 organizations to share $1 million ($200K apiece) from the Putnam Avenue Family Trust, which represents the winnings from the November 2nd $254 million Connecticut Powerball jackpot. The group selected agencies that provide support services to veterans and active duty military personnel returning from deployment. The organizations were selected on their proven ability to work with veterans who are in need of emotional, physical or career support.

SCO Family of Services held its annual gala, the Shepherd's Ball, on Friday, November 18th. The event was attended by more than 400 guests attended raised over $526,000 to help provide vital services for over 40,000 children and families throughout New York City and Long Island. The Shepherd's Award, SCO's highest honor, was presented to Monte N. Redman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Astoria Financial Corporation and Astoria Federal Savings, for his deep commitment to strengthening local communities and to assisting vulnerable children and their families.

The newly constructed William F. Ryan Community Health Center’s Women & Children’s Center has received a LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) – among only a handful of healthcare centers in the world to be awarded such a designation. The 26,000 square foot center opened its doors in June 2010.

The Bridge has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the van Ameringen Foundation to target Bridge residential clients who have been chronically homeless or had long stays in State psychiatric or correctional facilities. The initiative will provide them with an introductory readiness experience prior to participating in more formal recovery programs such as PROS or Supported Employment.


Coalition Job Board

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

Job #  Job Title
6298 Program Director, Manhattan Scattered Site Apt Prog
6300 Case Manager (CASAC required)

Search Re-Opened, Development Director, PT


Clinical Director of Psychiatric Servcies

6312 Behavioral Health Servcies, Senior Vice President
6328 Office Manager



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