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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
            October 31, 2014

Federal Reps Author Opioid Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (H.R. 5587)

Congress Members Bill Foster (D-IL) and Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) introduced legislation (The Opioid Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act - H.R. 5587) that would award grants to one or more States that that are hard hit by the opioid epidemic, enabling a 1-year pilot project to develop a standardized peer review process and methodology to review and evaluate prescribing and pharmacy dispensing patterns, through a review of prescription drug monitoring programs.

The bill would also provide grants to study the prospect of allowing prescribing authority to advanced practice nurses and physician assistants in order to treat addiction recovery.

Additionally, the bill would award 5-year grants to facilitate training that would increase the capacity of health care providers to conduct patient screening, brief interventions, and referral to treatment as needed, such as in health care settings, to prevent the abuse of prescription drugs, heroin, and other controlled substances. This grant program could be coordinated with the Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment grant program of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or other appropriate programs.

It would also require that the Secretary of Health and Human Services conduct a review to determine whether naloxone should be available as an over-the-counter drug. The bill also would encourage states and local governments to implement and increase drug take-back programs to allow people to dispose of unused prescription drugs—programs that have shown much promise in the States where they have been implemented.

Representatives Donna Edwards (D-MD), Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) are original cosponsors of the bill.

The National Council for Behavioral Health recently highlighted this important legislation as well. We will continue to track it and keep you abreast of any developments.


SAMHSA Releases New Strategic Plan

On October 1, SAMHSA released “Leading Change 2.0: Advancing the Behavioral Health of the Nation,” its strategic plan for fiscal years 2015 to 2018. According to SAMHSA, “through the plan, SAMHSA will increase understanding of mental and substance use disorders, promote emotional health and wellness, address the prevention of substance use disorders and mental illness, increase access to treatment, and support recovery.”


Jason Lippman Clarifies AmidaCare’s Resubmitted Application for DSRIP Planning Grant

“I just wanted to clarify a few points that were made in the article from the last issue of Briefs. As one of the conditions of the planning grant, Amida Care was required to resubmit with a safety provider as the lead. Housing Works agreed to do so, but is subcontracting the entire grant back to Amida Care for us to implement our four pillars: Integrated Care, Consumer Workforce Development, Crisis Bed Diversion & Temporary Housing, and End of AIDS. All of the work being done in these four areas involves advancing community-based projects aimed at meaningful transformation of the chronic illness sector: SMI, SUD & HIV/AIDS.”

Jason Lippman, Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs, AmidaCare, Inc.


OHIP Seeks Deputy Director, Division of Systems

The NYS Office of Health Insurance Programs (OHIP) is looking to hire a senior manager to assist the Director of the Division of Systems (DOS). The Division is responsible for oversight of the operations and contracts of the current MMIS (eMedNY system); replacement MMIS (MAS system); Medicaid Data Warehouse (MDW system); and the New York State of Health (NYSoH), New York’s Health Benefit Exchange. The DOS directly supports the implementation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in OHIP systems; and is the lead OHIP technical advisor for systems related matters.

A link to the posting can be found here: https://statejobsny.com/public/vacancyDetailsView.cfm?id=16159.


Around the Water Cooler

Member News

ACMH, held ribbon cutting ceremonies on October 8, 2014 for its two new supportive housing residences: E. 144th Street Affordable Housing and Markus Gardens.


Coalition members CAMBA, Concern for Independent Living and Project Hospitality received grants from New York State for supportive housing projects to help homeless and low-income New Yorkers.

On October 23, 2014, Maria Astudillo, Director of Mental Health Services, Children’s Aid Society and Brett Stark of Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services were presenters in a webinar sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund and Health Care For All New York regarding ensuring access to health and mental health services for unaccompanied minors in New York State.

Community Access was named a finalist for the 2014 New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards. The Awards program teaches, recognizes and encourages outstanding management practices among New York’s large and diverse nonprofit community.

On October 6, 2014, Comunilife’s Life is Precious program hosted an expert panel and community discussion on the suicide epidemic of teenage Latinas. The forum was also co-hosted by Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

Concern for Independent Living also opened a new 60-unit supportive housing residence for veterans and their families in Amityville, NY called Liberty Village.

The Educational Alliance wants you to know that it has a large number of openings in its residential and outpatient addiction treatment programs. For more information contact: Call: 646-395-4372/646-395-4383 Email: addictionservices.intake@edalliance.org.

Good Shepherd Services, Henry Street Settlement, JBFCS, Safe Horizon and Palladia, Inc. were designated by the State to receive funding through the Federal Family Violence Prevention and Services Act.

Governor Andrew Cuomo named Charles King, Chief Executive Officer of Housing Works, Inc., Community Co-Chair of a new Task Force that will work to implement Cuomo’s plan to end the AIDS epidemic in New York. Also named to the NYS HIV/AIDS Task Force were Coalition Members:

The Institute for Family Health (IFH) has been awarded just shy of $3 million over three years from the CDC for its work with the Bronx Health REACH Coalition. The award supports the implementation of evidence-based and community-informed interventions that reduce health disparities in the Bronx. According to IFH, the CDC funds will allow them to leverage the launch of Towards a Healthier Bronx, an initiative that will target 12 high-need ZIP codes in the South Bronx. The program aims to boost access to healthy food and beverages and opportunities for physical activity.

Kathy Riddle, President/CEO of Outreach, recently announced that Outreach had released a video “that was created to raise awareness about the heroin/opiate crisis among youth on Long Island, as well as to educate communities and schools that there is hope for adolescents and young adults impacted, if treatment is made more accessible and timely.” A link to the video can be found here: Outreach on the Heroin/Opiate Epidemic on Long Island.

And in other news about Kathy Riddle: On October 20, 2014, Kathy, was honored with the “Eileen Pencer Victory Award Outstanding Contributions To The Substance Use Disorder Field” by the New York Association of Alcoholism And Substance Abuse Providers, Inc. (ASAP). According to ASAP, Kathy was “recognized for her extraordinary commitment, care-giving, and advocacy most especially for young people, women, and families needing prevention, treatment and recovery support services. This honor is bestowed to Kathleen with a deep sense of appreciation for her commitment to excellence and for her courage serving as a champion for those who are vulnerable and needing services.” Kudos to Kathy on her award!

Comings & Goings

Laura D. Mascuch was named Executive Director of associate Coalition member, the Supportive Housing Network of New York (SHNNY). Laura has extensive experience with supportive housing, having worked in the private, not-for profit sector with Catholic Charities, in City Government with the Department of Homeless Services and Department of Health & Mental Hygiene as well as in her own consulting firm. The Coalition wishes Laura well and looks forward to continuing its many joint advocacy projects with SHNNY.

On November 1, 2014, Gail Nayowith will be stepping down as the Executive Director of SCO Family Services after 4 years of service to the agency. Doug O’Dell who has been with SCO for 24 years will be taking over as Interim Executive Director. Fond best wishes and thanks to Gail, with whom we have worked closely in her many past endeavors and who was very active in The Coalition’s Children’s Committee. Good luck to Doug in his new role.

On October 29, 2014, The Puerto Rican Family Institute (PRFI), friends and supporters, held a welcoming reception was for its new Chief Executive Officer, Iran Rodriguez. Iran was previously PRFI’s Chief Operating Officer. Congratulations to Iran and we look forward to continuing our relationship!

Robert Siebel will be retiring as Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Charities and Related Agencies, effective November 1, 2014. Siebel has served in this capacity for over eleven years, in a career spanning 41 years with the Agency. During this transition period, Msgr. Alfred LoPinto will be assuming the role of Interim Chief Executive Officer.

Other News

October 15, 2014, Peggy Chan became the DSRIP director in the NYS Office of Health Insurance Programs. Peggy previously worked for the New York Presbyterian Hospital as the Director of the Office of Care Management, Community Health.

On October 23, 2014, The Coalition’s own Phillip Saperia presented at a Regional Summit hosted by the Support Center/Partnership in Philanthropy called New Designs for Changing Times. The panel was entitled, “Umbrella Group and Intermediary Forum” and consisted of colleagues, Nicole Gallant, Senior Vice President, Community Impact, United Way of New York City, Allison Sesso, Executive Director, Human Services Council, Nancy Wackstein, Executive Director, United Neighborhood Houses Athena Moore, Director, Northern Manhattan Office, Office of Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer and Emily Wexler, Program Specialist, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO).


Coalition Job Board

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

Job #  Job Title
8246 Compliance Officer
8248 Vocational Case Managers

Assistant Director - SACAP


Supervising Psychologist & Social Worker Positions


Clinical Coordinator (350 TLC)

8276 Mental Health Counselor
8278 Clinical Supervisor, MC PROS
8282 Director of Mental Health Clinic - Bronx
8283 Facilities & Procurement Coordinator



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