The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Inc. Coalition Briefs
An Update on Behavioral Health in New York

Coalition to Hold 2017 Leadership Awards
September 27th -
Get Tickets & Ads Now!

Join us at this year's Leadership Awards ceremony, to be held at Mutual of America (320 Park Avenue, New York, NY, between 50th and 51st street). Click here to purchase your tickets and advertisements; we look forward to celebrating with you!

This year's honorees:

Health Policy Innovation Leadership Award
Jason Helgerson
Medicaid Director
State of New York

Public Service Leadership Award
Andrew Cohen
New York City Council Member
11th District, Bronx

Behavioral Health Policy Leadership Award
Patricia Lincourt
Director of the Division for Practice Innovation and Care Management

Legacy Leadership Award
Alan Weinstock
Chief Executive Officer
WellLife Network

  Advocacy Champion Leadership Award



Healthcare Repeal Fails in the Senate - Stand Vigilant & Keep the Torch Burning!

Last week, the U.S. Senate voted three times to repeal and/or replace the Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”). First was a failed revote on the original Senate bill; next, a failed repeal without a replacement. Then, just before 2am on Friday, July 28, the “skinny repeal” failed, 49 votes to 51 votes, with a dramatic thumbs down from Senator John McCain. The defeat of the Senate bills is a victory for continued access to health and behavioral health care, and our highest appreciation goes to those of you who called, wrote, emailed, marched, made legislative visits to spread the word that the repeal and replace bills being proposed would decimate Medicaid and destroy the progress made in expanding access to healthcare under the ACA.

Unfortunately, we are not out of the storm just yet, as it is generally assumed that neither the ACA nor Medicaid is safe from further assault. We must be vigilant in our efforts and keep the torch burning. It is especially important that we continue to let our legislators know how important Medicaid and the ACA are to affordable and accessible care in the community, and the ability of providers to deliver the behavioral health services that consumers so urgently need.

Join us and other behavioral health advocates for the National Council for Behavioral Health’s Hill Day 2017 on October 2-3, in Washington, D.C.  Registering to participate is easy and will reserve your place with your state colleagues, Senators and Congressional representatives.

For more background on the value of Medicaid and the benefits of the ACA, please read the testimony prepared by Christy Parque, President & CEO of The Coalition, for a hearing convened by NYC Public Advocate Letitia James on the American Health Care Act and the Better Care Reconciliation Act.


Coalition Members Confirm New Board Leadership at Annual Meeting

The Coalition held its annual meeting June 22, 2017, Mitchell Netburn of Project Renewal was elected as The Coalition’s new Board Chair, David Woodlock of ICL as Vice Chair, Traci Donnelly of The Child Center of NY as Treasurer, and Susan Wiviott of The Bridge as Secretary.

In addition, John Darin (NADAP), Eliana Leve (The Alliance for Positive Change), Kerron Norman (ANDRUS) and Fern Zagor (Staten Island Mental Health Society) were elected to second terms. Joe Krasnansky (LESC), Debbie Pantin (VIP Community Services), Peter Provet (Odyssey House) and Jenna Tine (Goodwill Industries) were elected to serve their third term on the Board.

Congratulations to the 2017-2018 Coalition Board and Officers. With such critical advocacy on the federal, state and city levels ahead of us, it is reassuring to have the skilled leadership and expertise of our Board guiding the way forward!


The Coalition's Business Transformation Series Moves Forward

The Coalition continues our successful Business Transformation Initiative, funded by the New York Community Trust, enabling our network of members to forge ahead with Medicaid reform and the transformation to providing care under value-based payment. So far, members have participated in two forums: “Achieving Sustainability in a Complex Market,” on May 31, 2017; and “Assessing Your Risk” On June 27, 2017.

Additional opportunities for participating members will include eligibility to apply for ten hours of supportive, individualized mentorship by an expert consultant in a specialized area of need within  their organization.

Upcoming this fall, The Coalition will host three half-day workshops:

  • Affiliations and Partnerships on September 28
  • Measures and Performance on October 17
  • Working with Your Board on November 2

For more information, please contact


11th Annual Peer Specalist Conference - A Resounding Success!

Over 300 peers participated in the 11th Annual Peer Specialists Conference, along with the numerous vendors and provider agencies in attendance. Ann Marie T. Sullivan, Commissioner, NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH), Gary Belkin, Executive Deputy Commissioner, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Celia Brown, OMH, and Benjamin R. Sher, Director, Officer of Global and Lifelong Leaning, NYU, all provided welcoming remarks. Kevin Hines was the keynote speaker; a documentary filmmaker, mental health advocate, and author, Hines shared his message of hope and the art of living well.

A panel entitled: Tools you can Use, that discussed recipes and recommendations for wellness and self-advocacy was part of the conference program. The inspirational Lavender Light Choir participated and sang songs that exemplify Recovery and Peer Support; Lean On Me and I’ll Be There. There were many workshops throughout the day that offered tools for resiliency and recovery, a resource room that provided information and tools on wellness, benefits, and even acupuncture sessions! The Coalition is proud to join in this year’s conference as a member of the Peer Conference Planning Committee.


DOHMH Seeks Comments on IMT Concept Paper

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) proposes to issue an RFP to provide Intensive Mobile Treatment (IMT) to adults (18+) with recent and frequent contact with the mental health, substance use, criminal justice, and homeless services systems. IMT is a mobile, flexible and interdisciplinary treatment and engagement team that is designed to provide easy access, sustained engagement, and continuity of care to people with a high degree of transience and complex cross-systems involvement. To provide comments on the proposal, please email by August 14, 2017 and indicate IMT Concept Paper in the subject line of the email.


CSEDNY Joins The Coalition as New Member

The Coalition welcomes Counseling Service of EDNY (CSEDNY) as our newest member CSEDNY was founded nearly 30 years ago as one of the first federally-funded treatment alternatives to incarceration. Within the last ten years, the agency has been working to serve all individuals who need effective addiction treatment, serving over 3,000 annually.


water cooler
Around the Water Cooler

Dr. Jorge Petit has been named as Chief Executive Officer of Coordinated Behavioral Health Care (CBC). Dr. Petit, a board-certified psychiatrist, is currently the New York State Regional Senior Vice President for Beacon Health Options, a behavioral health wellness company. Previously he was president and founder of consulting firm Quality Healthcare Solutions Group and served as associate commissioner of the Division of Mental Hygiene at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. We look forward to working with Jorge and the rest of the CBC team!


Thelma Dye, Executive Director, and Jean Holland were featured in the Wall Street Journal on Northside Center’s plans to offer telepshychiatry to students in New York City public school clinics. So far, OMH has approved 46 programs statewide, including Astor Services for Children & Families, which offers telespsychiatry in 7 clinics in the Bronx.


Tony Hannigan, CEO of Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS) appeared on WNYC Radio to talk about how it’s leading efforts to combat homelessness with a $33 million contract with the city. This initiative was also featured in the New York Times. CUCS will lead the Manhattan Outreach Consortium, working with Goddard Riverside Community Center and Breaking Ground.


The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), the Center for Innovation in Mental Health at the City University of NY, School of Public Health, and First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray convened the 2017 NYC Mental Health Workforce Summit II on June 22, 2017. The event included updates from work groups and insights from experts in the field, including Julio Castaing, Senior Vice President of Human Resources from Services for the Underserved (SUS), who participated in a panel on workforce and the delivery system.


Senator Brad Hoylman and Doug Wirth, President & CEO of Amida Care, were among the 10 honorees to receive PRIDE Awards from City & State and NYN Media to honor and celebrate their service to the LGBTQ community. The PRIDE Awards ceremony also featured presentations from government officials on New York City and State actions to change and enhance policy issues. The Coalition congratulates Senator Hoylman, Doug and all of the award recipients. 


Coalition members ANDRUS, Association for Mental Health & Wellness, and Goodwill Industries received funding awards from the Mental Illness Anti-Stigma Fund . The program, funded through the OMH distributed a total of $75,000 to 15 selected agencies for the purpose of reducing the stigma associated with mental health. The Coalition congratulates all of the recipients and joins them in solidarity in their fight against stigma.


Recently, Jamie A. Angarita, Chief Operating Officer of The Child Center of NY, Kate Krug, Director of Development Events and Engagement, Safe Horizon and Marleen Litt, Assistant Vice President Waiver Services, JCCA and Giselle Routhier, Policy Director, Coalition for the Homeless, were selected as a New York Nonprofit Media 40 Under 40 Rising Stars honoree for their involvement within the nonprofit community. The ceremony took place on July 19 at The Capital Grille in downtown Manhattan. Congratulations to each of the recipients recognized this year.


On June 19, 2017, Zoraida Diaz was appointed as the new Regional Director of the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) for the greater New York City area. With over ten years of experience working at OASAS, Ms. Diaz will have oversight responsibilities for all NYC providers. MS. Diaz plans to use her expertise to assist programs with improving the lives of New Yorkers. We look forward to working closely with Zoraida and the provider community.


On June 14, 2017, The Board of Trustees of The New York Academy of Medicine appointed Judith Salerno, MD, MS as its next president. Prior to her new position, Dr. Salerno served as President and CEO of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and has the clinical, research, and health policy experience to excel at providing leadership within the government and nonprofit sectors.



Center for Rehabilitation & Recovery

Improving Recovery and Outcomes
**This is two-day training; participants must be able to commit to attending both sessions.
Dates & Times:
August 15, 2017 from 9:30am - 4:30pm; August 16, 2017 from 9:30am - 12:30pm
Location: The Coalition for Behavioral Health | 123 William Street, 19th Floor, Suite 1901 | Manhattan
More info »
Register now »


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