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

A New Chapter Begins at The Coalition

Change is coming to The Coalition. On June 1, 2018, the Board of Directors appointed Jason Lippman Interim President & CEO of The Coalition. Jason brings much experience to his new position, through his long association with The Coalition, including most recently serving as its Executive Vice President, and previously as Director of Policy & Advocacy.

“It is truly an honor to serve in this leadership position,” according to Jason. “Thank you to the Board of Directors and membership for having confidence in me to lead The Coalition through this important transformation.”

In the months ahead, our primary focus will be to strengthen The Coalition’s advocacy efforts on fostering the sustainability and viability of the community-based behavioral health sector. As part of this effort, The Coalition will enhance our presence in Albany and to position us as the go-to advocate and resource for our membership, in navigating the many changes now underway in our sector. Stay tuned for more announcements this summer.

We look forward to your continued support and participation in this endeavor.



The Coalition Integrates its Training Center Services

The Coalition is pleased to announce a newly fully integrated training department and team. The Coalition’s Center for Rehabilitation & Recovery, Professional Learning Center and Court Involved Youth initiatives will operate synergistically under one training department to maximize our impact providing the behavioral health community with quality and forward-thinking trainings. Below are recent highlights from our training team.

Two Shining Stars Join The Center for Rehabilitation & Recovery: Liz Breier and Clinton Green were recently hired to play instrumental roles in expanding The Coalition’s technical assistance and training capacities, including Benefits Management. Learn more about Liz and Clinton in the “Around the Water Cooler” section below, and view the upcoming trainings happening at the Center.

New Milestone Achieved: In advancing the reach of The Coalition’s continuing education program to offer CEU’s for licensed social workers, licensed mental health and credentialed alcoholism and substance abuse counselors (CASACs), the training department has provided a total of 4,000 continuing education hours to the New York City behavioral health workforce in 2018.

Coming This Fall: The Coalition is creating an online learning community and building a Learning Management System (LMS). Once implemented, the LMS will allow participants to access training materials, resources and webinars. Keep your eyes out for the launch date!


The 12th Annual Conference for Working Peer Specialists is Upon Us!

The 12th Annual Conference for Working Peer Specialists: “Tools of the Trade: Building Blocks of an Empowered Peer Workforce” will showcase 22 workshops that illustrate important tools to sustain personal recovery and employment. These tools can be shared in various interpersonal settings, online peer support communities and informal grassroots-style get-togethers where mutual support is freely offered. This event will host more than 300 peer specialists working across the spectrum of New York City’s mental health service delivery system. This one day conference commences on July 19, 2018, from 8:30am to 4:30pm at the New York University Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012. Register online!


HARP Enrollment Now Accessible on NYS of Health Marketplace

Individuals eligible to enroll in Health and Recovery Plans (HARP) can now do so on the New York State of Health (NYSoH), also known as The Exchange. According to an announcement from the state, HARP-eligible NYSoH account holders will automatically join the HARP associated with their current Health Plan. Before enrollment, they will receive a notification letter about this action. HARP-eligible individuals wishing to opt out of a HARP will need to opt out within 30 days after receiving their notification letter to avoid being automatically enrolled. Individuals who are HARP-eligible, but currently enrolled in a Health Plan that does not have an associated HARP, can choose a HARP associated with a different Health Plan by using their NYSoH account. Individuals on a NYSoH account who are not account holders will need to update their consent through a Life Status Change (LSC) action before the HARP option will display. Individuals currently enrolled in Medicaid through New York State of Health can contact NYSoH for assistance at 1-855-355-5777. Individuals currently enrolled in Medicaid through their local Department of Social Services can contact NY Medicaid Choice for assistance at 1-855-789-4277.


water cooler
Around the Water Cooler

The Coalition is pleased to announce two new additions to the Center for Rehabilitation and Recovery team:

Liz Breier has worked in Behavioral Health for close to twenty years in a variety of supervisory and leadership roles in Florida, New Jersey and New York. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services from Florida Gulf Coast University and a Master of Arts in Health Advocacy from Sarah Lawrence College. Liz is married with two stepdaughters aged 13 and 16 and is currently relocating back to New York City from New Jersey.

Clinton Green, LMSW, has over ten years of experience working with adults living with mental health challenges. His most recent position was as the Program Director for the ThriveAtWork program, part of the Thrive NYC initiative. This role included oversight of a new innovative mental health peer specialist training program, and included curriculum writing, program design and facilitation of training sessions. Prior to this role, Clinton served as Assistant Director for PROS programs for Coalition members: Community Access and the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC).


After a 42-year career at Westchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS), including 20 years as CEO, Alan Trager will retire from his position later this month. The Coalition wishes Alan the very best in his retirement and has admired his commitment to both WJCS and the behavioral health community at-large throughout his career. During Trager’s tenure as CEO, WJCS grew from a $17 million to a $42 million agency with more than 80 programs. The agency serves 20,000 people annually and employs a staff of more than 750.


On June 25, 2018, Seth Diamond will become the new CEO of WJCS. Diamond most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of Metroplus. Before that, he was Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery for New York City, Commissioner for the Department of Homeless Services in New York City, Executive Deputy Commissioner of New York City’s Human Resources Administration, and Deputy Commissioner of its Job Center Operations.


Service Program for Older People (SPOP) received a major grant from the hope & grace fund, a project of New Venture Fund in partnership with the global women's skincare brand philosophy, inc. The grant will support the development of a training curriculum to address the mental health needs of formerly incarcerated older adults, with a major focus on older women.  SPOP will develop and test the curriculum in partnership with the Osborne Association, the region's leading provider of services to justice system-involved people and their children and families. 


The Child Center of NY celebrated its milestone 65th anniversary gala. The agency honored renowned chef and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich and recognized staff member Omar Kazi with the Russell L. Carson Visionary Award. Nearly 400 attendees (an all-time attendance record for The Child Center) got to experience the talents of Broadway and film stars Jessica and Santino Fontana, its own afterschool participants, and the amazing and iconic Idina Menzel. The event was also emceed by Sunny Hostin of The View.


Unique People Services (UPS) held the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of its much anticipated first affordable mixed-income development, Lynn’s Place. In attendance were Ann Sullivan, Commissioner of NYS Office of Mental Health, Emily Lehman, Assistant Commissioner of the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Kristen Miller, Center from Supportive Housing, former NYC City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito and Assemblyman and Vice Chair of the Democratic Party Michael Blake, along with various community stakeholders.


Ryan Health, formerly known as The William F. Ryan Community Health Network revealed its new name and new tagline “Caring for New York. Here for you.” The new name and tagline represents the agency’s goal to focus on patient centered care while continuing to practice the founding belief and legacy of Congressman William F. Ryan that “Healthcare is a right, not a privilege.”


Nicholas Calabro, Director of Integrated Care and Health Homes at Amida Care, is one of 14 individuals appointed to Westchester County’s LGBTQ Advisory Board by County Executive George Latimer. For more details about the advisory board and its members, click here.


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