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

New Coalition Board Members Elected

On June 28, 2018, The Coalition held our Annual Membership Meeting, where members engaged in a productive dialogue on positioning The Coalition and elevating behavioral health in both the Albany and New York City policy arenas. The meeting began with the formal approval of the new slate of Board candidates. Congratulations to the new Coalition Board Members:

In addition, the following Coalition Board Members were elected to serve their third terms:

We look forward to an exciting year ahead working with The Coalition’s full Board and membership.



Dignitaries to be Honored at The Coalition Leadership Awards

The Coalition is thrilled to announce the 2018 honorees to receive Leadership Awards on October 23, 2018. This star-studded event will take place at Mutual of America at 320 Park Avenue in Manhattan beginning at 5pm. We are delighted to announce that this year’s ceremony will be emceed by NY1’s mid-day anchor, Roma Torre, where we will join with community partners to celebrate the accomplishments of our confirmed honorees as of today:

  • Honorable Diana Ayala, Chair of Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities and Addiction at the NYC Council;
  • Tino Hernandez, President & CEO of Samaritan Daytop Village;
  • Celia Brown, Regional Advocacy Specialist, NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH).

Stay tuned for ticket sales and sponsorship opportunities to  be advertised in early July.


State Legislative Session Wrapped Up; Coalition Looks Ahead to 2019

New York State’s 2018 Legislative Session came to an unexciting ending last week. There were several political factors at play, which jammed up the legislative process. At first, the Senate Republican Majority was tightly holding on after the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) returned to the Democratic fold, when suddenly the Senate found itself with no clear majority after Senator Croci, a Republican from Long Island, returned to active military duty.

At second, the Assembly and Senate could not agree even on significant items such as speed camera legislation, which crushed the fate of issues that usually become tied to legislative priorities. In addition, Governor Cuomo, with much of his agenda accomplished in the State budget, kept his focus on priorities outside of session.

Despite these obstacles, The Coalition and our advocacy partners pushed to advance sector priorities through both houses. Significant movement occurred in terms of advancing bills through one house or building support for initiatives that we will continue to advocate for in 2019. Click here for legislative highlights of 2018.


water cooler
Around the Water Cooler

Susan Wayne, President and CEO of Family Services of Westchester, will retire at the close of this month. Ms. Wayne began her tenure at FSW in 1996 as a clinical social worker and held the positions of Senior Director of Mental Health Services and Vice President of Community Based Programs prior to becoming President and CEO in 2008. Susan has played a leadership role in the broader Westchester nonprofit community, serving as founding Board Chair of Nonprofit Westchester, the county’s leading advocacy organization for nonprofits and currently chairs the Westchester County Department of Mental Health Community Services Board. Polly Kerrigan, Senior Vice President of Program Operations, has been named Acting President and CEO.


BCS (Brooklyn Community Services) announced the appointment of Janelle Farris as its new Executive Director & President. She began working for BCS as the Chief Operating Officer in the fall of 2013. In this position Ms. Farris was responsible for management of BCS programs, Human Resources and operations related to office and program relocation.


Ryan Health appointed Scott Morgan as its new Chief Financial Officer, a family of federally qualified health centers based in Manhattan. Scott will provide financial leadership across its 18 sites including six Manhattan-based community health centers, and brings 30 years of financial experience in the healthcare industry to the role.


Odyssey House received an award as part of the expansion of residential addiction treatment services beds announced by Governor Cuomo. Odyssey House was selected as one of five providers awarded a total of $4 million to add 156 new residential treatment beds in the Bronx and Brooklyn. Odyssey House was awarded $1,230,000 to expand 41 beds.



SPOP (Service Program for Older People) was published in the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA), national journal, Psychiatry Online, as a benefit for receiving the APA’s Gold Award. The article is titled “Providing Accessible, Affordable, and Stigma-Free Behavioral Health Care for Older New Yorkers,” and is accessible here.


Rebranded: MHA of NYC is now Vibrant Emotional Health. The agency recently launched its new name and look with a video announcement to better convey the story of their work and impact in fostering progress for people struggling with mental health and emotional challenges.


Acacia Network, The Fortune Society and Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, were among 8 recipients awarded innovation grants from OneCity Health, Performing Provider System (PPS). Of the $5 million in total funding granted:

  • Acacia Network will receive $699,450 to support peer specialists with enrolling people living in the Bronx with opioid dependencies in public benefit programs;
  • The Fortune Society will receive $487,000 to perform physical, behavioral and social health assessments for individuals prior to release from Rikers Island, and transportation to connect them with essential health care, including medication-assisted treatment for opioid use, upon release;
  • Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York and its joint applicants will receive $750,000 to enhance the Stanford Diabetes Self-Management Programming model by incorporating linkages to insurance, primary care and resources to address social determinants of health.


On the Move: GMHC is moving to a new headquarters at 307 West 38th Street on July 10. The new location will allow GMHC's grow and enhance its HIV/AIDS care services, prevention-education programs, research and public policy advocacy. For more information on the move and FAQ’s, please click here.


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