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

Coalition Looking Forward to Celebrating Our 2016 Annual Leadership Awards Reception – Reserve Your Spot Now!

The Coalition is thrilled to join with community leaders and behavioral health professionals to honor individuals who have shown a strong commitment to improving the lives of people living with behavioral health disorders, as well as strong service to the behavioral health community.

The 2016 Leadership Awards celebration is set for September 20, 2016, 5:30 PM at the Pfizer World Headquarters located at 235 East 42nd Street, New York City. Order your tickets here!

This year we are delighted to honor Richard Buery, New York City Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives, Emil Slane, Deputy Commissioner and Chief Fiscal Officer, New York State Office of Mental Health, Amy Kohn, CEO, Mental Health Association of Westchester and Briana Gilmore, Director of Planning & Recovery Practice, Community Access, Inc.

We look forward to seeing you next Tuesday!

2016 Behavioral Health Awards

Governor Cuomo Proposes Supportive Housing MOU & Announces Awardees of RFP for 1,200 New Supportive Housing Units

By Christy Parque
Chief Executive Officer & President
The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Inc.

housing protestOn September 13, 2016, the Cuomo Administration proposed a plan in the form of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop 6,000 units of supportive housing over the next 5 years. The MOU must be agreed upon with the State Legislature to become effective. The press release affirms that, "agreement by all parties to the MOU will release in full $2 billion in funding appropriated in the 2016-17 State Budget toward the creation of new affordable and supportive housing units in New York."

This is a major step forward in the process to achieve a new NY/NY supportive housing agreement. The Coalition has been an an active participant in the Campaign 4 NY/NY Housing. From lobby days to street vigils and Twitter storms this campaign has been about collaboration, commitment and strategy with great advocacy from Association for Community Living (ACL), Supportive Housing Network of New York (SHNNY), Coalition for the Homeless among many others, and we are grateful to call them partners.

Together, along with the Legislature and Governor Cuomo, we will successfully craft a final agreement that will rapidly provide much needed supportive housing for homeless people living with behavioral health issues and needed funding to stabilize the providers.

Earlier this week Governor Cuomo announced the first conditional awards to the organizations that responded to a June RFP that will support the development of 1,200 units of supportive housing. The funding "will support the ongoing service and operating expenses of supportive housing projects. This funding will be made available to supportive housing providers under five-year contracts which are renewable at the end of their term."

Congratulations to Coalition Members Who Conditionally Received Awards to Develop Supportive Housing!

New York City:

ACMH, Inc. - Bronx County
The Bridge, Inc. - Bronx County
Bronxworks - Bronx County
Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service - Kings County
CAMBA, Inc. - Bronx County, Kings County, Queens County, No County Specified
Comunilife, Inc. - Bronx County
Community Access, Inc. - Bronx County
Concern for Independent Living - Kings County
Housing Works - Kings County
Project Renewal, Inc. - Bronx County, Richmond County
PSCH, Inc. - Kings County, Queens County
Samaritan Village - Bronx County
Services for the Underserved, Inc. - Bronx County, No County Specified
Unique People Services, Inc. - Bronx County

Long Island:

Options for Community Living, Inc. - Nassau/Suffolk County
Association for Mental Health and Wellness - Suffolk County
Transitional Services of NY - Long Island - Suffolk County


Access Supports for Living, Inc. - Orange County


Coalition Submits Comments on New York State’s Amended HCBS Statewide Transition Plan

By Jamin R. Sewell
Counsel & Managing Director for Policy and Advocacy

The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Inc.

The Coalition submitted comments to the New York State Department of Health on September 9, 2016, regarding the NYS Amended Home & Community Services Statewide Transition Plan. The plan next will go to CMS for approval.

In our comments we applauded the State’s commitment to include person-centered, recovery-oriented, integrated, peer supported, data and evidence-based trauma-focused care as drivers of HCBS in behavioral health care. However, we raised some concerns regarding the potential costs related to mandated capital improvements that will allow supportive housing providers to comply as an HCBS setting.

A copy of the comments can be found here.


Amy Kohn Announces Retirement from the Mental Health Association of Westchester; Search for New CEO Underway

MHA-CEODr. Amy Kohn, CEO of the Mental Health Association of Westchester, recently announced her retirement after nearly 10 years of leadership of the agency. Dr. Kohn is also an active member of The Coalition’s Board of Directors.

A search for her successor is underway in earnest.
The posting for those interested in applying can be found here.

We will greatly miss Amy for her passion and contributions to the sector. Appropriately, Dr. Kohn is one of our honorees at Tuesday’s Leadership Awards Reception.



Coalition Member-Only Events

We encourage all members to participate in sharing information and working with us.

Coalition Membership Meeting
Date: September 22, 2016
Time: 3:30PM – 5:00PM
Address: 123 William Street, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10038

Substance Use Committee Meeting
Date: October 5, 2016
Time: 3:00PM – 5:00PM
Address: 123 William Street, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10038

Government Relations Committee Meeting
Date: October 17, 2016
Time: 3:30PM – 5:00PM
Address: 123 William Street, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10038

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Other Noteworthy Events:

Occasionally the Coalition will announce other noteworthy events for our community.

McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research Two-part Webinar Series:
Value-Based Payment (VBP) Models for Medicaid Child Health Services

Part I: Setting the Stage for VBP
Date: September 21, 2016
Time: 2:30PM - 4:00PM
Description: The first webinar will highlight relevant data and research, explore the impact of the social determinants of health, and review the implications of healthcare reform for child-serving providers.
Register here!

Part II: Measuring Value in Children's Healthcare
Date: September 29, 2016
Time: 2:30PM - 4:00PM
Description: Part two will address how to measure value when it comes to children's healthcare with a focus on measure selection for reporting outcomes and how outcomes align with proposed value-based payment models. Finally, the presenters will explain key differences of value based payment between adult and children's services and strategies for managing multiple payment models.
Register here!

Both webinars will include time for Q&A and discussion. We encourage you to send any questions in advance to


In Memoriam:

Mona Bergenfield, who was Director of Quality Compliance at ACMH, Inc., passed away at home on August 21, 2016. In her New York Times obituary it stated that, “[s]he dedicated her life’s work to providing services to the homeless and 'mentally ill.’ Mona will be missed by all.


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