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

The Coalition to Convene Sustainability & Viability Forum at Fall Membership Meeting 

The stage is set for tomorrow's Coalition fall membership forum on the sustainability and viability of the community-based behavioral health sector. Joining Coalition members will be Commissioner Ann Sullivan of the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH), Commissioner Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez of the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and Executive Deputy Commissioner Gary Belkin of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH).

Continued system transformation depends on fully utilizing the expertise and strength of community-based behavioral health providers to fulfill the promises of value-based payment systems, employing data collection practices aligned with behavioral health outcome metrics, addressing the social determinants of health, integrating care and supporting enrollment of Health and Recovery Plan (HARP) members into Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). As we work together to create innovative models of care to improve health outcomes, the community-based behavioral health sector must be sufficiently provided with the tools and resources necessary to meet these requirements. 

Please stay tuned for post-event coverage from The Coalition.



Registration is Open! OMH Statewide Virtual Town Hall with Commissioner Ann Sullivan

On Tuesday, November 13, 2018, the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) will hold a Statewide Virtual Town Hall with Commissioner Ann Sullivan, M.D., from 1pm to 3pm. 
Commissioner Sullivan will present and take feedback on several key priorities under the OMH Strategic Plan. This is a great opportunity to learn more about OMH's vision, including progress on the Commissioner's top policy and planning priorities. The event will be available through WebEx and you can register here for more information and updates.

For special accommodations to participate in this event or if you have any questions, please contact Ben Rose at (518) 474-1897.


Room for Debate: Supervised Injection Sites & Medical Marijuana for Opioid Treatment

This week on The Capitol PressroomLieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul indicated that thestate is open to exploring supervised injection sites as part of the state's "all-of-the-above approach" to combatting the opioid epidemic. Hochul signaled that the state is looking at success rates in other states as well as the impact on neighborhoods.

Previously, Mayor Bill de Blasio had announced his support of opening four "Overdose Prevention Centers" in New York City where illegal drug use would be allowed. These sites would be paid for and operated by community-based organizations that already operate needle exchange programs. Trained staff would be on site to administer anti-overdose medications, like Naloxone, and inform people of prevention, treatment and recovery programs. The plan is still under review by the State Department of Health (DOH). 

Hochul also remarked on the bill signed by Governor Cuomo to allow for the use of medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids for pain management and treating opioid addiction. The Coalition submitted comments on state DOH emergency regulations on using medical marijuana for pain management and opioid treatment, emphasizing that robust scientific evidence does not exist to support its efficacy.


CSS Releases RFP for Behavioral Health Insurance Ombuds Program

The Community Service Society (CSS) has released a request for proposals (RFP) for community-based organizations to join the new state mental health and substance use disorder health insurance ombuds program network. CSS anticipates awarding 4-5 contracts to organizations serving New York State to assist with providing education and outreach to individuals with mental health and substance use disorder needs, their families, providers and local public health entities. Agencies serving the North Country, Long Island, Staten Island, and Western New York are highly encouraged to apply. The grant award is $20,000 - $30,000 for a 6-month period during the first contract year. 

CSS expects to announce the awards on Nov. 8, 2018, on the CSS website at

water coolerAround the Water Cooler

Meggan Schilkie is Appointed as Executive Director at NY Health Home Coalition

The NY Health Home Coalition announced the appointment of Meggan Schilkie as its first Executive Director. 

Ms. Schilkie is currenty a Principal at Health Management Associates (HMA) and worked for 10 years at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), where her last role was Chief Program Officer. 

As a former Policy Advocate at The Coalition for Behavioral Health, our warmest congratulations to Meggan!



NYC Mental Health Film Festival

The #MHFF is presented by Community Access

When: Saturday, October 13, 2018

Where: Village East Cinema, Second Avenue & 12th Street, NYC

Click here for tickets and more details on the event



Unique People Services

27th Anniversary Gala Fundraiser

When: Thursday, October 25, 2018

Where: Marina del Rey Caterers, Bronx, NY

Cocktail hour 5:30pm-6:30pm / Dinner and Program 6:30pm-10:30pm

Click here for tickets and registration


Venture House Masquerade Ball & Casino

When: November 3rd at 7pm

Where: The Community House - Forest Hills, 15 Borage Place

To purchase tickets & journal ads, click here


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