Spreading Good Holiday Cheer 

From all of us at LSF Health Systems to all of you

We wish you a holiday season filled with joy, good cheer, the hope for a happy tomorrow and time spent with those you love. May the New Year bring you wish fulfillment, smiles and laughter.

2023 Innovation Summit

Another successful year! Thank you to all who attended our 3rd Annual Behavioral Health Innovation Summit on October 10-11, 2023, in beautiful Lake Nona. We celebrated creativity and innovation with a kick-off and opening remarks by Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris. Keynote speakers Dr. Kim Macuare, Co-Director of The Dali Innovation Labs, spoke on the Art of Innovation, and Dr. Stephen Loyd, Chair of the Tennessee Opioid Abatement Council, challenged us to view individuals living with substance use disorders with compassion as he presented a new Opioid Abatement Model for addiction treatment that works.

Click here to learn more about our agenda and view presentations slides and videos from our esteemed thought leaders, panelists and community trailblazers who are transforming the way we think about and deliver mental health and addiction recovery services throughout Florida and beyond!

Our very own ‘Hero’

ROSC Specialist Bryan Mingle 

Bryan Mingle had the honor of being recognized as a community 

“Unsung Hero” at the Inaugural Beautiful Minds Gala in downtown Jacksonville. The September 23, 2023, gala was Agape Health & Wellness Center’s first such event. Agape is a nonprofit founded by Dr. Erakal Goodman and was recently designated as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) by the federal Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The keynote speaker was Dr. Billina Shaw, a senior medical adviser from SAMHSA who spoke on health equity.


Cindy Smith-Funkhouser, I.M. Sulzbacher’s Chief Executive Officer, received a Community Impact Award in addition to four other community leaders including Peter Racine, a senior vice president of the Jaguars Foundation, and Dr. Terrie Andrews, then vice president for behavioral health at Baptist Medical Center.


"It was a wonderful evening, filled with more love and support than I had imagined," Mingle said. Learn More

Pictured is Agape founder Dr. Erakal Goodman,

Bryan Mingle ROSC Specialist

A Story of hurricane Heroes in Citrus County

"The Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) event in Citrus County was very well attended and the scope and size of the assistance available were incredible," said Paul Tarnowski, Housing Care Coordinator at LSF Health Systems.

So many people from multiple organizations staffed over a hundred positions of assistance and the coordination from the Department of Children and Families, Law Enforcement, and the contractors who worked on the meals and parking and managing the crowds was amazing. The event followed Hurricane Idalia and preceded a devastating tornado in the same area of Citrus County which was affected by flooding from the Hurricane. 

"My impression of the size of the event stuck with me. It seemed too large for the size of the Hurricane…but then I put myself in the shoes of the persons who may have lost their homes or had their lives turned upside down and it brought it into perspective for me. Furthermore, if we ever get hit by “the big one” it is comforting to know that so many organizations and persons are willing and able to come out and offer their services and support to whatever communities that have been affected." Tarnowski said.

My son was Found...

A Personal Story of Triumph

Lisa Taliaferro is the Executive Director of Patients Not Prisoners. Her son who has a Serious and Persistent Mental illness was missing. He was living in an ALF ( Assistant Living Facility) in St Johns County. Due to the efforts of an organization called SOS (Street Outreach Services) this St Johns County team found the missing man in Jacksonville after 37 days. The work of Outreach Workers is tremendous to provide safety to the most vulnerable community members. Most of us end our days with similar problems and concerns but the parents of individuals with SMI ( Serious Mental Illness) never let their guard down. The ability to ensure their family members' well-being and safety is always at risk.


"This group of people made flyers and went to look for my son throughout the city. For that, I am grateful and I want you to know about the great work that is being done by, Josh, Ulysses, Amanda, and more at St Francis House", Says Lisa Taliaferro.

LSFHS Zero Suicide Grant Announced in Tallahassee

The September 2023 statewide Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council meeting in Tallahassee became the perfect setting to announce that LSF Health Systems was included in the federal government’s latest round of Zero Suicide grants. Natalie Kelly, Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Association of Managing Entities, told a roomful of SPCC members and subject matter experts on crisis care that the 5-year, $2 million grant will screen for suicide risks among veterans and other high-risk populations in Duval County. 

The Zero Suicide Project, now in its implementation phase with services set to begin in April, will expand LSF Health Systems’ pandemic-era pilot in Duval County by creating a Zero Suicide Committee among 17 providers in the Jacksonville metro area. Mental Health Resource Center is the lead provider with its Link to Life program partnering with several stakeholders in Duval. Several LSFHS-funded providers’ subject matter experts were also featured in the SPCC meeting whose theme was “Strengthening Florida’s Crisis Care Continuum." The crisis continuum of care presented consisted of a 24/7 call center (“someone to talk to”), Mobile Response Teams (“someone to respond”), and Crisis Stabilization Programs (“somewhere to go”). Dr. Ali Martinez and Brooke Alker of the Alachua County Crisis Center shared their knowledge in the “Putting the Pieces Together” panel, along with Ashley Tozier, senior vice president of medical services at Meridian Behavioral in Gainesville. 

Learn more about the Zero Suicide Grant!

A Groundbreaking Program

The Invitation to Change (ITC) is a groundbreaking program created by the psychologists at CMC Foundation for Change. It’s tailored to help family members, loved ones, and professionals supporting anyone struggling with substance use. Finally addressing a long-standing need, this innovative approach provides essential support to families who have struggled with their loved one’s substance use without adequate help.

Designed as a comprehensive resource, this program helps family members learn to care for themselves and become invaluable allies in the recovery process. Drawing from three evidence-based treatments—Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT), Motivational Interviewing, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy—ITC creates an environment that facilitates family healing and growth. Volusia Recovery Alliance RCO has provided this training in 2022-23 and has plans to expand ITC offerings in 2024 with peer specialists who also facilitate Parenting Cafes at the RCO.

ITC support groups are structured to empower participants, offering opportunities to:

1.    Understand the behavior of substance use. 

2.    Understand the process of change.

3.    Honor the pain and emotional challenges that come with caring.

4.    Help their loved one initiate changes and support this process when it begins.

Learn the skills needed to support themselves during this challenging journey.

Contact Heather Ross to learn more!

Follow Volusia Recovery Alliance page for 2024 ITC community trainings

The Living With Your Child’s Addiction podcast:


Opioid Settlement Dollars Presented

Pictured left to right, Dr. Christine Cauffield, LSF Health Systems Chief Executive Officer; DCF Assistant Secretary Erica Floyd Thomas; Shawna Novak, LSFHS board member and Director of Health and Human Services in St. Johns County. 

At the Florida Association of Counties Human Services Administrators' mid-year meeting in Tampa, Dr. Christine Cauffield and Erica Floyd Thomas presented on the Opioid Settlement dollars. The Department of Children and Families received $153.5 million for fiscal year 2023-24. Over the last four months, $97 million in opioid funding has been distributed statewide.

DCF focused on several core areas to distribute funds, which include: 

  • Primary prevention and media campaigns ($25.4 million)
  • Local projects ($13.9 million)
  • Research and information technology ($11.4 million)
  • An overdose prevention through naloxone saturation plan ($10 million) 
  • Recovery housing through Oxford Houses ($8.7 million)
  • Workforce and workforce development ($8.3 million)

The Jags announced the 2023 Inspire Changemaker

Operation New Hope, a community partner with LSF Health Systems, was one of the 32 Changemakers that was recognized for their ongoing efforts in helping break the cycle of poverty and providing mentorship and financial support services. Reggie Fullwood was nominated by the Jacksonville Jaguars for his work with Operation New Hope. Fullwood is the President and CEO of Operation New Hope, which provides support, life and job skills training, employment services, and case management to returning citizens starting before the time of release. A $10,000 donation was given and in addition, Operation New Hope will receive special recognition at each team's Inspire Change games during Weeks 15 and 16.

OH, Joy, Santa was here!

On December 12, LSFHS staff and their little helpers got a visit from Santa! It was an evening filled with kids' activities, a story told of magic, a cookie exchange, and hot cocoa to warm up the cool evening air. The office was lit up with lights and thoroughly decorated cubicles, and laughter traveled throughout the night! This was a great start to the holiday season.

Share Your Program's Accomplishments

If you have information about a program accomplishment or innovative idea that you’d like to share in this newsletter, please contact resourcedevelopment@lsfnet.org.

Inquire with LSFHS Training Academy of Excellence to Fill Your Needs  


The International Training Academy of Excellence is an educational provider of LSF Health Systems (LSFHS) dedicated to training organizations on topics that impact the behavioral health care system. Schools, health facilities, human resources, and law enforcement call our team to train them on the latest best practices in the areas of mental health, domestic abuse and substance use and misuse. We equip staff and employees with tactical, evidence-based strategies to help them offer the best support possible to their employees and community. All trainings are customized to address the unique needs and goals of providers, families, and communities.

Peer Workforce Development ECHO

Session 6: Introduction to NARCAN: Jan 2nd, 2023

from 10:00 - 11:30 am

Session 7: Ethical Responsibility and Decision Making in Clinical Practice & The Role of the Certified: Jan 9th, 2024

10:00 - 11:30 am

Session 8: Consistency is Key I: Collaborative Documentation: Jan 23rd, 2024

from 10:00 - 11:30 am

Session 9: Consistency is Key II: Successful Peer Support Services Documentation (Medicaid) : Feb 6th, 2024

from 10:00 - 11:30 am

To register and learn more, click here!

Below are additional opportunities from our Training Academy. To view more offerings, please click here: https://lsftraining.coursestorm.com.

To request training, please visit: https://www.lsfnet.org/request-a-training/ or email training@lsfnet.org

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Be sure you receive all the latest news and information from LSF Health Systems! If you have not subscribed to our newsletter, click the button below to subscribe today!



  • LSF Health Systems 24/7 Access to Care: (877) 229-9098
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988
Stay Connected 
Facebook  Instagram  LinkedIn  X


LSF Health Systems is one of seven behavioral health Managing Entities (ME) contracted by the Florida Department of Children and Families to manage the state-funded system of behavioral health care for people who face poverty and are without insurance. We serve a 23-county region in Northeast and North Central Florida. We are an arm of Lutheran Services Florida (LSF), a private 501(c)(3) human services agency with more than 35 years of experience helping people in need, regardless of religious affiliation, age or national origin. LSF is accredited by the Council on Accreditation, an international and independent human services accrediting body founded in 1977. To learn more about LSF Health Systems, click here.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, persons needing special accommodations to participate in any meeting/hearing should contact Fatou Mbaye at 1-904-900-1075 for assistance..

LSF Health Systems is a Managing Entity contracted with the Department of Children and Families.

904-900-1075 | 9428 Baymeadows Rd., Suite 320, Jacksonville, FL 32256 | lsfnet.org/lsfhs/