CCSI News and Updates
It is difficult to find any words that make sense for the introduction to this month’s newsletter, which comes during a time when we are witnessing so much pain and violence here in Rochester, where we have been working for nearly 30 years, and in other communities across the State and nation. Racism and its impact on individuals, families and communities could not be more visible – or feel more urgent. Yet as I write these words on a Sunday morning, I hear birds, not sirens. I smell grass, not smoke. I know that my family is safe. I am acutely aware of my privilege and the need to do more, to have a louder voice, to mobilize the power of our agency to create the change we need, including ensuring that a focus on achieving greater equity and addressing racism is reflected in all aspects of our work.  It is with that frame that I share some key areas of our work this month, which has included:
Anne L. Wilder
Coordinated Care Services, Inc.
  • Our endorsement of the Rochester Black Agenda Group and the acknowledgement of Racism as a Public Health Crisis;
  • A recent essay by CCSI staff member Dr. Elizabeth Meeker featured in last Friday’s Rochester Business Journal on the profound impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), a concern that only grows stronger with the increased fear and social isolation associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that the impact is felt more acutely in areas with fewer resources, another illustration of how structural racism impacts public health; and
  • The work of the Monroe County Shelter Task Force, highlighting the incredible creativity, dedication and collaboration among community partners across all sectors working so hard to ensure the health and safety of our most vulnerable residents. In the face of news that can feel paralyzing, it is important to lift examples of the change that can happen when we work together.  
CCSI Endorses the Greater Rochester Black Agenda Group's May 19th Declaration "RACISM IS A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS"
For nearly 30 years, CCSI has worked to improve quality of life and build stronger communities by helping local government, provider agencies, and not-for-profits develop and maintain critical programs, with a specific focus on the mental health, addiction, and human services so vital for community members with multiple and complex needs. It is with that history, mission, and with our whole hearts that we endorse the Greater Rochester Black Agenda Group’s May 19th Declaration “RACISM IS A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS.”   We acknowledge the profound and inextricable link between racism and disparities in health and wellbeing across all dimensions. The violence of the past week only serves to underscore and punctuate this reality. We are committed to working to address the painful consequences of structural racism and joining hands with our partners who support this declaration .
Impact of ACEs Needs to be Understood in all Aspects of Society
Rochester Business Journal - May 22, 2020
As the story of COVID-19 unfolds and we see the impact on families and communities across the country, there is a closely woven thread connecting Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the effect on physical and emotional health outcomes. ACEs are stressful or traumatic events, including abuse and neglect along with significant challenges in the home such as witnessing domestic violence or growing up with family members who have substance use disorders.
Elizabeth Meeker, PsyD
Vice President, Consulting Services
Coordinated Care Services, Inc.
While the groundbreaking study on childhood adversity and its powerful effect on adult health outcomes was first published by Vincent Felitti and Robert Anda over 20 years ago, there has been a lag in acting upon the implications of those findings in order to promote individual and community health and well-being. With the current overlay of COVID-19, the urgency to understand ACEs and take action is even more pronounced.

Nationally, there is growing concern that the increased fear and social isolation associated with COVID-19 may exacerbate existing chronic and toxic stress in the home leading to an escalation in interpersonal violence, mental health challenges, and use of drugs and alcohol. With daycare and school closed, children are at home and likely to experience higher rates of trauma exposure. We know that experiencing traumatic events before age 18 can create dangerous levels of stress, which impacts healthy brain development if there is no intervention or support. As youth get older, exposure to trauma can increase the likelihood they will engage in risky behaviors and have more incidents of poor mental and physical health outcomes in later years.

Monroe County Shelter Task Force Develops Guidance Manual to Help Ensure Shelter Residents and Staff Stay Safe
At the request of the United Way of Greater Rochester and the Monroe County Department of Human Services , Coordinated Care Services, Inc (CCSI) convened the Monroe County Shelter Task Force in March 2020 to develop a collaborative response to addressing the needs of persons in homeless shelters in Monroe County, NY during the COVID-19 pandemic. Representatives from Monroe County government, homeless shelter and health care providers, and others came together to craft a plan to ensure that shelter residents and staff would remain safe; that symptomatic individuals would be able to be quickly moved to alternative locations; and that mechanisms were in place to identify those at highest risk for serious consequences should they contract the virus.

The most recent version of this Guidance Manual from April 14th was developed by the Task Force to provide shelters and transportation providers, partnering hotels/motels, and other community collaborators with the instructions needed to ensure that services to shelter guests are provided in a way that adheres to State and County requirements developed to maintain community health and safety while implementing practices related to COVID-19.
The team continues t o meet three times/week to trouble shoot issues that arise, build upon supports and services that are being provided, and help address community issues that impact the success of this work. 

We asked those in the Task Force to share what they believe are the greatest benefits to the community from this work.

CCSI Collaborates with Monroe County Executive Adam Bello to Launch “Take 5 Monroe” 
CCSI is proud to partner with   Monroe County and numerous other partners and instructors to create a webpage where community members come together to share 5-minute instructional videos of various relaxation activities.

During these difficult times, we may find ourselves feeling anxious, fearful, uncertain, or confused. It is vital that we take care of ourselves, both mentally and physically. Because we all renew in different ways, videos on the webpage can range from easy movement, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and prayer to activities like dance, music, art & beyond.

These videos are part of “Take 5 Monroe,” a new county-wide campaign encouraging us all to take five (5) minutes out of each day to care for ourselves, our neighbors, colleagues and loved ones, during this period of continued social distancing. 

If you or anyone you know would be interested in submitting a video, check out our video guidance page . F or more information contact Elizabeth Meeker at .
A Message from Qawan Bollar
As the lead agency for  Enrico Fermi School #17 's community school initiative, we are proud to work with School 17 in their efforts to ensure that the love and passion everyone puts into their roles is sustained, regardless of the circumstances we are currently faced with.

Check out the positive and encouraging message that School 17's Site Coordinator, Qawan Bollar shared with the School 17 community about the good work underway at the school here .
Qawan Bollar
School 17 Site Coordinator
Coordinated Care Services, Inc.
Outreach Workers Find Safe Ways to Connect Individuals Experiencing Challenges with Community Resources
The Onondaga County Department of Adult & Long Term Care Services Outreach Team provides support to the residents, and businesses in downtown Syracuse. The team targets individuals who appear to be experiencing signs of distress resulting from: substance use, mental health conditions, and a range of poverty and other related stressors. In order to foster relationships, the team walks the downtown corridor (Armory Square, Clinton Square, Hanover Square, Salina Street, Fayette Street, Warren Street) and in other designated settings (Onondaga Public Library and the Department of Social Services--2nd Floor Civic Center) 2-3 times a day.  This allows workers to provide a positive and empathetic approach to uncover individual needs, and gently encourage engagement in services. 
(from L to R) Jackie Hernandez and Savannah Hamlin are both Outreach Workers who are part of Onondaga County Department of Adult & Long Term Care Services Outreach Team 
The Outreach Workers also act as care coordinators to the residents of Tiny Homes for Good in Syracuse The Outreach Workers routinely conduct home visits to check in with the residents and connect them to appropriate community resources.   

During the recent world health crisis of COVID-19, our team has been motivated to safely continue their work. The team now conducts mobile canvassing of the downtown area 3 days a week. The bi-monthly home visits to Tiny Home residents have been replaced with frequent phone calls and text messaging. The team relies on the technology of Zoom, WebEx and Microsoft Teams to communicate with service providers and colleagues. The Outreach Workers miss the face-to-face interaction, but will continue to serve as the connective bridge between people experiencing challenges and community resources.

The work performed by Onondaga County Outreach has temporarily changed in practice, but not in its mission. 
Connecting to Behavioral Health Services
 and Narcan Training in Monroe County
While we have all been focused on coronavirus (COVID-19), we must remember that the opioid epidemic is still a nationwide public health emergency, and resources are still available to help individuals and families struggling with opioid addiction. CCSI staff spoke with Jason Teller, Substance Use Planning and Implementation Specialist at Monroe County Office of Mental Health to learn more about what’s available to help those in need stay sober, healthy and safe.

How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted those struggling with addiction, and how can they access behavioral health services?

Even without the coronavirus pandemic, individuals with substance use disorder experienced barriers to treatment, and now with the latest necessary public health safety measures in place, like social distancing and quarantines, these create additional risk factors for relapse for those with addiction. Isolation, combined with feelings of fear and anxiety, as well as stress from economic and health concerns, can worsen anxiety and depression, which can then lead to self-medication.
Jason Teller
Substance Use Planning and Implementation Specialist
Monroe County Office of Mental Health
Because of this, we want to make sure everyone’s aware that mental health and substance use providers are still available for support. Instead of the usual face-to-face appointments, they are now offering services by phone and video conferencing. If an individual already has a provider they’ve been seeing, they can continue to meet with them. Individuals currently on medication assisted treatment (MAT) still have access to those medications and those that need to initiate MAT can do so as well. If someone needs to be connected to services, there are a few easy ways to get connected.

NYAPRS: Leadership and Innovation in Turbulent Times
The New York State Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS) recently offered it’s 16th Annual Executive Series as a series of virtual seminars on three consecutive Tuesdays in April and May. The theme of the series was “Leadership and Innovation in Turbulent Times” and a wide range of topics were covered. Some highlights included:

“Building a Better Workforce: Talent Management Strategies for Recruitment, Retention and Burnout,” presented by Andrew Cleek from MCTAC and Tony Salerno from Columbia University’s Institute for EBP. The session focused on talent management issues within a behavioral health workplace context and emphasized the stressors inherent to professionals in our field (caseloads, productivity requirements, quality of care, vicarious trauma, etc.) that result in a 34% statewide annual turnover rate. A number of mitigating factors were discussed, including an emphasis on the core needs of professionals (achievement, competence, autonomy, relatedness, responsibility, task satisfaction) and the importance of supervision, trust and commitment in our work environments. 

“New York’s Mental Health Response to COVID-19,” presented by Ann Sullivan, Commissioner NYS Office of Mental Health, Amanda Saake, Special Assistant to the Co mmissioner; Robyn Krueger, CEO Community Missions; Barry Brogan, CEO, North Country Behavioral Health Network; and Taina Laing, Director of Operations, Baltic Street AEH. This discussion highlighted response efforts from around the state ranging from statewide resources to local and agency-based work. The importance of collaboration and acknowledging the psychological impact of these events was discussed, including highlighting the NYS Office of Mental Health’s Emotional Support Hotline (844-863-9314).  

More information about the presentations from this year’s NYAPRS Executive Series can be found at the NYAPRS website .
COVID-19 Resources for Behavioral Health Providers
Our partners at CTAC have built a cohesive, information packed webpage dedicated to sharing resources with behavioral health providers during the COVID-19 crisis.

Be sure to check out their webpage which includes links to more than 60 different resources, such as trainings, tip sheets, guidance from OMH, OASAS and other government entitites, resources and more. 
CCSI Chosen as a 2020 Wealth of Health Awards Finalist
CCSI is very excited to be chosen as a finalist in this year's 2020 Wealth of Health awards! Our Human Resources team, Wellness Committee, Benefits Workgroup, Diversity and Inclusion Workgroup, and Racial Equity and Justice Initiative Change Team collectively prioritize a healthy, inclusive, and engaging organizational culture and employee community.

We are proud of all the efforts our employees put into making CCSI a great place to work!

In Case You Missed It
Me, My Tech, and I
More than 7 out of 10 Americans own at least one smartphone. Three out of 4 smartphone users are within 5 feet of their phone at all times and about 8 out of 10 check them within fifteen minutes of waking up 1 . In just a handful of years, smartphones and social media have become a major part of our lives. But has the growth of these technologies outpaced our examination of their meaning? In this this session, we explored our relationship to our phones, and other technologies, in order to make more informed decisions about how they fit into our lives.   

1 Gazzely, A. (2017). Distracted Mind: Ancient brains in a high-tech world . S.l.: MIT PRESS. 
Gwendolyn Olton, MA, BSN, RN
Director of Practice Transformation
Coordinated Care Services, Inc.
Re-entry and Recovery From a CISM Perspective:
A Conversation with Barb Ertl
Schools and organizations are working hard to manage an unprecedented event in our time. This session explored activities that can be done currently to promote resilience. Emphasis was placed on key considerations from the Critical Incident Stress Management Model (CISM) of Crisis Intervention on recognizing milestones, planning for re-entry and recovery.  Barb Ertl, LPC, NCC, Certified Trauma Treatment Specialist and Fellow of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, talks participants through the phases and factors of the current pandemic we're facing and the behavioral health considerations for
re-establishing school community cohesion.
From ACEs to Assets: A Community Approach to Growing Resilience  
Through the experience of Monroe County, NY, this session explores how community collaborations to better understand ACEs and the power of resilience lead to meaningful change across child-serving systems. Unique, actionable data and collaborative efforts moved the needle in the ability to respond to trauma and to grow resilience. The data offer three clear areas where positive impact is possible, creating hope in the face of adversity and a replicable roadmap for individual and system change.
Elizabeth Meeker, PsyD
Vice President, Consulting Services
Coordinated Care Services, Inc.
Amy Scheel-Jones, MSEd
Senior Consultant
Coordinated Care Services, Inc.
Understanding Stigma: Motivational Interviewing as a "Way of Being" and Skill That Embraces the People We Support
This presentation, hosted by CCSI's Cheryl Martin, MA, RN, Master CASAC, Integrated Health Trainer and Clinical Consultant, will explore the drivers and facilitators of stigma and how stigma manifests in the people we serve, especially their health outcomes. Motivational interviewing will be offered as a “way of being” with others that can decrease the impact of stigma and build the self-efficacy of those we care about and support.
Cheryl Martin, MA, RN, Master CASAC
 Integrated Health Trainer and Clinical Consultant
Coordinated Care Services, Inc.
3 DBT Skills for Coping with the Coronavirus Crisis
CTAC offered a presentation by CCSI's David Eckert, Senior Consultant, to help us learn strategies we can deploy to manage distressing thoughts and keep negative emotions from getting the better of us. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) offers many beneficial distress tolerance and emotional regulation skills. The handout and brief (12 minute) pre-recorded presentation provide clients and professionals with a summary of how a few of these skills can be practiced daily to help us cope more effectively with these challenging times.
David Eckert, LMHC, NCC, CRC
Senior Consultant
Coordinated Care Services, Inc.
Online Meeting Facilitation: Tips for More Efficient and Fun Virtual Meetings
One of the many changes the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to our work is the onslaught of virtual meetings. Not surprisingly, folks are often unsure about this new way of meeting. On one hand, we're grateful for the technology that allows us to continue doing our important work. On the other hand, we might feel irritated and exhausted from meeting in this virtual space. This guide and video session are designed to ease some of the frustration of online meetings by offering strategies for efficient virtual meeting facilitation. Both the guide and the video can be used on their own or together to increase anyone's confidence that they can facilitate more enjoyable online meetings. 
Gwen Olton, MA, BSN, RN
Director of Practice Transformation
Coordinated Care Services, Inc.
Other News
Albert Blankley Joins CCSI’s Board of Directors
We are delighted to announce that Albert Blankley, Chief Operating Officer at Common Ground Health , has joined our Board of Directors. Albert has been with the organization since 2013, leading an increasing array of research and analytic and regional planning initiatives. Prior to joining Common Ground Health (formerly the Finger Lakes Health System Agency), Albert was an analyst and administrative policy developer for Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rochester, where he developed complex claims data analyses and oversaw the development of numerous policies.  He teaches ethics, values and public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology, is a member of The Children’s Agenda Policy Committee, and a Certified EMT in New York State. We are excited to welcome him to the CCSI Board!
CCSI is Growing
CCSI has a need for talented professionals looking to contribute their expertise, expand their influence, and manage their careers to meet personal aspirations. We offer opportunities across different service lines, geographies, and functions.