July 28, 2022
Governor Hochul Signs Legislative Package to Uphold and Strengthen Rights of People with Disabilities

Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday signed a legislative package that further upholds and strengthens the rights of New Yorkers with disabilities. This legislative package encourages autonomy in decision making through a Supported Decision-Making Agreement and seeks to educate the public about the myriad ways people with intellectual and developmental disabilities contribute meaningfully to their communities and reduce harmful stigma and stereotyping. Governor Hochul also issued a proclamation commemorating the 32nd Anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Read more here.
DOH Announces Approximately $10.7 Million In Funding for Community-based Wellness Organizations

The New York State Department of Health, with Health Research Inc. (HRI), on Wednesday announced two funding opportunities that will provide $10.7 million in funding for small, community-based wellness organizations to encourage the expansion or development of new COVID-19 mitigation and prevention resources and services. These grants will support local organizations that are trusted voices in underserved and marginalized populations, including rural communities that are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19. Read more here.
State Boosts Project TEACH Mental Health Program

The U.S. surgeon general is warning that America’s youth face a “devastating” mental health crisis. The American Academy of Pediatrics calls it “a national children’s mental health emergency.” And obstetrician/gynecologists and other primary care providers are seeing increased anxiety and depression in their pregnant and postpartum patients.

While primary care providers see children and new parents for routine care, they typically receive minimal training in dealing with patients’ mental health needs. Understandably, Kaye notes, that makes many of them reluctant to work with their patients on these issues. Read more here.
CMS Releases First-Ever Home- and Community-Based Services Quality Measure Set

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is releasing the first-ever home- and community-Based Services (HCBS) quality measure set to promote consistent quality measurement within and across state Medicaid HCBS programs. The measure set is intended to provide insight into the quality of HCBS programs and enable states to measure and improve health outcomes for people relying on long-term services and support (LTSS) in Medicaid. The release of this voluntary measure set is also a critical step to promoting health equity among the millions of older adults and people with disabilities who need LTSS because of disabling conditions and chronic illnesses.
Read more here.
By Perpetuating Substance Use Disorder Stigma, Public Housing Policy Causes Harm

Lorraine’s homelessness began in 2017 when she was evicted from her public housing apartment for drug use. In addition to chronic housing insecurity and substance use disorder (SUD), Lorraine was living with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. With her fixed income, she couldn’t find another affordable place to live and ultimately landed at the nearby homeless shelter. Lorraine’s first priority became finding a home. She spent her days meeting with the shelter’s case managers, doing odd jobs to save up for rental application fees, and visiting places available for rent. With her primary focus on stabilizing her acute lack of housing, she had to push her own health and health care to a lower priority, despite chronic conditions in need of regular attention. Read more here.
Buprenorphine Treatment for Veterans with OUD Increased As Care Shifted To Telehealth during Covid, Study Finds

Drug treatment of veterans with opioid use disorder increased during the first year of the pandemic, according to a new study, suggesting that the rapid shift from in-person to telehealth visits at VA medical centers enabled patients to get access to care despite Covid-related disruptions. The study, published Thursday in the American Journal of Psychiatry, found that the number of Veterans Health Administration patients receiving buprenorphine for opioid use disorder increased 14% in the first year of the pandemic compared with the preceding 12 months. Read more here.
New York Senator Harckham’s Listening Tour Could Lead to Further Opioid Legislation

New York state Sen. Pete Harckham, of the Hudson Valley, is chair of the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and is traveling the state listening to various stakeholders discuss issues surrounding drug abuse and addiction.

“This gives us, really, an ear to the folks who are providing services on the ground so we know what the gaps in the system are, and what the challenges they face in dealing with New York state are,” Harckham said. At the end of the listening tour, Harckham is hoping to craft legislation to plug those gaps. Read more here.
Second Killings: The Black Women and Girls Left Behind to Grieve America’s Growing Gun Violence Crisis

We’ve all seen the frequent news coverage before: the photo of a young Black man flashes across the screen after he is shot and killed in an American city. Moments later, reporters cut to a grieving family—usually the victim’s mother, romantic partner, or grandmother who is inconsolable with cries of grief. They typically remain nameless and melt into the fabric of the ongoing news cycle. And soon enough, we turn the channel and continue our day. We are desensitized to the onslaught of violent Black deaths and the cultural violence that legitimizes the suffering of Black people. In cities all across America, gun homicide is a significant public health epidemic that disproportionately impacts low-income, urban Black communities. But in a country divided on gun laws, we often forget that real people are attached to the consequences of this division—and they are disproportionately Black Americans. Read more here.
New York Will Study Post-Partum Depression in Vulnerable Communities

A study of the impact of postpartum depression on vulnerable communities will be conducted by the New York state Office of Mental Health under legislation approved this week by Gov. Kathy Hochul. The bill is meant to review how postpartum depression is potentially under diagnosed and under treated in at-risk populations, especially among women of color.
Postpartum depression has been made worse, supporters of the legislation said, due to racial inequities and the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
Can Improving The Documentation Process Improve Workforce Retention?

In the coming years, tech literacy will be one of the most valuable competencies among clinical staff—and they know it. According to a new report from Elsevier Health, 56% of clinicians expect that tech will be central to their clinical documentation and decision-making. The troubling upshot, 69% are already overwhelmed with the current amount of data needed and used, and 69% expect this challenge to get worse. Another recent survey found that 36% of clinical professionals are spending 50% of their work day on documentation, and that 72% expect that time commitment to increase over the next 12 months. Read more here.

Counties Plan Funding as Opioid Settlement Payout Nears

With counties poised to receive much-needed funding from the national opioid settlement, planning on investment of those funds is reaching full speed. Still calculating the cost of the services they deployed to meet the needs of the painkiller-turned-heroin epidemic, the general sense was the counties are taking a careful look at how the funding can best be allocated. The epidemic, largely fueled by legal prescriptions of painkillers, marketed in a way that suggested they would not be habit forming, stressed county budgets from law enforcement, to rehabilitation, to the foster system and coroner’s office. The $26 billion from the manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies involved in the painkiller process will be split among state and local governments. Read more here.

First Federally Sanctioned Safe Injection Sites Curb Overdose Risk, Public Drug Use

Overdose prevention centers (OPCs) decrease overdose risk and curb public use of illicit drugs, according to early data from the first two federally sanctioned centers in the United States — both in New York City (NYC). In 2020, 2062 people died of a drug overdose in NYC — the deadliest year on record for the city and the US. Most deaths involved fentanyl.

In response to the crisis, and with government backing, on November 30, 2021, NYC launched OPCs in two syringe service programs operated by OnPoint NYC. These centers are also known as supervised or safe consumption sites. In the first 2 months of operation, 613 individuals used OPC services 5975 times across the two sites. Read more here.

Yuvo Health, Centene Subsidiary Hope to Bring Value-Based Care to FQHCs in New York

A new partnership between Yuvo Health, an administrative and managed-care solution for community health centers, and Centene subsidiary Fidelis Care aims to bring value-based care to federally qualified health centers in New York and its Medicaid population. In the partnership, which requires approval from the New York State Department of Health, Yuvo would be contracted with Fidelis through a value-based care arrangement where each side can tap into shared savings if certain goals are met. Read more here.


CLMHD Executive Committee Meeting
August 3: 8 - 9 am

LGU Clinic Operators Meeting
August 9: 10 - 11:30 am

Addiction Services & Recovery Committee Meeting
August 11: 11 am - 12 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting
August 11: 3 - 4 pm

Children & Families Committee Meeting
August 16: 11:30 am - 1 pm

CLMHD Membership Call
August 17: 9 - 10:30 am

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
August 18: 1 - 3 pm
The Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors advances public policies and awareness for people with mental illness, chemical dependency and developmental disabilities. We are a statewide membership organization that consists of the Commissioner/ Director of each of the state's 57 county mental hygiene departments and the mental hygiene department of the City of New York.

Affiliated with the NYS Association of Counties (NYSAC)