September 2015 Newsletter   
Dr. Christine Cauffield, Executive Director
Earlier this month Dr. Judith Cook, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, visited Jacksonville as part of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation national evaluation of Self-Directed Care (SDC) programs.  The behavioral health SDC movement was born in Jacksonville in early 2000 as a grassroots effort organized by individuals and systems advocates who believed that consumer choice was critical for individuals with a mental illness to achieve recovery. Since then, the program has expanded to Southwest Florida and to other states throughout the country.
The Florida SDC Program is based upon the premise that individuals' freedom to choose services and to make necessary purchases promotes their long-term recovery and participation in meaningful and productive activities.  Participants in Florida SDC select the providers, services, and activities that they deem necessary for recovery and personal wellness while managing the funds necessary to access these services.
LSF Health Systems was honored to welcome Dr. Cook to Jacksonville and to sponsor a special presentation of the SDC program at the University of North Florida campus on September 2nd.  Dr. Cook is an internationally recognized authority on mental health services research.  She conducted the evaluation of the nation's first mental health SDC program in Florida and directed the first federally funded randomized controlled trial of the model in Texas.  Nearly 60 consumers, advocates, behavioral health professionals and community stakeholders gathered to hear Dr. Cook discuss the progress of the program in Northeast Florida and throughout the country.
In Circuit 4, approximately 180 individuals participate in Self-Directed Care services managed through a partnership with Aging True.  In her report, Dr. Cook noted that researchers were impressed with the SDC program's design and operation, LSF's degree of support for the program and commitment to making it strong and vibrant, the dedication of the Aging True staff and leadership, and the high level of engagement of the [SDC] Council participants.
These types of partnerships are central in sustaining innovative models of care in our region.  LSF Health Systems recognizes the vital support of the Florida Department of Children and Families, the leadership provided by Aging True in directing the SDC program in Northeast Florida, and the quality of care offered through behavioral health provider agencies serving SDC participants throughout the region.   In partnership with Dr. Cook's team, LSF Health Systems hopes to expand the program to an additional 100 participants as part of a new evaluation study comparing outcomes for SDC participants versus those who engage in traditional service delivery models.  

If you wish to learn more about SDC programs, please visit: 

STAFF PROMOTION                           

Special Annoucements 
Carl Falconer, MPA:  New Regional Director of SOAR and Housing Initiatives

LSF Health Systems Board Chair, Peggy Schiffers  and Carl Falconer, Regional Director of SOAR and Housing Initiatives  

Please join us in congratulating Carl Falconer, MPA, former Director of Community Engagement at LSF Health Systems on his promotion to Regional Director of SOAR and Housing Initiatives! Stay tuned for future announcements regarding partnership efforts to improve access to housing and  benefits for behavioral health consumers throughout our region.


Special awards   
  Northeast Region receives Child Welfare Integration Excellence Award 

Dusty Pye, Director of Child Welfare Integration - LSF Health Systems

Congratulations to the Northeast Region's Child Welfare Integration team for being recognized by the Department of Children and Families with an Excellence Award at the 18th Annual Child Protection Summit held in Orlando on September 9-11. The prestigious award, presented by DCF Secretary Mike Carroll honored the group for their innovative work to improve integration efforts.   Receiving an award were: Dionne Danner - DCF; Dusty Pye, LSF Health Systems; Jayme Carter - DCF Substance Abuse and Mental Health; Karin Flositz - Community Partnership for Children; Lynnea Mystrick - Family Support Services of North Florida; and Pebbles Edelman - Partnership for Strong Families. A crowd of 3200 cheered each of them on as they received this well-deserved recognition!
Has your organization or team member received a special award recently? Let us know! We would like to recognize you in our next newsletter. Please email

Wesley Evans- Ombudsman
National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can help those with a mental and/or substance use disorder live a healthy and rewarding life.

Florida Governor Rick Scott recently issued a proclamation for Recovery Month. In the proclamation Scott attests to the important belief that, "behavioral health is an essential part of health and one's overall wellness."  The proclamation recognizes the fact that mental health and substance abuse diagnoses touch everyone in one way or another at some point, "they are our family members, friends, colleagues, and neighbors." Scott also explains that "this month's observance is intended to raise awareness of addiction treatment and mental health services and supports that are available and beneficial to the overall health of individuals in recovery."

It is vital that we recognize the importance of recovery, not only for a month, but every day. We need to ensure that providers and communities have the necessary resources, so we can fully realize a society in which we all have the opportunity to thrive as a whole and healthy community.  A Recovery Oriented System of Care is something that we can achieve. If we are going to adhere to the belief that everyone has the ability to achieve, direct, and define their own recovery, then we must become a system of care and a community which supports this belief. Together, we can do it, I believe!

PROVIDER CORNER                          

Special Feature 
Interested in submitting an article for the LSF Health Systems newsletter? Submit an original article and pictures highlighting the impact of a special program or initiative to by the  8th of each month . Submissions are limited to 500 words or less.  Remember to provide the author's name and title and any photo credits. We look forward to hearing from you!

UPCOMING Community Training Opportunities
Click  here to view a listing of training opportunities!

See the Girl Summit: October 22-23, 2015

Children's Behavioral Health Summit: October 23, 2015
St. Augustine

UPCOMING Regional Meetings
    Click here for a printable list of regional community meetings!

Download our new brochure

Access to Care Line 
Contact us

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, persons needing special accommodations to participate in any meeting/hearing should contact Karrin Clark at 904.900.1075 for assistance.