May 2017
May Edition at a Glance

In this month’s edition, CCSI celebrates 25 years of serving the behavioral health and human services community.   You'll learn more about the services offered by our Training and Practice Transformation Team, including an interview that addresses how parents can discuss teen suicide with their children and a roundtable discussion on juvenile justice reform.  We also share the latest on our work on the Planning and Education Coordinator Project, a multi-year partnership between the NYS Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services and the NYS Education Department.  As always , you'll also find links to webinars, project / program news, and other resources. 
Celebrating 25 Years!
Jason Helgerson and
Chris Washington - PASS Graduate and Mentor  
Thanks so much to all of the CCSI staff, board members, customers, and collaborators who joined us last Thursday to help us mark this important milestone.  In addition to sharing a brief review of CCSI’s history, we were extremely pleased to have the opportunity to hear from Harvey Rosenthal, Executive Director of the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, who shared his perspective on how our field has evolved over the past years and introduced keynote speaker Jason Helgerson, Medicaid Director of New York State Department of Health. During his talk entitled A Path Forward: The Move to DSRIP, VBP, and Behavioral Health Integration, Jason shared his insights on topics including Medicaid Redesign, the move to value-based payment, and the future state of healthcare.  
The program also featured several special awards. John D. Lee, former CCSI president and current director for CCSI’s Center for Collaboration in Community Health received the Glenn Gravino Award for Outstanding Achievement, named after CCSI’s first president. (Click below to watch a video where John reflects on his experience at CCSI.)  
Cynthia Gray - CCSI Board Chair,
John D. Lee, and Anne Wilder   
Luis Aponte from Charles House Neighbors in Action   

In addition, we were excited to recognize the terrific work of Charles House Neighbors in Action, a neighborhood association working to build community cohesion and improve quality of life for residents living in the City’s JOSANA neighborhood with $25K in funding. 
Honoring Outgoing CCSI Board Member Ed Nowak
Last week, CCSI recognized Ed Nowak as he completed the last year of his final term on CCSI’s board of directors. Ed joined the CCSI board shortly after retiring as the Monroe County Public Defender, a position he held for 30 years.  In addition to serving as board chair for several years, Ed was a longstanding member of CCSI’s business development committee, helping to guide the organization’s plans for continued growth.  Ed was also actively involved in helping to advance CCSI’s work in the areas of cultural competence and diversity, sharing his strong and personal commitment to addressing issues of racism and other inequities.   We are extremely fortunate to have had the benefit of Ed’s insight and guidance during the past 9 years and are grateful for his service. 

Congratulations to Art Johnson, Broome County Commissioner for Mental Health and Social Services

Last month, Arthur Johnson, Commissioner for Social Services and Mental Health for Broome County retired after 18 years of service.  Art assumed the role of Mental Health Commissioner for Broome County in 1999, and in 2002 stepped in to the dual role of DSS Commissioner. In addition to the many significant contributions he made to the service delivery system in Broome County, in 2016, Art served as president of the New York Public Welfare Association.  For more about Art’s work in Broome County, check out this video conversation.   Art will kick off this next phase with a 5-month RV trip to the South and Southwest with his wife, Nancy.  We have appreciated the opportunity to partner with Art during the past 18 years in supporting the work of Broome County and wish him the best!  

Cultural Competency and Health Literacy

Engagement Strategies for Culturally Diverse Populations  

Lenora Reid-Rose, Director of Cultural and Linguistic Competence, and Chris Steer, Consultant, presented at the Care Management Coalition Conference on Engagement Strategies for Culturally Diverse Populations on May 9th. The session provided examples of strategies and models that can increase awareness of the impact of culture on the utilization of behavioral health services, as well as provide examples of strategies that increase access for diverse adults, children and families. Topics included, strategies to engage direct care staff, communities, patients, and organizations. Additional models presented included cross-cultural communication, cultural humility, and implicit bias, power and privilege, and the roles the topics play in developing trust and confidence in the services offered to diverse individuals and families.


System Transformation

Planning Prevention and Education Coordinator Project  
CCSI provides the talent to coordinate a multi-year partnership between NYS OASAS and NYSED.  The Planning Prevention and Education Coordinator project has exciting products to share! (Electronic resources are hyperlinked below.) Click here to learn more about the goal of the NYSED-OASAS MOU Program.
  • June 2014 NYS Legislation mandated that schools modernize their Health Education drug and alcohol curricula to include Heroin and Opioid functional knowledge.  As such, the Health Education Standards Modernization Supplemental Guidance Document: An Instructional Resource Packet was developed and has been released to assist teachers in addressing that newly required content for students in grades K-12.
  • The Kids’ Well-being Indicator Clearinghouse (KWIC) now includes data on Mental, Emotional and Behavioral (MEB) Health Indicators at the county- and school-district levels for multiple years.  This information can be utilized to assist with resource allocation and needs assessment.  Specifically, the tool will help to identify areas and school districts whose population is at higher risk for substance abuse and could benefit from evidence-based social and emotional development programming.
  • The goal of the multi-year MEB Pilot Program is to build the capacity of sustainable school and community infrastructures within a systematic process for improving health and academic outcomes by focusing on prevention education and activities of engagement, assessment, application, and evaluation.  These efforts focus on prevention education related to tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs in support of decreasing Mental, Emotional and Behavioral (MEB) health disorders.  The pilot program began in Sept. 2016 year and will go through June 2019.  Elementary schools in three public school districts receive OASAS prevention provider-supported implementation of a universal prevention evidence-based program that has effects on substance abuse as well as mental health outcomes (i.e., PAX Good Behavior Game; Positive Action).
  • The Problem Gambling Prevention Toolkit for School Districts has been launched statewide. The new comprehensive Toolkit is designed to be used by New York State school administrators, educators, pupil personnel services, parent-teacher associations, parents, and community groups to teach students and parents about preventing underage gambling.  The Toolkit includes such resources as sample school-based policies, evidence-based curricula, and ways to communicate with students about the potential risks of gambling behaviors as well as warning signs.

The picture below shows a recent Prevention Recognition Event in Albany in which Schenectady Schools, along with other prevention providers, were recognized for their efforts with the pilot program associated with the MOU.

Center for Collaboration In Community Health Webinar Series

June Webinar - Supporting Utilization Management with Quality Clinical Documentation 
CCSI’s Center for Collaboration in Community Health is hosting a webinar series developed to share insight about approaches for succeeding in the new Medicaid Managed Care service delivery system. We invite you to join us! 

This webinar will help participants understand how the behavioral health care system is moving from a Utilization Review (UR) to a Utilization Management (UM) model in our Medicaid Managed Care environment. The essentials of a UM process will be outlined and the counselor’s role in understanding and supporting UM will be emphasized. The webinar will also highlight how clinicians can infuse measurability into the Assessment, Treatment Planning, Treatment Plan Review and Discharge Planning processes. All staff may benefit from the general content and direct care clinical staff and supervisors should invite their friends in Billing and Finance.

Presenter:  David Eckert, LMHC, NCC, CRC - Senior Consultant | CCSI, The Center for Collaboration in Community Health

Date and Time:  June 27th, noon - 1:00
    To view any archived webinar, visit:

Trauma Informed Systems and Other Practice Transformations
A Closer Look at CCSI's Training and Practice Transformation Team  

Trauma-Responsive Training -  An integrated approach to trauma-responsive care training and practice
There is a growing awareness that trauma is pervasive and that the impact of trauma is often deep and life-shaping. Trauma and toxic stress are often at the center of an individual’s school or work problems, mental health challenges, substance use, physical health issues or criminal justice involvement. This means, whether or not it is fully recognized, organizations are working with survivors of trauma.  Trauma-responsive training gets to the heart of understanding an individual’s trauma and helps practitioners develop tools and practices that empower and honor individuals to promote healing and resiliency.  Click here to read more about trauma-responsive training. 

Motivational Interviewing -  A Way of Being that Supports Engagement and Behavior Change
"Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative conversation style for strengthening a person’s own motivation and commitment to change."

Over the past few years there has been increased attention on Motivational Interviewing as an evidenced-based practice that supports both engagement and change. MI is collaborative and caring, while recognizing and honoring the autonomy of every individual. People experiencing MI are viewed as experts about themselves and it is the "interviewers’" responsibility to evoke and listen deeply to their ideas and beliefs. It is their perspective and values that will support the change being sought.  Click here to read more about motivational interviewing. 

NEW - Wellness Retreats!

The part can never be well unless the whole is well. –Plato

The Training and Practice Transformation Team will be offering half-day, full-day, and multi-day retreats aimed at helping staff reduce stress, gain tools for Self-Care, increase mental clarity, and boost physical and mental well-being.  Retreats are customized and are listed below as self-contained modules.  These modules can be stand-alone or combined in a number of ways based on your organization's wellness goals.   
Retreat Sessions...
  • Evidenced-Based Practices for Self-Care
  • Compassionate Yoga
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
  • Journaling for Health
  • It's up to You: Making Decisions About Self-Care Practices
  • The Revolutionary Practice of Gratitude
  • Compassion Fatigue Talking Circle
  • "Portrait of Professional Caregivers" - Film Screening & Discussion
Eat, Sleep, and Move: How three practices can change your life and why it's so hard to do them well

*If you are interested in planning or scheduling a wellness session or retreat for your staff or organization, please contact Linh Ho at or call 585.328.5211 x7526 
How to Discuss Teen Suicide with Your Kids
FoxRochester interviewed Dr. Elizabeth Meeker, Director of CCSI's Training and Practice Transformation Team, about how parents can discuss teen suicide with their kids. She encourages parents to open the door to those conversations so kids understand it's okay to talk about it.  To keep the discussion going, it's important for children to feel safe to say what they want.  Parents should pay attention to their own anxiety about the topic to try to minimize any reactivity they may be showing, as that could shut down the conversation. Click below to watch the full interview.    
Juvenile Justice Reform in Rochester
Gwen Olton, Senior Consultant from CCSI's Training and Practice Transformation Team, joined a panel on WXXI's Need to Know program to talk about juvenile justice reform in Rochester.  The panel discussed the importance of using trauma-informed care principles and best practices in order to build a strong community that cares for youth.  Click below to watch!

Financial Services and Fiscal Business Practices

May Webinar - Essential Fiscal Business Practices in a World of Value Based Payment

There are many changes taking place in the NYS Medicaid program, which have led to rapid and transformative changes for the behavioral health care treatment community.  Value Based Payment reform challenges the capabilities of even the best run behavioral health care agen­cies. Excellent clinical practice joined with strong business practices will be essential to be successful in this new environment. This webinar will have a brief reminder about the changes taking place, and what these changes mean to providers. Presenters will also give an overview of the Key Business Practice Competencies needed including:

  • Budget and Program Modeling
  • Operational Processes
  • Report Monitoring and Data Analysis
  • Financial Structure Assessment
  • Billing Requirements
  • Management Responsibilities

James Monfort - Senior Consultant and Manager of Financial Services | CCSI, The Center for Collaboration in Community Health

David Wawrzynek, MS, MBA - Senior Consultant | CCSI, The Center for Collaboration in Community Health

  Social Determinants of Health
Driving Patient Outcomes Through Collaborative Care Management

Health Homes of Upstate New York (HHUNY) is pleased to collaborate with Greater Rochester Health Home Network GRHHN and Nazareth College in support of HCR Care Management’s Provider Summit to be held on June 6th. Guest speaker Peggy Elmer, Director of Health Home Policy and Development for NYSDOH, will discuss Health Home Care Management's role to provide patient centered care coordination, encompassing both social and medical needs. Learn how collaborative efforts with Health Home Care Management can help providers reduce Medicaid hospitalization rates and ED visits, while increasing patient engagement with primary care practices.

Want to hear more?  If you haven’t yet had the chance, we hope you’ll check out our Facebook page for more CCSI news and resources.  
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