An Evolving Semi-Monthly Update on Community Behavioral Health in New York
November 30, 2015
On Monday, November 23, 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio flanked by his wife, Chirlane McCray, children, Chiara and Dante, key members of the administration, elected officials and leadership of non-profit organizations, announced the rollout of the eagerly-awaited NYC Mental Health Roadmap, dubbed “ThriveNYC.”
Highlights include:Mental health First Aid Training: The City will fund and facilitate the training of 250,000 New Yorkers, to better recognize the signs, symptoms and risk factors of mental illness and addiction and more effectively provide support.
In the press release accompanying the announcement, Phillip Saperia, The Coalition’s CEO was quoted as saying, “Many congratulations to the City Administration, the Mayor and the First Lady for spotlighting the mental health and substance use services in the city. We agree that the children, families and adults who live with these disorders need assessment and help. ThriveNYC is a significant investment in giving major attention to the problems and the populations it is designed to address. The Roadmap to Mental Health for All is a momentous and valued supplement to the under-funded and very stretched array of community-based services currently supported by the State and City. The Coalition and its members in every neighborhood are eager to be supportive to our City leadership as the new initiative rolls out.”
Hearing the appeals of the NY/NY 4 campaign of which The Coalition is an active member, on November 18, 2015, Mayor de Blasio announced a new plan to create 15,000 units of supportive housing over the next 15 years. The sweeping plan will target many more New Yorkers in need than previous plans, including homeless veterans, survivors of domestic violence and street homeless individuals.
The City’s 15,000 unit plan is comprised of roughly 7,500 newly-constructed, congregate units and 7,500 scattered site units. The plan will cost $2.6 billion in capital funds over the next 15 years to develop the 7,500 congregate units. Of the total capital costs, approximately $1 billion will be a City cost – and all but $380 million has already been budgeted through Housing New York. The remaining capital costs – approximately $1.6 billion – will be offset with low-income tax credits, and other private sources. There are also approximately $96 million in net operating costs over the Financial Plan (through Fiscal Year 2019) – starting at $8.8 million annually in the first year and ramping up.
Supportive housing has a proven track record of cost savings. A Department of Health and Mental Hygiene study showed that NY/NY3 clients who found supportive housing use fewer public benefits (e.g., Medicaid, psychiatric institutions, jail, and shelters), resulting in cost savings.
The Coalition is extremely pleased with this commitment and calls upon the Governor to similarly pledge funding for 15,000 units of supportive housing in NYC and 5,000 units throughout the rest of the state.
For over 10 years, Bradley has held successively more challenging positions at CASES, a valued Coalition member. He has managed its forensic ACT Team and is now Co-Director of Adult Behavioral Health Programs.
In previous jobs, he has worked at agencies that incorporate a culture of recovery and person centered care, and has been personally and professionally influenced by those principles and practices. His challenging work at CASES has focused on helping the organization and staff focus on recovery at the same time they were partnering with the criminal justice system—a delicate balance that underlies his achievements in helping consumers achieve recovery in the context of “mandated services.”
Bradley also will bring to The Center his considerable accomplishments as a trainer and teacher. We are delighted to welcome him to The Coalition staff and family and look forward to introducing him to all of you, after the 1st of the year, when he arrives on The Center scene full time.
In an Op-Ed published in The Hill, November 23, 2015 The Coalition, National Council and more than 20 state mental health and addictions associations – asked Congress to expand funding to all 24 states who received Excellence Act planning grants, including New York State.
When Congress enacted the Excellence in Mental Health Act demonstration last year, it was the largest federal investment in mental health and addiction care in generations. The Act's $1.1 billion will bolster our overburdened, underfunded safety net - but only in 8 selected states.
The Excellence Act is game changing, not only because it will transform the quality of care delivered, but because it is sustainable. For the first time, organizations that provide these services will be able to deliver quality care at a rate that covers their costs of doing businesses through the creation of Certified Community-based Behavioral Health Clinics (FQHC look-likes).
Please join the effort to pass this legislation, by using the link found here.
LaRay Brown, a highly-respected hospital executive with strong ties to city and state government, will become President and Chief Executive of Interfaith Medical Center in February. She will be the first female African-American president of a private hospital in New York City. She also joins the ranks of the handful of women who lead local hospitals. LaRay has spent nearly 30 years at NYC Health + Hospitals (formerly known as HHC). She is currently the senior vice president for corporate planning, community health and intergovernmental relations. We applaud Interfaith’s board for appointing LaRay and wish her good luck!
NYC Health + Hospitals named Plachikkat Anantharam its chief financial officer. Anantharam, who is known by his nickname, "P.V.," had served as deputy director for health and social services at the city's Office of Management and Budget since 1998. He replaces Marlene Zurack, who will retire at the end of November after serving as the system's CFO for 15 years. The Coalition has had a long and productive relationship with P.V. and wishes him good fortune in his new professional incarnation.
Affiliate member, Heath Management Associates (HMA), welcomed Annalisa Baker as a new Senior Consultant to its national consulting team. She most recently served in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as director of Administration and Operations in the Bureau of Mental Health. Annalisa also served as director of Health Integration in the Office of Treatment Services for the bureau. Prior to her service with New York City, Annalisa was a clinical supervisor with children and adolescents at Coalition member Astor Services for Children and Families. She received her Master of Public Health from Columbia University and her Master of Social Work from New York University.
Coalition Program Associate, Emily Kingman and Senior Program Associate Amanda Saake presented “PROS Program Participation Promotes Recovery!” and Amanda Saake presented “Building Recovery Oriented Groups” at the 6th annual PROS Academy hosted by NYAPRS on November 19th and 20th in Albany, NY.
Amanda Saake also presented, “Walking the Fine Line: Exploring the Perspective of Behavioral Health Professionals with Lived Experience” at the 2nd Annual Behavioral Health Peer Conference, “Peer Services Have Arrived! Are We Ready?” sponsored by DOHMH at the Silberman School of Social Work on November 13, 2015.
Affliate member, Amida Care’s Doug Wirth was interviewed by New York Nonprofit Daily regarding providing health care to underserved populations. We are proud to count Doug among The Coalition’s professional alumni.
Coalition Members advertise staff positions for free on The Coalition’s Job Board! Here's a sample: