On behalf of the staff and board of directors of The Coalition, I want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for the powerful work you do as the behavioral health sector for New York.
In times of turbulence or steady times, our members and their staff are steadfast in their commitment to serving their clients and communities. The non-profit and human services sector are mission driven and the true value of what that stands for shines more brightly than when crisis, whether personal, or community, our doors, and hearts remain open. We saw the best that New Yorkers had to offer following 9-11, Hurricane Sandy, and the 2008 recession, when despite the devastating impact of these events on many non-profits, we rallied and organized our staff and communities to continue serving people in need creatively, expertly and passionately. Although this has recently been a challenging time of uncertainty I take heart in the strength of the power of our sector both for what they do every day and for their commitment to their mission to their communities, and in general for making the world a better place. I am reminded of the quote by John Holmes that perfectly captures the spirit of who we are, “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
Many members and colleagues have reached out to me to discuss the future of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid in the last week and to dissect the possible options. I have been fortunate to be in Washington D.C. a couple of times in the last few weeks and had the opportunity to meet and be briefed by some of the smartest and strategic advocates and policy “wonks”. The only thing that is certain is that there will indeed be some changes but as one insider optimistically said recently, “We are counting on the 90-10 rule related to likely changes.” Meaning, that 90 % will stay the same and at least 10% will change in the near future. The reality is that very few things can change quickly in Washington D.C. For the time being we must continue to build on the successes we have achieved and strengthen our capacity to demonstrate the value of our work in stabilizing lives and creating healthy communities and The Coalition will unwaveringly be there to support the sector.
The Coalition for Behavioral Health has also undergone many changes in the last year as well, but what has remained constant is the terrific staff and board commitment to fulfilling our mission and emerging stronger from this period of change. Moving forward we are prepared to bring our resources and focus to supporting our members, those they serve and the greater New York behavioral health community to ensure that mental and physical health and substance use services remain accessible and affordable for those in need.
Thank you again for the inspiring work you do every day. Wishing you a wonderful and delicious Thanksgiving!
The Center for Rehabilitation & Recovery Announces Its New Advisory Committee
The Coalition's Center for Rehabilitation & Recovery is thrilled to reestablish its Advisory Committee, whose purpose is to ensure Center initiatives, trainings and projects are aligned with needs of the behavioral health community. The Committee is made up of representatives from Coalition member agencies, including behavioral health providers that receive services from the Center, people with lived experience in the behavioral health system, and individuals who are presently participating in behavioral health services. All of whom are invested in the Center's mission of actualizing the promise of recovery for all.
The Advisory Committee’s initial meeting held on November 14th was inspiring and thought provoking. A key takeaway was the necessity of persistently giving voice to the opinions and expertise of people directly providing services and people who receive services from the healthcare system. The implementation and delivery of HCBS was also a prioritized area of concern for the committee. We look forward to future meetings of the Center's Advisory Committee, which convenes every three months to help review, guide and inform the Center's work.
If you are interested in joining the Advisory committee please contact Bradley Jacobs, Director, Center for Rehabilitation and Recovery.
On November 17th U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy released the office’s first ever report on substance misuse and its related consequences, entitled Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health. The report attempts to shift how substance use disorders are viewed nationwide, as a chronic disease of the brain rather than a character flaw.
Addiction is a serious public health issue. The report acknowledges that one in seven Americans suffer from addiction and misuse of substances. Addiction is commonly paired with other chronic diseases such as HIV, cancer, and heart disease, which consequently cost our nation $442 billion annually.
For years health care providers have been pushing for change and recognition for tackling addictions by use of treatments, prevention methods, and recovery supports. The US Surgeon General states “We’ve known for a while now that tens of thousands of Americans are dying from the disease of addiction, and the frustrating part about it is- we know how to treat it.” This report gives the community a chance to stand for what is right and lend a hand to those in need. We need to break down the financial and social barriers against addiction and promote optimum health for all who face these challenges.
For the full report please click here.
Let this be a reminder of how much we contribute to the health care community and know that our work has not gone unnoticed.
The New York State Department of Health recently released a helpful PPS progress report that can be found here.
Coalition Member-Only Events
The Bridge recently announced their strategic affiliation with Weston United. The new collaboration will bring together two organizations who share similar client populations, service mix, and geography while providing the opportunity to grow while maintaining the agencies’ missions and goals. Click here for more details.
In a recent press release, Governor Cuomo announced Outreach Development Corp. has broken ground on a new addiction treatment center in Brentwood last Friday, November 4th. The facility will have 25 residential beds for adult women, recreational space, and state-of-the-art clinical and treatment program areas. The community residence treatment center will serve women from Nassau and Suffolk counties, and from other parts of the state. Click here for more details.
On Wednesday, October 26th, Comunilife held their 27th Anniversary Breakfast at the Marriott Marquis. This event had over 420 attendees and raised more than $276,000 for the agency’s suicide prevention program “Life is Precious”. For more information about the event click here.
On Monday, November 7th, The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services was awarded the New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Award. The agency will be honored at a special Best Practices Workshop and Awards Presentation at the New York Hall of Medicine on December 2nd. Click here for more details.
Exponents President, Howard Josepher, received the Grassroots Award at the OASAS sponsored New York State Substance Abuse Programs (ASAP) 17th Annual Conference. Josepher was recognized for his work with those who live with HIV/AIDS and Harm Reductions advocacy. Presenting the award are Roy Kearse (also a member of Exponents' board), Samaritan Daytop Village, Alexis Gadsen, Outreach Development Corp. and Karen Carlini, Dynamic Youth Community.
Recently, Mental Health News Education, Inc. announced its New Slate of Officers:
Jorge R, Petit, MD
The Coalition would like to extent our congratulations to all of the new officers and board members especially our very own Board Member, Debbie Pantin of VIP Community Services.
On Thursday, October 20th, Unique People Services (UPS) celebrated their 25th Anniversary Gala at Marina del Rey Caterers in the Bronx. The event had over 300 attendees and was sponsored by Atlantic Tomorrow’s Office, Lamb Financial Group, and Procida Construction Corporation. The agency raised approximately $300,000 which will go towards improving UPS programs and services for individuals with HIV/AIDS, developmental disabilities, and mental health challenges.