Newsletter October 18, 2019
Message From the President
By Melanie Brown-Woofter, FBHA President/CEO
Thank you to all our members for your attendance and participation in our recent reception and board meeting in Tallahassee and a special thank you to those who stayed for our first FBHA-hosted Behavioral Health Day at the Capitol, entitled, “Well. Beyond Healthcare.” FBHA and our collaborating partners had more than 145 people in attendance on the 22nd floor of the Capitol and on the 2nd floor rotunda. Special guests included First Lady Casey DeSantis and AHCA Secretary Mary Mayhew.
As always, we welcome your feedback on this newsletter and all our communications. Contact Melanie at Melanie@fccmh.org
ICYMI – In Case You Missed It
FBHA Reception and Board Meetings
October board meetings were held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Tallahassee. On Monday, October 14, members attended the FBHA Full Membership Meeting, Division Meetings, and the FADAA Board Meeting. FBHA held its annual Open House Reception Monday evening beginning at 5:30pm at the Park Avenue office. See photos here.
On Tuesday, FBHA held the organizational board meeting following the FCBH board meeting. See photos here.
Behavioral Health Day at the Capitol
By FBHA Staff
Behavioral Health advocates gathered on the 22nd floor of the Capitol on Wednesday, October 16, to raise awareness for mental illness and substance use disorders. The event brought together state leaders who addressed Florida’s mental health challenges and attendees who shared their personal stories on living with mental health conditions. One of the guest speakers included First Lady Casey DeSantis.
“The First Lady remains committed to helping people with a mental illness or a substance use disorder,” said Melanie Brown-Woofter, President and CEO of the Florida Behavioral Health Association. “Today she announced Florida’s first statewide Disaster Recovery Mental Health Coordinator will be deployed to Northwest Florida to assist in coordinating mental health services for the area most affected by Hurricane Michael. We applaud these efforts and the entire Hope for Healing Campaign and look forward to working with her on finding meaningful behavioral health solutions for both children and adults.” Read More
First Meeting of Statewide Taskforce on Opioid Abuse
By FBHA Staff
Florida’s new Statewide Taskforce on Opioid Abuse held their first monthly meeting in October. Governor Ron DeSantis established the Opioid Taskforce by Executive Order 19-97 earlier this year. Attorney General Ashley Moody serves as committee chair. The twenty-one member committee also includes FBHA member Mary Lynn Ulrey, CEO of DACCO, and FBHA President Melanie Brown-Woofter.
The overarching purpose of the taskforce, as defined by executive order, is to research and assess the nature of opioid drug abuse in Florida and develop a statewide strategy to identify best practices to combat the opioid epidemic through education, treatment, prevention, recovery and law enforcement.
More specifically, the taskforce is to study the cost of the crisis on state and local governments, identify available programs that have been successful in combating opioid abuse, work to better understand the sources of addiction, explore whether there is need for additional regulatory activity, evaluate and identify ways to reduce the demand for opioids and decrease the supply, and determine if law enforcement would benefit from new training or resources to help equip them to handle opioid users.
During the first meeting, the members listened to reports on the current state of Florida’s opioid crisis. They also selected Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma as the new Vice-Chair of the committee. He was instrumental in the Opioid Work Study Group Report that helped to create the new Opioid taskforce.
To listen to the full first meeting of the Opioid Task Force you may click this link that takes you to the recording from The Florida Channel: Statewide Taskforce on Opioid Abuse Meeting
Hit the Hill Day 2019
By FBHA Staff
The Florida Behavioral Health Association led a team of seventeen Floridians who participated in the National Council Hill Day 2019 held September 18. The goal of Hill Day is to bring mental health and substance use disorder awareness to Congress. Priorities advocated this year included: continued opioid attention and funding, removal of the waiver requirement for healthcare providers to prescribe buprenorphine, removal of Medicare’s exclusion for marriage and family therapists and mental health counselors to bill Medicare, reinstating Medicaid eligibility for incarcerated individuals 30 days prior to release, and expansion of Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers.
The Hill Day advocacy was effective with 27 Congressmen joining as co-sponsors on the above bills including Florida’s Al Lawson. The Florida team held meetings in the offices of both Florida U.S. Senators and in the offices of 22 members of the Florida Congressional delegation.
First Lady Casey DeSantis Announces $58M in Federal Grant Funding to Fight Opioid Crisis
In early October, First Lady Casey DeSantis formally announced a $58.8M federal grant will go toward fighting opioid abuse. The new federal funding from the CDC will be earmarked for pregnant women, mothers, and newborns addicted to opioids and living with neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS.
The First Lady continued her fight against opioids throughout October and toured Northeast Florida as part of her Hope for Healing Florida Initiative. She toured a neonatal intensive care unit in Jacksonville and held a listening session with NAS experts. Read More
Organizational Member Showcase: The Transition House
By Tom Griffin, Founder and CEO, The Transition House
When another healthcare organization, or another member, thinks of The Transition House what do you want them to visualize?
High quality, committed behavioral health and substance use treatment services that are evidence-based and provided with respect for the dignity of those we serve.
How has growth affected The Transition House over the years?
We have always been a company of growth and expansion and we enjoy the ability to provide our services to new areas in need. With growth comes an increase in staff members, obligations, and broadening of oversight. We’ve met this challenge well, relying on key staff members who are deeply invested in our mission. Like a family, growth is a combination of exciting, scary, and rewarding.
Are there any recent new programs or new innovative services you would like to highlight?
Our newest major change within our agency has been the adoption of outpatient centers, which provide a range of behavioral health and substance use treatment. We are very proud of these centers and they continue to be well received by the three Central Florida communities where they are located: St. Cloud, Kissimmee, and Longwood. Our services offered at our outpatient centers are quite broad in scope. We see children, adults, couples, and families within a service array that includes individual and group therapy, couples and family therapy, psychiatric services, psychological testing, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and a women’s partial hospitalization program. Read More
Member Showcase: Shawn Salamida
By Shawn Salamida, President, Lakeview Behavioral Health Services
How would you describe your job to someone who is not in your line of work?
Put simply, I build systems that support people who help others. Thousands of professionals, family members, and volunteers throughout Florida have a passion for helping others, specifically people who are experiencing behavioral health challenges. Those challenges cause suffering and hardship in their lives and the lives of their loved ones. My job is to make sure the compassionate and dedicated “helpers” have the resources, direction and support needed to effectively mobilize their passion for the benefit of our communities.
How did you get started in your profession?
I have 10 bothers and sisters, seven of whom are adopted and came from difficult circumstances. At a young age I experienced firsthand what it’s like to help someone who really needed it. Such acts of compassion can literally change a person’s future. This impacted my college degree and career choice. My very first job was working as a tech at an adolescent inpatient psychiatric facility in Ohio. Later I served as a counselor in a teen group home in New York. Those jobs weren’t always easy, but in both roles I ultimately learned that one caring adult can have an immense impact on a young person’s life. For example, recently I was contacted by a now 39-year-old who once lived in the group home where I worked, some 25 years after I last saw him. He wanted me to know what an impact I and other staff had on his life. It was a memorable discussion to say the least, and a reminder to me that we don’t just help people now, we help them for their future.
What are the biggest challenges in your role?
Resources and prioritization. In my opinion, Florida does more good with less resources than anywhere in the country, and yet the demand continues to rise. This puts us in a position of having to prioritize where the resources go, which often are needed in deep end care as opposed to early intervention. Changing that trend is a big challenge, but I believe it is possible and there is the will to do it. Read More
Member News, Awards, and Recognitions
SalusCare CEO Wins Nonprofit Health Innovator of the Year Award
Congratulations to SalusCare President & CEO Stacey Cook on winning the Nonprofit Health Innovator of the Year Award at the Excellence in Nonprofit Performance Yearly (ENPY) awards ceremony sponsored by the Cape Coral Community Foundation. The award honors a health leader who serves as a role model for excellence and makes an impact on the Southwest Florida health sector. “On behalf of myself and SalusCare, thank you for this incredible honor. This is not an individual award but rather a team award,” said SalusCare President & CEO Stacey Cook. “I wholeheartedly believe that any award I am nominated for or win is really an award for the agency and everyone who works here providing critical services to our community.” Overall, there were 154 nominations in 11 categories at this year’s ENPY awards.
Apalachee Center Opens New Child Psychiatric Unit
State and community leaders joined Apalachee Center in September for the Grand Opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new Behavioral Excellence and Care for Children’s Health (BEACH) wing.
The new 12-bed Children’s Inpatient Psychiatric Unit is located on the Leon County campus. Apalachee Center serves Leon, Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Taylor and Wakulla counties. This new unit will allow Apalachee Center, Inc. to provide more and greater access to services for children and youth in psychiatric crisis in Florida’s Big Bend region and beyond.
Grant and Funding Opportunities
Integration of Behavioral Health and Primary Care Services in South Florida
Concept proposals accepted year-round through the Health Foundation of South Florida
Grant Amounts: $50,000-$100,000 over 1-2 years.
Ongoing grant opportunities through the Health Foundation of South Florida for Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties.
Evidence shows that people suffering from mental illness have a higher mortality rate due to other chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which is aggravated by high-risk behaviors such as substance abuse, smoking, poor diet and lack of physical activity. Moreover, barriers to primary care services and navigating a complex health care system makes it difficult for some to obtain timely care. This funding opportunity will support efforts to integrate behavioral health and primary care to address these issues. Whether the setting is within primary care or behavioral health, the Foundation will support care that is coordinated and the most effective in producing the best possible health outcomes.
If you are interested in this particular grant possibility, please contact Fernanda Kuchkarian at 305-374-6442 or email@example.com
Webinars and Workshops
Presented by DCF and the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association
Webinar: Understanding the Housing First Model
This webinar will also explore how elements of Housing First are incorporated into other elements of service delivery, including employment service, and using medication to treat substance use disorders.
|When:||Tuesday, October 29, 2019|
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
|Presenter:||James Kowalsky, MA|
Workshop: Trauma-Informed Clinical Supervision
Demands on our time, focus and emotions at work, lead us all to a level of exhaustion that is unhealthy for ourselves, our clients and our organizations. In a time where we are being asked to do more with less, join us to discuss how infusing Trauma Informed Care principles into our supervision work will not only re-energize us in our work, it will also increase our staff’s job satisfaction and engagement.
|When:||Monday, November 4, 2019|
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
|Where:||Hampton Inn & Suites Jacksonville Orange Park|
141 Park Avenue
Orange Park, Florida 32073
|Presenter:||Elizabeth Guroff, MA, LCMFT; Director, Trauma Informed Services|
Events and Meetings
Association Board Meetings
December 11-13 – Board Meetings and Division Meetings (Lido Beach, Florida)