Organizational Member Showcase: Better Way of Miami

OBHA Staff, Better Way of Miami

When another healthcare organization, or another member, thinks of Better Way of Miami what do you want them to visualize?

A dedicated, competent and caring staff who deliver excellent behavioral health services.

How has growth affected Better Way of Miami since its launch in 1983 in terms of staff and patient services?

Better Way began in 1983 in a little rented house with a small group of men who wanted to stay clean and sober. There was no paid staff. Today, Better Way services over 300 clients annually, offers permanent supportive housing at three different locations, and is regarded as one of the best Behavioral Health providers in South Florida. We provide evidence-based Substance Abuse and Mental Health services with a staff of Masters level therapists; supervised by licensed clinicians. We provide primary care, vocational and educational services to our clients with an integrated approach with our community partners.

Are there any recent new programs or new innovative services that you would like to highlight?

With new funding opportunities that arose due to the opiate crisis, Better Way was able to secure a new program that provides Substance Abuse treatment along with Medication Assisted Therapy. Better Way is now providing in-home outpatient services to tenants in many of housing programs in Miami-Dade County. We were chosen to pilot a new clinical intervention through Miami Dade Drug Court called “Helping Men Recover” in our Outpatient modality of care. A program that is designed to treat the effects of trauma, specifically for men.

What is the most common challenge you find when speaking with executives at other community-based behavioral health care organizations?

The incredibly fast pace of change in the healthcare world and the challenges of getting ahead of the curve. This requires nimble, experienced and knowledgeable leadership and staff who are not able to be compensated sufficiently; causing a gap that impedes progress. Funding for adequate resources to meet client needs and staffing are persistent issues.

How does your organization define successful outcomes?

We, as most Providers, have several different specific outcome measures which define “success” for our funders. Essentially, this is measured by the consumer’s progress as they move through our system of care; assuring that he/she is clean and sober and has addressed mental health issues through counseling and medication. We prioritize ongoing services such as placement in permanent housing and stable employment as data has shown these have led to better outcomes for our population. We strongly support membership in 12 Step programs to help ensure long-term sobriety.

Are there any awards or recognitions received by BWOM that you would like to share with readers?

Better Way was recently recognized by the Miami Dade County Homeless Trust for sponsoring the Homeless Memorial and its long-time advocacy for the homeless. Many of our staff has received accolades in their field for providing excellent service to the community.

Can you please leave us with a last statement about BWOM: What is most important to remember?

Better Way has been emerging as a contemporary agency offering excellent services by a talented staff. Underneath the growth and clinical sophistication is a staff oriented toward helping those who are the hardest to serve in our community so that they may live usefully whole and productive lives.