Florida Behavioral Health Association: July 15, 2019

Newsletter July 15, 2019

Message From the President

By Melanie Brown-Woofter, OBHA President

Melanie Brown-Woofter,
President FBHA

Welcome to the July 15, 2019 Edition of Florida’s Behavioral Health Association Newsletter.

We hope you will join us for BHCon 2019. Our first conference as the Florida Behavioral Health Association (FBHA) is less than six weeks away. BHCon 2019, held at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort, will host three plenary sessions and over 100 workshops with multiple tracks available to earn up to 16 continuing education hours. Plus, the FBHA board meeting takes place one day before the annual conference on Tuesday, August 20. Registration rates for the conference – even for members – change today, Monday, July 15 at midnight, so please register your team now to get the best price for BHCon 2019.

You also still have a chance to nominate your colleagues and employees for the FBHA Awards of Excellence through July 20. Please take a moment and nominate those individuals working in the mental health or substance use disorder field of practice who are innovative, inspiring, and dedicated.

Award categories include:

  • Peer/Recovery Support Specialist of the Year Award
  • Supervisor/Administrator of The Year Award
  • Behavioral Health Professional of The Year Award (Youth)
  • Behavioral Health Professional of The Year Award (Adults)

For applications and more details about this year’s program please visit:https://www.bhcon.org/page/Awards_of_Excellence

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

Governor DeSantis Signs 2019-20 Budget

By FBHA Staff

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

In late June, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the FY2019-20 “Bold Vision for a Brighter Future” budget, nearly seven weeks after the Legislature adjourned “sine die.” During his press conference DeSantis said, “it’s a fiscally responsible budget. I think we put taxpayers first.”

The General Appropriations Act (SB 2500) went into effect on July 1, 2019 with roughly $131.3 million in line-item vetoes. This compares to $64.1 million vetoed in FY2018-19 by his predecessor. Among the $131.3 million special- project vetoes, $14.182 million were for local initiatives for substance abuse, mental health, and housing, including cost of living increases at contracted state hospitals ($4.14 million); affordable housing project in Jacksonville ($8 million); and CESC homeless housing ($1 million). Read More and Link to Vetoes

ACTS Names New Chief Executive Officer

Asha Terminello, CEO, ACTS

Congratulations to Asha Terminello on her appointment as Chief Executive Officer of the Agency for Community Treatment Services, Inc (ACTS) in Tampa, effective June 2019. 

Asha has been with the ACTS for more than 27 years and has extensive experience with behavioral health, juvenile justice and criminal justice systems of care. She served as the Chief Operating Officer for more than 11 years where she was responsible for a wide array of clinical treatment and community-based services in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk counties. Her experience in the field has enhanced community relationships, and has helped ACTS build strong alliances with law enforcement, the courts, Department of Juvenile Justice, Read More

Tampa Bay Leaders Form Coalition To Address Mental Health Crisis

By Carrie Pinkard/WUSF Public Media

Tampa Bay area leaders gather at Glazer Family Center in Tampa to announce new mental health coalition.

In the Tampa Bay area, one in six people suffers from depression. One in twelve has a substance abuse disorder. And there is only one mental health professional for every 700 people in Florida. These are some of the statistics given Thursday to highlight the region’s need for more mental health coverage.

Leaders from organizations around the region gathered in Tampa to discuss a new initiative to address the mental health crisis. They announced that they’re forming a nonprofit called The West Central Florida Mental Wellness Coalition. While BayCare is the company leading the coalition, CEO Tommy Inzina said it will take a community effort for it to succeed. “We’re not in the school systems every day, we’re not dealing with everything law enforcement has to deal with, there’s a lot the business community can do,” said Inzina. “So we had this idea of creating a community coalition.”

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said police officers deal with the mental health crisis first-hand every single day. “Last year we handled 19,283 mental health calls. Approximately 11% of our calls for service are mental health related. We weren’t built for this. But we have to adapt because this is the environment,” he said. Read More

Read More

Organizational Member Showcase: Circles of Care

By David Feldman, President, Circles of Care

Circles of Care

When another healthcare organization, or another member, thinks of Circles of Care what do you want them to visualize?

We are a large, financially sound provider of mental health and substance abuse services in Brevard County, Florida. We have 10 locations in Brevard County to serve the needs of the mentally ill and substance abusers. All of us on the management team are involved in community organizations or statewide committees. This allows us to network with other professionals and have community allies.

How has growth affected Circles of Care over the years?

Circles of Care was founded in 1963 with 6 employees. While we have a 40-million dollar budget, real growth did not start until the 1980s when we opened a 52 bed licensed psychiatric hospital. In the 1990s we opened our first commercial pharmacy and we now have three pharmacies. We also developed and expanded residential facilities for the mentally ill which now totals 98 beds. In the 2000s we built a 50 bed Baker Act Receiving Facility, the largest in the state and got licensed for 50 beds. We now have a total of 102 adult psychiatric beds. This Baker Act unit was awarded the Architect & Contractor ACE award for the most innovative building in Central and South Florida in 2011 under 25 million dollars. We have three major Outpatient Clinics located throughout the county. Our central county Outpatient Clinic was built in 2017 and named after the former President & CEO James B. Whitaker. Read More

Member Showcase: Mary Lynn Ulrey

By Mary Lynn Ulrey, CEO, DACCO

Mary Lynn Ulrey

How would you describe your job to someone who is not in your line of work?

Although many people experience behavioral health issues among family or friends, it is foreign territory to discuss it.  Besides the usual CEO duties of leading, finding more funding and communicating to staff and community, helping people understand and discuss behavioral health so it isn’t unfamiliar territory is a key role.  So many don’t know how to put issues into words or into perspective.  I spend hours on the phone with community contacts and family members helping them understand the need and methodology for treatment, access and levels of care including Marchman Act options.

How did you get started in your profession?

I am a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner so education prepared me for a role in Behavioral Health.

What are the biggest challenges in your role?

Equality in healthcare is such an uphill battle.  I have hope that one day, politicians and healthcare plan leaders will understand the impact behavioral health has on all illnesses and will welcome parity for this field of healthcare. Read More

Legislative Updates and What They Mean to Your Agency

Florida is no Longer a Permissive Duty State When it Comes to Reporting Threats

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

SB 1418 relating to Mental Health became law Monday, July 1.  A portion of this bill implements the Marjory Stoneman Douglas recommendation that mandates all mental health providers inform law enforcement if a patient makes a threat of serious bodily harm to an individual while under such provider’s care. Right now, such actions are considered a permissive duty in Florida. This law change makes such reporting mandatory under F.S. 394.4615, 456.059, 490.0147 and 491.0147.  It also states that disclosure of these communications may NOT be the basis of legal action against the provider.

The bill also increases the number of days that a receiving facility has to submit forms regarding an involuntary admission of a minor to DCF from the next working day to five working days, and requires DCF to indicate whether the minor was admitted, released, or a petition was filed with the court.

Telehealth Coverage Continues to be Voluntary for Health Insurers.


The passage of the Telehealth bill does not actually require health plans to cover services delivered via telehealth.  With an effective date of January 1, 2020, the bill creates a new Section 627.42396, F.S., which reads, “A contract between a health insurer issuing major medical comprehensive coverage through an individual or group policy and a telehealth provider, as defined in s. 456.47, must be voluntary between the insurer and the provider and must establish mutually acceptable payment rates or payment methodologies for services provided through telehealth.” Subsection (45) also was added to Section 641.31, F.S., which mirrors this language for health maintenance organizations. Read More

Your Agency’s Psychiatric ARNPs may now Prescribe to Children in the Child Welfare Setting.

Nurse and Student

The passage of HB 7099, which became law on July 1, authorizes psychiatric nurses to obtain consent for and prescribe psychotropic medication to dependent minors and advise the court and DCF on any continued need for psychotropic medications and other services. The bill amends s. 39.407, F.S., to allow psychiatric nurses to prescribe psychotropic medication to dependent minors, obtain express and informed consent from parents for such Read More

Needle Exchange Approved, but only Certain Sites may be Exchange Sites

Needle Exchange

SB 366 expands the Miami-Dade pilot program to exchange used syringes for clean ones on a one-to-one basis, and offers HIV testing and referrals for drug treatment or other health care. In order for a new location to be opened, the county commission must adopt a county ordinance and have a Letter of Agreement by the local health department stating that they will seek their guidance. Read More

Background Screening Reform Inches Closer to Reality

HB 369 is an omnibus substance abuse bill that clarifies recovery residence and patient brokering laws. It also makes significant changes to background screening. Included in those changes:

  • Peer specialists must be certified and pass a level 2 background check if they receive public funds
  • Behavioral health workforce within Chapters 394 and 397 will be held to a higher Level 2 screening standard to include qualifying offenses in both 435.04 and 408.809, F.S.

Read More

Regulatory Updates

DCF Notice of Change to Rule 65D 30

The Department of Children and Families recently released the second Notice of Change/Withdrawl to the proposed rewrite of Rule 65D -30. The Notice of Change modifies some of the initial proposed rewrite as well as in the first Notice of Change. Here is the history of rule promulgation on this rule. The most recent release is a much smaller document than the previous two, indicating that the Department is beginning to “close out” some of the proposed items. To date, a Public Workshop has not been scheduled. Meanwhile, the Department adopted the final rule regarding Methadone Maintenance, along with the Fiscal Year 2018-19 Methadone. . . Read More

Grant and Funding Opportunities

Up to $100,000 in Loan Repayment for Rural Substance Use Disorder Clinicians

Applications accepted through: July 18 at 7:30p.m ET, 2019

A new National Health Service Corps (NHSC) program, the Rural Community Loan Repayment Program, will award up to $100,000 in student loan repayment to primary care and behavioral health clinicians providing substance use disorder (SUD) treatment in rural communities nationwide. In exchange, participants commit to serve for three years at rural health care sites.

Read More

Opioid Resource Grant Program

Letters of Intent Due: August 15, 2019

Link: View Program Website
Sponsor: The AmerisourceBergen Foundation
Deadlines: July 15 – Aug 15, 2019

The AmerisourceBergen Foundation Opioid Resource Grant Program provides funding for innovative and constructive projects that address education, prevention, and/or the safe disposal of opioids. Priority will be given to community projects that address the key areas of focus:

  • Safe disposal management programs
  • Prevention education
  • Pilot programs for new ideas related to pre- and post-treatment activities

Read More

Webinars and Workshops

Presented by DCF and the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association

Webinar: Identifying Environmental Risk Factors for Relapse

This webinar will present the results of a qualitative study designed to identify the environmental risk factors for relapse from substance use disorders within the microcosm of Pasco County, Florida. Implications of the findings to the fields of public health and prevention will be reviewed. more

When:Tuesday, July 23, 2019
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Where:United States
Presenter:Monica Rousseau, CHES, CPH
Contact:Diane Perez
(850) 878-2196

Register for Webinar Here

Events and Meetings

Florida Behavioral Health Conference

Event Dates: August 21-23, 2019

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane, Orlando, FL 32821

Get Schedule and/or mobile app Registration for Attendees Here
Registration for Sponsors and Exhibitors Here

Advance registration ends July 16! Register Today to get best prices

Registration Includes: Opportunity to earn up to 16 Continuing Education credits, 100 plus Workshops, up to 5 Mini Plenary Sessions, and 3 Keynote Sessions:

  • Wednesday, August 21: Allison Massari -Transforming Lives: The Art of Person-Centered Care
  • Thursday, August 22: Dawn O’Malley – The Amazing Brain
  • Friday, August 23: Matt Butler – Road to Recovery

Registration also includes: Admission to Exhibit Hall August 21-22, Coffee Breaks August 21-23, Lunches August 21 & 22, WiFi in the Conference Center, Daily Yoga Classes, and a Thursday Night Feature Film: Generation Found.

Association Board Meetings

October 14-15 – Board Meetings and Division Meetings (Tallahassee, Florida)

October 16- Behavioral health Day at the Capitol (Tallahassee, Florida)

December 11-13 – Board Meetings and Division Meetings (Lido Beach, Florida)