One Behavioral Health Association: April 30, 2019


Newsletter April 30, 2019

Message From the President

By Melanie Brown-Woofter, OBHA President

Welcome to the April 30 Edition of Florida’s One Behavioral Health Association (OBHA) Newsletter.

Florida’s regular 60-day Legislative Session is scheduled to end on May 3. Our legislative staff and team will be keeping you up to date as we near the end of the session and we’ll provide a full review of session post sine die.

Thanks to the strength of our members, associates, and staff, the work of Florida’s One Behavioral Health Association (OBHA) continues to move forward.

I encourage our organizational members to attend the upcoming Strategic Planning meeting in May at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Oceanfront Resort in St. Augustine Beach. This meeting is designed specifically for organizational/full agency members to come together as One Association to develop a blueprint for the future of our industry and the OBHA Board will vote on a new name for our association. We have engaged a facilitator who will assist us with this event. All our members – including corporate partners, managing entities, and associate members – will come together at the August board meeting during the annual conference (

Our Association Board leadership has worked tirelessly to promote and ensure an efficient and smooth transition for Florida’s One Behavioral Health Association. On behalf of the 2018 Board of Directors, I thank you for your continued membership, support, and participation and look forward to serving you in 2019.

As always, we welcome your feedback on this newsletter and all our communications. Contact Melanie at

ICYMI – In Case You Missed It

42CFR Part 2: Confidentiality of SUD Patients

OBHA Staff

Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations (42CFR) is the principal set of rules regarding public health in the United States. Part 2 deals specifically with the confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) patient records.

42CFR Part 2 is up before Congress again this year. The bills (S. 1012/H.R. 2062) would change federal laws on how a patient’s treatment records are shared. Rep. Blumenauer and Sen. Manchin introduced the bills to their respective chambers in early April. Last year’s Congress introduced similar bills that passed the House, but died in the Senate.

42 CFR was enacted in the 1970s and became effective in 1975. It was revised and updated in 1983 and then remained unchanged for more than 30 years. The purpose of the original rule was simple: encourage people to seek substance use disorder treatment while keeping the records of their treatment private. The rule was intended to help people avoid the stigma of receiving SUD treatment and more specifically the rule prohibited the use of patient information for criminal charges or investigation unless there was a substantial risk of death or bodily harm.

When the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 was enacted (HIPAA) the stage was set for a possible . . . Read More

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

OBHA Staff

One Behavioral Health Association (OBHA) joins Mental Health America (MHA) in recognizing Mental Health Month. MHA founded May is Mental Health Month back in 1949 to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone. This year marks 70 years of celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month! Last year, Mental Health Month materials were seen and used by over 30 million people, with more than 16,000 entities downloading MHA’s tool kit.

MHA’s 2019 theme expands upon last year’s theme of 4Mind4Body and
explores the topics of animal companionship, spirituality and religion, humor, work-life balance, recreation, and social connections as ways to boost mental health and general wellness.

You may request the 2019 MHA Toolkit Here

MHA has developed a series of fact sheets to help people
understand how their lifestyle affects their health. To view and download facts sheets for your organization Go Here.

New Jersey Governor Murphy Signs Mental Health Parity Legislation

NJ Insider, Governor’s Press Office

TRENTON, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy recently signed legislation that will enhance enforcement of mental health parity laws by improving transparency and accountability related to the insurance coverage of mental health and substance use disorder treatment services for New Jersey residents.The law (A2031/S1339) requires health insurers to provide coverage for mental health conditions and substance use disorders under the same terms and conditions as provided for any other sickness and to meet the requirements of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. The federal law enacted in 2008 requires equal coverage for mental and physical health care services.

“No one should have to forego treatment or take on a monumental expense to receive care because of inequities in coverage. We must do everything we can to ensure that individuals who need treatment are able to get it. This new law enhances enforcement and oversight of mental health parity laws to ensure that mental health and substance use disorders are treated on par with physical health conditions,” said Governor Murphy. “Providing access to health care remains a priority for my administration and we will continue to work to remove obstacles that hinder people’s abilities to receive the care they need.”. . . Read More

Summit: Effectively Engaging and Treating Individuals with Opioid Use Disorders

OBHA Staff

More than 75 behavioral health professionals gathered in Tampa on April 24 to discuss strategies on how to maximize the use of Evidence-Based Practices for opioid use disorders. Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), Assistant Secretary for Substance Abuse and Mental Health, John Bryant discussed plans and resources for the new State Opioid Response (SOR) Grant.

The Summit was hosted by the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association (FADAA) and DCF’s SAMH Office in conjunction with the Florida Association of Managing Entities. The speakers and the group discussions all focused on Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), patient engagement, and patient retention. A recent FADAA press release discussed the effectiveness of opioid treatment programs, specifically naltrexone MAT programs in 58 Florida counties stretching from Pensacola to Key West. Read Press Release

President Trump Addresses National Conference on Drug Abuse and Heroin

While Floridians were meeting in Tampa for a MAT opioid summit, President Trump was speaking in Atlanta at the 8th Annual Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit. The President addressed the federal response to the opioid crisis and the progress being made. His full address is available here:

President Trump Addresses Atlanta National Conference on Drug Abuse

TimeCode 7:05 President Trump on the You Tube Video above, “We have given opioid response grants to states totaling $2-Billion dollars. We are now allowing states to use Medicaid funds to pay for residential treatment facilities and they are being built all over the country”

Nationwide essay contest challenges high schoolers to be frank about mental health

Multiple winners to be awarded by NIH and the Calvin J. Li Memorial Foundation.

Students ages 16 to 18 years old are invited to participate in the “Speaking Up About Mental Health!” essay contest to explore ways to address the stigma and social barriers that adolescents from racial and ethnic minority populations may face when seeking mental health treatment.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youths aged 15 to 24, yet only about half of young adults with a mental disorder receive treatment. In an effort to address this disparity and further conversations about mental health among high schoolers, the National Institutes of Health invites students ages 16 to 18 years old to participate in the “Speaking Up About Mental Health!” essay contest. Essays should explore ways to address the stigma and social barriers that adolescents from racial and ethnic minority populations may face when seeking mental health treatment. The contest is led by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), in collaboration with the Calvin J. Li Memorial Foundation, and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). NIMH and NIMHD are components of NIH. . . . Read More

The Psychological Toll of Reentry: Early Findings from a Multistate Trial

OBHA Staff

A study release by the Florida State University Institute for Justice Research and Development highlights key findings on reentry services models. Titled the Psychological Toll of Reentry: Early Findings from a Multistate Trial discusses the transition from a jail or prison impact on the offender, their families, and communities. This report is the second in a series of reports on a multistate, multisite study of a reentry services model referred to as the 5-Key Model for Reentry. The study is currently being implemented in 12 urban and rural counties across four states including Florida, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

In short, recidivism rates are impacted by both individual decision-making and a host of structural barriers including whether or not reentry service supports are available in local communities to individuals leaving incarceration. One important finding is that corrections cannot be the primary source of support for reentry; communities must play more of a role in prevention by helping to prevent recidivism. The largest identified barriers included state identification cards, anxiety, addiction, and employment.

Organizational Member Showcase: New Horizons of the Treasure Coast

By George Shopland, CEO, New Horizons of the Treasure Coast

New Horizons of the Treasure Coast

When another healthcare organization, or another member, thinks of New Horizons of the Treasure Coast what do you want them to visualize?.

New Horizons strives to be the best trauma-informed, patient-focused, caring, compassionate and steadfast mental health and addiction recovery agency in a four-county region, serving people from every walk of life, regardless of the challenges they face or their ability to pay.

How has growth affected New Horizons of the Treasure Coast since its launch 61 years ago in terms of staff and patient services?

Established in 1958, New Horizons has grown from a single location serving a mostly rural population of 250 clients on a $25,000 annual budget, to becoming the largest and most comprehensive mental health and addiction recovery agency in the region. Now, New Horizons has nine offices across four counties, 427 employees, and serves 14,000 children and adults annually on a $27 million budget. What has remained constant is New Horizons’ philosophy of evolving with the changing needs of the community, i.e. building the Frances Langford Children’s Crisis Stabilization Unit in 2010 when demand far exceeded available beds for youth in crisis, creating a Transitional Group Home in 2014 for clients being discharged from state hospitals, and helping to launch the Treasure Coast Opioid Task Force in 2017

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

Over the past two years, New Horizons has added Children’s Community Action Team (CCAT) and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) to its repertoire of services, resulting in a significant impact on youth and families, as well as adults addicted to opioids. We have also been offering telepsychiatry at our main campus in Fort Pierce for the past two years, and now we are in the process of rolling it out across several other county locations. Read More

Member Showcase: Dianne Clarke, PhD, CAP

By Dianne Clarke, CEO, Operation Par

How would you describe your job to a child?

My job is to help people who have abused drugs and alcohol learn what they need to live a healthy and happy life. To do this I read and study new ideas, talk to people about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and work with people who share the same goals. It is a great job!

How did you start out in the profession?

After graduating with a degree in Criminology from Florida State University (Go Noles!) with plans on entering law enforcement plans changed. I was working in loss prevention (stopping shoplifters) at a department store waiting to get on a police department during a time when it was difficult for women to enter that field. I got into quite the altercation over men’s suits and ended up with quite a shiner. I saw an ad in the newspaper to be a midnight shift counselor at Operation PAR and thought that fit into my interests and seemed safer! I showed up for the interview with a shiner and 40 years, a Masters, and Ph.D. later I’m still here! God puts us where we are supposed to be!

What are the biggest challenges in your role?

The biggest challenge in my role as CEO at Operation PAR is preparing the way for the next generation of substance use disorder specialists and leaders of this field. My challenge is to share and pass forward the deep and wonderful history of addiction treatment and at the same time to share and pass forward new and exciting information as we learn more about the brain and this disease. It is a challenge I enjoy. Read More

Regulatory Updates

Low Income Pool for Central Receiving Systems Update

OBHA Staff

Good News! The final milestone to implement the Low-Income Pool (LIP) for Behavioral Health providers was reached on April 17 when AHCA received approval from federal CMS on the Revised Funding Methodology Document (RFMD) that includes Behavioral Health providers (central receiving systems) in Florida’s LIP.   AHCA has already initiated the invoicing process and providers are expected to receive payment before June 30.  We are excited to have the opportunity to demonstrate the positive impact this will have on the system of care statewide.

This lengthy process began over three years ago with the hiring and collaboration of Health Management Consultants (HMA) on revenue maximization language. At the conclusion of the 2018 session (March) LIP proviso was agreed upon and accepted by the legislature, written into the GAA, and signed by the Governor. AHCA had to submit the 1115 Waiver Amendment and obtain CMS approval. Then One BH staff worked to get a state budget amendment passed by the Joint Legislative Budget Commission after the CMS approval.  Finally, AHCA received the RFMD approval by CMS to implement the behavioral health LIP payments in April.

Grant and Funding Opportunities

BJA’s Law Enforcement/First Responder Diversion Mentor Site Selection Application

Deadline: May 10, 2019, 5:00 PM

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is pleased to announce the creation of the Law Enforcement/First Responder Diversion Mentor Program to begin on October 1, 2019. This program is part of the training and technical assistance (TTA) resources available to local jurisdictions through BJA’s Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program (COAP). The selection process
for mentor sites is being facilitated by TASC, Inc. in its role as a COAP TTA provider. COAP was developed as part of the 2016 Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and is designed to provide financial and technical assistance to states, units of local government, and Indian tribal governments to plan, develop, and implement comprehensive efforts to identify, respond to, treat, and support those impacted by the opioid epidemic.

What Is Law Enforcement/First Responder Diversion?

Law enforcement and other first responders are at the front line of the opioid epidemic, responding to frequent drug overdose calls. A variety of multidisciplinary overdose response and early diversion models, led by law
enforcement and other first responders, have emerged in communities throughout the nation. These models often include first responders working in partnership with substance abuse treatment providers and peer recovery coaches to help overdose victims access treatment and recovery support services. Read More and Download Application

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program Medication-Assisted Treatment Expansion

Deadline: June 10, 2019

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) recently released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Medication-Assisted Treatment Expansion (RCORP-MAT Expansion). HRSA plans to invest approximately $8 million in rural communities as part of this funding opportunity.
Successful RCORP-MAT Expansion award recipients will receive up to $725,000 for a three-year period of performance to establish or expand medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in eligible hospitals, health clinics, or tribal organizations located in high-risk rural communities.
View the funding opportunity here:
Eligible applicants include domestic public or private, non-profit or for-profit: Read More

BJA FY 19 Improving Justice and Mental Health Collaboration: Training and Technical Assistance to Grantees and the Field

The Bureau of Justice Assistance is seeking applications for funding under the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Program. This program provides cross-system technical assistance to Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) grantees. It furthers the Departments mission by increasing criminal justice capacity to reduce violence and increase support of law enforcement to address challenges when encountering people with Mental Illnesses or co-occurring mental illnesses and substance abuse during calls for service, within the courts, and correctional/detention settings. Through the TTA program, JMHCP grantees will receive the necessary support to reduce and assist the number of people with mental illnesses who enter and move through the criminal justice system. funding opportunity number: BJA-2019-15123; Closing Date: June 11, 2019

For more information:

Webinars and Workshops

Presented by DCF and the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association

Webinar: Alternatives to Administrative Discharge: It’s Time to Stop Kicking People Out of Treatment

Our nation is in the grips of an ever-increasing overdose epidemic, and yet people living with substance use disorders continue to be administratively discharged from medically necessary and potentially life-saving treatment services. In 2016, over 98,000 individuals were administratively discharged from publicly-funded treatment services nationwide. In Florida, more people were administratively discharged than transferred to other providers for continuing care in 2016, and the number of individuals terminated from treatment against their will increased by over 140% between 2015 and 2016. This escalating . . .read more

When:Tuesday, May 14, 2019
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Where:United States
Presenter:Gabriela Zapata-Alma, LCSW, CADC
Contact:Diane Perez
(850) 878-2196

Register for Webinar Here

Webinar: Using Telehealth for Treatment of Substance Use Disorders

This presentation will address specific safety protocol, clinical application as well as laws and ethics related to counseling via video conferencing.

When:Tuesday, June 4, 2019
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Where:United States
Presenter:Dianne Clarke PhD, CAP 
and Sandnes Boulanger, LCSW, MCAP, CAP
Contact:Diane Perez
(850) 878-2196

Register for Webinar Here

Events and Meetings

Administrators Forum

Florida Mall Hotel and Conference Center, Orlando

Event Dates: May 9-10, 2019

Florida Mall Hotel and Conference Center 1500 Sand Lake Road, Orlando, FL 32809

Register for the event

The forum brings together chief professionals in the Human Resources, Financial, and Information Technology fields in the Behavioral Health sector. The two day forum features stand-alone presentations for each group, as well as combined presentations. Last year’s event had over 130 participants with the CFOs, CIOs and HR Directors from 30 different behavioral health organizations throughout the state of Florida.

OBHA May Board Meeting

Embassy Suites, St. Augustine Beach

Event Dates: May 21-23, 2019

Embassy Suites by Hilton Oceanfront Resort | St. Augustine Beach
300 A1A Beach Boulevard, St Augustine, Florida, 32080 | 1-904-461-9004
Group Code: OBH
Rate: $149 (Inclusive of parking)

This meeting is specifically designed for organizational members. The focus will be on planning the future of the combined associations.

Hilton Hotel booking link
Register for the event

Florida Behavioral Health Conference

Event Dates: August 21-23, 2019

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

Registration is now open!

Registration for Attendees Here
Registration for Sponsors and Exhibitors Here

This event has grown into the largest behavioral health conference in the Southeast and attracts more than 1,400 professionals, executives, exhibitors, and volunteers each year. The conference provides attendees with opportunities to learn and apply the most current technology, research, and trends to their daily jobs and to network with other professionals. The Florida Behavioral Health Conference 2019 will host three plenary sessions and over 80 workshops with multiple tracks available for continuing education. Come join us for the behavior health signature event of the Year: The Florida Behavioral Health Conference 2019!