One Behavioral Health Association: June 7, 2019


Newsletter June 7, 2019

Message From the President

By Melanie Brown-Woofter, OBHA President

Melanie Brown-Woofter,
President OBHA

Welcome to the June 7, 2019 Edition of Florida’s One Behavioral Health Association (OBHA) Newsletter.

We are One. At the strategic planning meeting in St. Augustine the One BH Board selected a new name for our Association – the Florida Behavioral Health Association, or FBHA. A new logo will be selected later this month and the formal unveiling of our new name, look, and branding will take place during the Florida Behavioral Health Conference in Orlando in August. You can read more about the results of the strategic board meeting in the post below.

We’ve also listed the upcoming Association Divisional Meetings for you, found under the Events and Meetings Category on the right sidebar or on the recent Division Meetings Post.

And a friendly reminder, the next Executive Committee Meeting takes place June 27th in Tampa at the DACCO offices.

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

ICYMI – In Case You Missed It

May Strategic Board Meeting

OBHA Staff

Members with Facilitator Brad Zimmerman

Our board members met for a recent Strategic Planning Meeting at the Embassy Suites by Hilton on St. Augustine Beach. The event kicked off with a Tuesday evening reception.

On Wednesday, meeting facilitator Brad Zimmerman orchestrated a full day of workshop-type discussions aimed at strengthening relationships for all members.

Zimmerman also had attendees break into groups to list the three most impactful mega trends facing their organization. Members then worked within the categories to outline their detailed concerns. Workforce Issues, Data enhancements, and Innovation-driven solutions were the topics that emerged as top priorities for our association.

Visiting the WARM Program at the Vince Carter Sanctuary

Pictured (L-R): Mark Fontaine, OBHA; Ivan Cosimi, SMA; Alicia Vincent, SMA; Rhonda Harvey, SMA; Melanie Brown-Woofter, OBHA

Mark Fontaine and Melanie Brown-Woofter had a chance to visit the WARM Program near Daytona Beach following the Strategic Board Meeting in St. Augustine.

WARM@VCS is a residential behavioral healthcare program housed in what was earlier the Vince Carter Sanctuary. Named after the famous NBA all-star who helped set it up, the facility was an upscale treatment center that got repurposed into a state-funded rehabilitation center. The treatment center is situated about 10 miles away from Daytona Beach in Bunnell, Florida.

WARM is an acronym for Women Assisting Recovery Mothers. As the name implies, the facility serves substance abuse victims who are pregnant women, postpartum or parenting young children. The residential track offered here ensures that children are provided with daycare support while their mothers undergo rehabilitation and therapy.
All residents are housed in rooms either with a roommate or mothers with their children in a room to allow for private alone time to spend with their babies or toddlers. The aim of the initiative is to empower these women and enable them to reintegrate back into society as fully functioning adults. To this effect, the team at the treatment center provides every client with individualized plans to better address their specific needs.

Read More

John Bryant: A Leader for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services in Florida Retires

By OBHA Staff

John Bryant, Asst. Sec. SAMH at DCF, retired

When John Bryant accepted the job of Assistant Secretary for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services at the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) in 2015, DCF Secretary Mike Carrol called him, “a champion for substance abuse and mental health services in Florida,” and added that the department was “privileged to bring his extensive experience and expertise back to this department.” John Bryant had served the Department of Children and Families in the past, when the state agency was known as the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (HRS). HRS would eventually split into the Florida Department of Health and DCF, but Bryant’s background remained firmly planted in behavioral health.

Bryant was Vice President of Legislative and External Affairs at the Florida Council for Community Mental Health (FCCMH), working with and advising state agencies on legislative and budget priorities, policy development, contract services, behavioral health program design, research and advocacy. Prior to FCCMH he served for over 35 years with HRS and DCF in both regional and statewide positions including Chief of Operations for the Substance Abuse Program Office, Chief of the State Mental Health Treatment Facilities, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health Programs, Chief of Adult Mental Health and others.

Our Association caught up with the longtime behavioral health advocate last month to get a glimpse of how he views the past, present, and future of behavioral health in Florida. He was just days away from retirement when our team of two breezed into his office for an interview. He was affable, accommodating, and full of information. We share his interview with you today. Read Full Interview with John Bryant

Tri-County Human Services Hosts Opioid Summits

OBHA Staff

In May, Tri-County Human Services partnered with local hospitals and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to host two opioid summits. These one-day events were held in Sebring, FL and Lakeland, FL and had several hundred participants.

The attendees represented addiction treatment and recovery organizations, emergency health care providers, state courts, law enforcement, and probation offices. Medical Education and Continuing Education Units were offered through the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association (FADAA) on topics including medication- assisted treatment and the use of naloxone, and building recovery communities.

Tri-County CEO Bob Rihn was pleased with attendee feedback. “The opioid symposium was a fantastic opportunity to serve over 200 professionals, including law enforcement, doctors, nurses, clinicians, and others. We send a special thanks to FADAA and our local FQHC for helping to sponsor this wonderful event.”

Speakers also informed participants on the state of the opioid crisis in their local areas and provided attendees with an overview of key issues addressed during the 2019 Legislative Session.

Organizational Member Showcase: Tri-County Human Services

By Bob Rihn, CEO, Tri-County Human Services

When another healthcare organization, or another member, thinks of Tri-County Human Services what do you want them to visualize?

Our Mission: Since 1974 “Tri-County Human Services provides help and hope to all persons affected by behavioral health, substance abuse and other life challenges.” We provide high quality behavioral health outpatient, residential, detox, in-jail, prevention, medical and psychiatric, homeless/housing services while giving a person choice in our local communities. We build positive working relationships with other agencies, the community, and others to help create an effective system of care in our area, which includes our local FQHC. TCHS focuses on empowering individuals to choose to build and maintain a healthy lifestyle and takes a holistic approach to helping those we serve.

How has growth affected Tri-County over the years?

Population growth has increased service need while resources has generally remained level. Challenges include need to serve individuals in our three diverse suburban and rural counties. We have successfully advocated for an Indigent sales tax resource using same to provide innovative, award winning programs in corrections and behavioral health communities complimented with existing resources. This approach has doubled the available resources during the past ten years. We now serve over ten thousand individuals receiving behavioral health prevention, treatment and housing services. Area growth is also impacted by limited availability of over 310 professional, semi-professional and support personnel. Securing personnel in rural areas is a challenge, as our workforce need has grown tremendously over the past several years. Our positive innovative orientation to business has provided a platform to meet the new and varied service needs, resulting in effective collaborations with organizations, individual medical and allied health and human service organizations/practitioners, hospitals, state and county corrections. We have been called upon to lead many innovative multi-agency programs to establish in depth, meaningful effective service delivery. Read Full Interview with Tri-County Human Services

Member Showcase: Jay Reeve, PhD

By Jay Reeve, CEO, Apalachee Center

Jay Reeve, CEO Apalachee Center

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

My job is to make sure that people in Florida’s Big Bend region who are living with brain illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression, among others, get the right specialty medical care that they need when they need it. Apalachee Center, where I work, operates a mobile behavioral health response team, a central psychiatric and substance use disorder receiving facility, a psychiatric hospital, a crisis stabilization unit, a detox unit, 7 mental health residential programs, 9 mental health outpatient clinics, 2 outpatient primary care clinics and a bunch of specialty programs. We field CAT Teams, FACT Teams, peer specialists and telemedicine, along with other services, to ensure that folks with brain illnesses can get everything from emergency psychiatric care to long-term outpatient psychotherapy. Like other comprehensive community mental health centers in Florida, that’s a big system with lots of moving parts. My job is to make sure that system works the way it’s supposed to, and to ensure that we’re providing care for everyone who needs it as fast as we can.

(Q) How did you get started in your profession?

Back in 1985, I was working my way through graduate school in theology, and needed another part time job (I already had 2). I got a job as a Mental Health Assistant at a small psych hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts and loved it! I switched around everything I was doing in school so I could concentrate on psychology, and went to work full time as an inpatient milieu therapist (really a Mental Health Assistant who ran groups) after I got my master’s. I spent two years doing that work full time before I went back to school and got my PhD in clinical psychology. I practiced as a clinical psychologist in inpatient settings until 2005, when I came to Apalachee Center and moved over into the administrative side of the world. Read Full Interview with Jay Reeve

Regulatory Updates

Department of Education

Rule/Title: 6A-1.094121 Mental and Emotional Health Education

Purpose and Effect: To establish minimum hours of required instruction related to mental and emotional health education for grades 6-12 students and to establish procedures for school districts to document the instruction.

The preliminary text of the proposed rule development is not currently available.

Department of Children and Families

Rule/Title: 65D30.014 Methadone and Methadone Maintenance
The Department is very close to final adoption of the rules relating to methadone. Stay tuned…..

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.

Key Program Highlights

Priority Funding: Applicants employed at an NHSC-approved site that is also participating in the Rural Community Opioid Response Program (RCORP), an initiative of the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, will be given priority.
Expanded Disciplines: Nurse anesthetists, pharmacists, registered nurses, and SUD counselors are eligible.
Flexibility: Applicants can apply under either the mental health or primary care Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) score of their site – whichever is higher.
Support for all treatment team members: Providers offering general SUD services to medication assisted treatment are eligible to apply.
Visit the NHSC Rural Community Loan Repayment Program webpage to learn more.

Initial Check – Employer Eligibility

Visit the Health Workforce Connector to see if an organization is NHSC-approved, making their staff eligible to apply for loan repayment.

Apply Now

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

Eligibility: Eligible applicants are nonprofit organizations and coalitions that are not customers of AmerisourceBergen. Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Amount of funding: It is expected that the average grant size will be between $50,000 – $75,000.

Application process:
A link to application instructions is available on the program website. Submit an online letter of intent. Selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal.

Letters of intent will be accepted:
July 15 – August 15, 2019

Webinars and Workshops

Presented by DCF and the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association

Webinar: Opioid Use Disorders and Criminal Justice Involvement – A Research Overview and Case Study

The opioid epidemic is intertwined with historically high levels of correctional supervision in the United States. In this webinar, we will present an overview of overlapping trends in correctional supervision and opioid overdose deaths. We will also provide an evidence synthesis of opioid use disorder treatment among individuals involved in the criminal justice system, with a focus on randomized controlled trials and current guidelines. Finally, we will present our work in Hennepin County to describe one approach to implementing opioid use disorder treatment within correctional facilities and for individuals with recent incarceration. Read more

When:Tuesday, June 18, 2019
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Where:United States
Presenter:Tyler Winkelman, MD, MSc, Clinician-Investigator,
Division of General Internal Medicine
Contact:Diane Perez
(850) 878-2196

Register for Webinar Here

Events and Meetings

Association Divisional Meetings

Children’s Division Meeting; Tuesday, June 18, 2p – 2:45p; Via Zoom/Conference Call

Recovery and Social Supports Division Meeting (Housing); Tuesday, June 18, 3p – 4p; Via Zoom/Conference Call

Business Innovation Meeting; Wednesday, June 26, 1p – 2p; Via Zoom/Conference Call

Justice Division Meeting; Thursday, July 11, 3p – 5p; Location TBA, Zoom/Conference Call

Public Resources Division Meeting; Wednesday, July 17, 11:30a – 1:30p; In Gainesville

Florida Behavioral Health Conference

Event Dates: August 21-23, 2019

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

The Conference Schedule and the Mobile App are now both available!

Get Schedule and/or mobile app

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!

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)