SAMHSA MissionWest Community Consortium Meeting
June 25, 2012

In attendance:  Leah Bradley, CommunityHealth Link, Bob Guerino, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS – Homeless Services, David Modzelewski, Mental Health Association, Jennifer Moore, Behavioral Health Network, Jerry Ray, Mental Health Association, MassHealth, Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Julianne Siegfriend, UMass, Heather Zaykowski, UMass

Project Reports:

Behavioral Health Network – Jennifer Wuest on vacation, Jennifer Moore reporting:  Met June targets for enrollment.  Enrolled 2 people on Thurs., another on Fri.

Community Health Link:  hired new clinician, trained in Mission Model.   2 six month assessments completed.  Continuing to strategize around groups.  One enrolled individual received a unit from the Worcester Housing Authority (great news!).

Finding that a lot of the enrolled individuals already have multiple providers (therapists, primary care physicians, etc.).  Raises question of whether another service provider seems cumbersome.  Goal is to ensure clients are not overwhelmed by too many services/appointments.

Discussion: Dave Modzelewski has found multiple service providers useful assuming everyone is on the same page.  May help to make sure connections are in place for when MissionWest is done.

Jay Levy:  Western region distinct from CHL in that individuals are frequently coming in from a range of referral sources, so the range is wider of some people coming in with other providers, while some not.

Western Mass. Network:  Pamela reported on recent housing authority collaboration meeting, involving housing authorities from across the region, with housing providers, hospitals, county dept. of corrections.  Goal is to support housing authority participation in housing homeless individuals and families and to support maintaining tenancies for at-risk individuals.

Dave Modzelewski:  SMOC property should be ready for occupancy any day now.  Mental Health Association will have 13 new Shelter Plus Care units available in the next 30-60 days.

UMass/Evaluation (Heather): Latest report did not include some enrollment numbers due to vacation schedules/reporting timing.  Big news is CHL began doing 6 month follow-ups.  Goal is to conduct these assessments between 5-6 months from enrollment.

UMass (Julianne): amendment going through IRB to include those who are incarcerated or pregnant.  On track for that.

Case study:

Dave Modzelewski reported:  Individual homeless for several years since fire destroyed SRO housing.  Has substance abuse and mental health issues.  Provided a public housing unit but due without support services, lost housing.  Since that time, on the street or hospitalized.  Convened Critical Response Team – brought together a number of providers, including Eliot Homeless Services, VA, Soldier On, housing authority, DPH, SMOC.  Individual was only in military for a short period of time – doesn’t consider himself a veteran.  He also is a level 1 sex offender from an offense of 25 years ago.   Eliot Services had end-of-year funds that allowed them to put individual in a camper for a short period of time.  Connected individual to BHN/MissionWest.  Provided BHN case manager.  Applications made to housing programs.  On Friday, he was accepted into a subsidized unit of Valley CDC (“The Maples”) in Northampton, with the services of MissionWest.

Case introduced through REACH meeting.  Tagged as a high risk person on the vulnerability index with  multiple challenges, both physical and mental.  Joined together with service providers to brainstorm best mix.  Advocated with housing authority to give him another try.  Very collaborative effort among service providers.  First referral that Valley CDC has now taken to provide subsidized placement (has committed to housing six).  Also individual connected with BHN peer support worker.

Valley CDC willingness to house this individual clearly defined by availability of MissionWest.  Also interesting to note Network regional efforts around housing for sex offenders and its possible relationship to willingness to treat this individual on a case- by-case basis as opposed to a blanket refusal to house any sex offenders.

Dave Modzelewski will facilitate writing up case study.

Sustainability Discussion:  Julianne:  SAMHSA has focus on sustainability.  Would like to make services a permanent part of the community.  Initial thoughts around sustainability:

The REACH meetings: an excellent resource for linking housing with clinical services.   Aim to continue having BHN and Soldier On as part of those meetings after the grant.

Consider whether it would be helpful to continue Mission based services after grant.

Quality Assurance Programs.  Put measures in place for quality assurance to continue after the grant.

Jerry Ray:  with 13 new units coming on (Shelter Plus Care), first time new housing stock with no services attached – will fully utilize services from MissionWest (testing sustainability prior to end of grant).

Another challenge is that MissionWest offers only a year of services and it is likely additional services will be needed.  Sustainability necessary!

Jennifer Moore:  individuals enrolled in MBHP.  Can get a lot of Mission elements reimbursed by insurance (DRT sessions, case management by clinical services).  Unless peer support specialist is qualified as a potential provider of CSP, can’t get their services reimbursed.

How long can person be housed and still be eligible for CSPECH services – if s/he doesn’t meet definition of homeless, wouldn’t qualify.  Talk to MBHP now to discuss how to transfer clients from MissionWest to CSPECH.  Must negotiate around definition of continued homelessness.  Jerry will update others with any developments/clarification around this question.

Blue Cross/Blue Shield grants to provide tracking of high Emergency Department (ED) users, case management, treatment plans.  Wanting to link with other services.  Leah’s program more intense  – Emergency Dept. is identifying individuals and CHL is reaching out to those individuals.  Will check-in about cross-over of high ED users and MissionWest.

Jay:  would be interesting to compare vulnerability indexes used by CHL and Eliot CHS-Homeless Services.  Leah:  in process of figuring out which one they want to use.  Agreed to follow-up and exchange via email.


Julianne:  next Steering Committee meeting will be early Sept.  Stay tuned for scheduling.

In view of summer vacation schedules, agreed to merge our July and August meetings, so next meeting is: Monday, August 6, 11 am – 12 noon.

«   »

Return to full list of blog posts.