Next Individual Services/Discharge Planning Meeting:

Thursday, November 17
10 am – 11:30 am
Northampton Senior Center
67 Conz Street, Northampton

Discharge Planning Meeting – September 15, 2011

In Attendance:  Carl Cignoni, Hampshire Sheriff’s Office, Ben Cluff, Mass. Dept of Public Health, Steve Connor, CH Veteran Services, Janet Curley, Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Jason Cuyler, Berkshire County Sherriff’s office, Sue Fortin, Dept. of Mental Health, Amy Geeleher, Providence Behavioral Health Hospital, Monique Gondek-Ashe, Behavioral Health Network, Larry Gottlieb, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services,  Laurie Guidry, MATSA/MCSOM, Naomi Klayman, Career Point, Fran Lagace, Dept. of Mental Health, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Dave Modzelewski, Mental Health Association, Pam Moore, Clinical Support Options, Carol Murray, Wing Hospital, Claudia Phillips, Mercy Medical/Health Care for the Homeless, Marty Pope, Baystate Medical Center, Wanda Rolon, ServiceNet, Joe Russo, CH Veterans Services, Marla Singleton, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Nina Slovik, Noble Hospital, Jo-Ann Tolliver, Ron Willoughby, Springfield Rescue Mission, Northampton VAMC, Kurt Zellen, Northampton VAMC

Discharge Guidelines and CSP referral process check-in

Overall feedback that people are using/following guidelines (in some instances similar guidelines were in place already without adopting these per se).

Jay Levy reminded all of Quick Referral List for CSP referrals, shelter providers, etc.  Go to to find.

Inquiry around how to complete DMH application for one who is homeless.  Guidance:  put last address.  If mental health issues, contact PATH program.  They will help to connect.

Issue of processing MassHealth applications while in hospital/correctional facilities.  Most hospitals begin this process but the challenge is the person is not there long enough to complete it.  Jay Levy suggested following up with him if this circumstance arises.

Berkshire County Corrections:  works closely with 3 shelters – provides all referral info upon release (working on it 90 days prior to release).

Hampshire County House of Corrections:  goal is to have Mass Health upon release. In process of adopting Virtual Gateway – plug info into computer prior to discharge.

Connecting to CSP workers:  can be a challenge when person is discharged quickly.  Providence Behavioral Health noted this problem in particular.  BayState psych unit:  bottleneck with referrals.  Hard to get response.  Sometimes a couple of days after call before worker shows up.

MBHP staff person noted:  everyone who is discharged from psych unit should be referred to CSP services.  Whether or not homeless, should get referral.  Challenge of time constraints is real (quick discharge especially).  If someone leaves, CSP will try to find that person.

On VA status: check and connect with VA.  Many resources available.

Need to keep at goal of avoiding shelter and obtaining housing.

Laurie Guidry:  housing sex offenders work group report

Met 6 times.  Outlined barriers.  Guest speakers: Springfield Police Dept., federal probation officer, SORB representative.  Goal is to get a lot of information, gather stakeholders and look at issue in thoughtful and aggressive way.  What do we have in our area – can we build a pilot program that will demonstrate effectiveness.  One of the frameworks is to understand the complicated social context, the actual risks they represent, make sure we’re managing highest risk offenders effectively and offenders with different levels of risk and have them re-enter community.  Must move slowly to place sex offenders in community in a way that maximizes public safety.

Increasing risk by limiting access to housing.  Agreed that sex offenders shouldn’t end up in homeless shelters; need to broaden the source of solutions.  We have to rely on data to make decisions, not emotions.  Need to shift narrative.  Data says that when they have stable living, they are less of a threat to the public.  Need to figure out how to pose the issue so people can hear it.  We need to change the language. Getting more and more difficult because without connection to a particular community, people rejected.  Slow reeducation process, get past emotional process.  Aim is to build a wide coalition.  Once coalition is in place, will look forward for funding opportunities and create strategies for housing.
Re: SJC finding that Level 3 sex offender cannot reside in nursing home. Challenged for plaintiff and struck down specific for this individual.  Although specific, easy to apply to other individuals.  A ray of light on this issue.
Dave Modzelewski: Funding Working Group
More in our interest to collaborate because need in rural counties may not be sufficient to reach a particular level for funding but combined counties may do it.
We have 700 units across 3 units set aside for affordable housing.  But units rarely turnover due to excellent stabilization services.  Happy to send unit list to anyone who wants it, including criteria.
Pilot project idea:
Critical Response Team:  a team of agency representatives gather on a regular basis to create risk reduction team aimed at meeting needs of hardest to meet individuals. Referrals coming from emergency room services, Elliot CHS Homeless Services, psychiatric services.  Will use REACH meetings for screening.
ICHH funding prospect could be useful to further discharge planning.
Suggestion to create a white paper on collaboration with a needs statement, statement of existing resources, gaps

Steering Committee Representation

Pamela raised the issue of the structure of this committee; that it is in effect the individual services committee for the Network (reviewed the history of how we got here) and therefore needs to have a representative on the Network Steering Committee.  This committee meets monthly, 3rd Tuesday, 3-5 pm in Northampton.  Pamela will put out a notice on this, seeking interested people.

Committee Meeting Schedule

This group agreed to meet every 2 months (November) for 1.5 hours.  Pamela will be in touch on next meeting date.

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