Community Consortium Meeting
February 25, 2013

In attendance:  Nicole Gagne, Community Health Link, Bob Guerino, MassHealth,  Jay Levy, Eliot CHS –  Homeless Services, Jennifer Moore, Behavioral Health Network, Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Julianne Siegfried, UMass, David Smelson, UMass,  Jennifer Wuest, Behavioral Health Network, Chris Zabik, DMH


Steering Committee meeting next week on 3/5.  Agenda will include:
Network presentation on Housing Options Tool
Presentation on evaluation data (which will include some of the issues discussed below)
New SAMHSA project officer will be introduced – in view of this, everyone in each agency should be prepared to give overview of each agency

Manual update:  got feedback from agencies.  Putting together for final product.  If any final comments, please contact Julianne.

Review of Evaluation Data: 

  • Current rates:  intake at 116%
  • 6  month follow-up is 86%

Other measures:
Abstinence (no use of alcohol or drugs for 30 days) – at intake 60%, at 6 months 62%

David raised question of whether abstinence is the best measure and requested feedback on this. The overall goal is harm reduction.  Is defining progress as “abstinence” setting too high a bar – should we present data on days of use as compared to previous month versus absolute abstinence from one month to another.

Jennifer Wuest:  Finds clients range from doing extremely well with abstinence, others not at all well and few are in the middle.  Would be more useful to compare the number of days using alcohol/drugs vs. all or nothing re: use since at the start of enrollment, clients are less trusting and may not share information, compromising the value of the initial reporting.

Jay Levy:  in agreement that we should look at harm reduction, therefore more useful to look at # of days and amount of usage; also look at people who have accessed detox program.  Track indicators of progress, e.g., agreement to use payees.

Other findings:  Improvement with employment and education from 24-32%; also social connectedness from 81% to 92%.  Decrease in health, behavioral and social consequences 89% to 81%.  Crime and criminal justice – no arrest past 30 days – slight increase – 95-97%.

Stability in housing from 0-70% at 6 month mark.

David Smelson:  Great report card overall.  Now, at 1.5 years in, we can take a look at the data and evaluate what is working and what isn’t.  Will modify to create a set of harm reduction variables, abstinence is ultimate goal but will also capture steps along the way.

If people have interest in seeing changes, please communicate with Julianne and David.

Bob Guerino:  any measurement of health care – do clients have it, what type are they accessing, ER use, etc.  Is that a constant measurement?
Julianne:  tracking ER visits and outpatient and in-patient visits for physical, psychological and substance abuse.  Will be included in our discussion next week.  The data is there!

David Smelson:  Will run a couple health utilization variables.  Look at whether on MassHealth or something else at admission versus post baseline.  Most clients are on it prior to enrollment or upon enrollment.  Retention is also important part of this.

Community Health Link:

Nicole Gagne:  Can’t find peer support specialist.  Significant component of the program is missing.  Hard time meeting challenge.  David Smelson did some outreach through his contacts and learned of 2 inquiries – will connect Nicole to this communication loop.

Jennifer Moore suggestion:  found successful recruitment from talking to family partners , worked well for BHN.
Bob Guerino:  If Nicole would like to connect around re-entry presentations, she should contact Bob.

Behavioral Health Network:

Fully staffed at this point.  Makes a huge difference.  Looking at a probable 4 enrollments this week.  Changes in Shelter Plus Care contract, requires a lot of additional footwork to make sure people are qualifying for program while qualifying for Mission West. Starting to see results and expecting to enroll a client in that program this week.

Fully enrolled in Bowdoin St. property.  A couple of clients have had to move out due to rent or rule issues, one unable to re-house so far and the other in a transitional living facility.


HOT tool – Andrea will present on this at next week’s Steering Committee and it will be online in early March and ready to start the next phase of provider integration/usage.

Soldier On (via David Smelson):
Everything moving along.  Vouchers moving more slowly than would like but progress continues.

Next meeting date:
Monday, 3/25, 11 am

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