Category Archives: SAMHSA Mission West Community Consortium

Community Consortium (SAMHSA) Meeting Minutes – 7/15/13

Community Consortium Meeting Minutes
July 15, 2013

In attendance:  Bob Guerino, MassHealth, Dave Modzelewski, Network, Jerry Ray, Mental Health Association, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Julianne Siegfried, UMass, Jennifer Wuest, Behavioral Health Network, Heather Zaykowski, UMass-Boston

Note: regrets from Steve Como of Soldier On and Nicole Gagne of Community Health Link, unable to make it due to vacation and other conflicts.

Evaluation Update:  80% to annual goal.  More than 90% follow-up rate for 6 months.  Above 80% housed.  Reduction in alcohol use.  Mixed results around drug use.  Looking at 6 months to discharge, seeing some declines in substance abuse and significant declines in mental health problems.

UMass update:  Sent new version of manual to editor.  Trained the CHL peer.

Behavioral Health Network:  just enrolled two new people on Friday.  Great to be fully staffed.  Shared challenge of provider transition for clients, the disruption that causes.  Jennifer has a relationship with one client with whom it is difficult to arrange meetings (due to organizational issues), including the discharge assessment.  She has worked with him from the start and is concerned about the loss of consistency in provider support.  He is currently still housed, which is excellent, and  she and others are continuing efforts to get ongoing support through VNA and the VA.  Homeless outreach team (Eliot Services) is most stable provider.  Also, particular housing provider – Valley CDC – has been especially supportive in this instance.  Will continue to facilitate support during this transition.  More generally, this transition issue is one that exists across the program and will continue to need attention to enlist as much support as possible to ensure smooth transitions.

Network:  no new updates.

Next meeting, 9/23, 11 am  Will move to conference call meetings and use bi-annual Steering Committee for our in-person check-in.

Community Consortium (SAMHSA MissionWest) Meeting Minutes – 4/22/13

Community Consortium Meeting Minutes
April 22, 2013

In attendance: Steve Como, Soldier On,  Nicole Gagne, Community Health Link, Bob Guerino, MassHealth, David Modzelewski, Network housing coordinator, Jerry Ray, Mental Health Association, Pamela Schwartz, Network coordinator, Julianne Siegfried, UMass, David Smelson, UMass, Jennifer Wuest, Behavioral Health Network, Chris Zabik, DMH

Data Update: 

For Year 2, We are at 51% of annual goal; 80% of month to date goal.

6 month follow-up over 85%; over 80% discharge.

Over 83% of those enrolled in year 1 are housed; 77% in year 2 housed.

Also looked at related statistics (housing stability, social consequences).

Most popular drug of choice is marijuana, second is heroine, then cocaine.
# of days used has increased, but data broken down by specific drug of choice, including 12 month marker as well.  Decrease in use of marijuana.  Others not much of a change or slight increase.

This info raises question of whether there is something more we can do clinically with this.  Uncertain whether or not that is possible.

Jennifer Wuest reminded that we also must keep in mind the under-reporting of use at the early time in the relationship.

Bob Guerino raised question of impact of legalization of marijuana.  Agreed that assessment should change to incorporate questions regarding whether marijuana is being used for medical purposes.

Agreed to consider changing time to have Heather on the calls in order to maximize her input.

UMass Update:
 SAMHSA bi-annual update due in a week and a half.  Partners stay tuned for emails with inquiries.

Community Health Link:
Interviewing a peer for Mission and Veterans program.  Enrolling another person; have some housing slots available.

Soldier On:
Housed another person in the last week.  At 85% of goal.  Ok with assessments.  Finally officially hired people to do case management.  Will hope to move vouchers along more quickly.

Behavioral Health Network:
Hired peer support specialist (in orientation today).  Interviewing for a clinical case manager.  About 4 people to be screened and enrolled.  They all have housing units available (shelter plus care and Springfield Housing Authority).

Pamela, Dave and Andrea met on HOT.  Andrea and Dave are working on collecting data from vendors and they are responding.  Springfield is working on collective intake process for individuals; Network will coordinate to maximize impact of HOT.

Agreed that we will use CC meetings as opportunity for case managers to relay any feedback around the program, what could be done differently or better.  Will create room for that at all future meetings.

Next meeting date:  Pamela will schedule by email to allow for working with Heather’s schedule.

Community Consortium/MissionWest Meeting – 3/25/13

Community Consortium  Meeting – March 25, 2013

In attendance:  Steve Como, Soldier On, Bob Guerino, Mass Health Operations, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS- Homeless Services, David Modzelewski, Network, Jennifer Moore, Behavioral Health Network, Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Julianne Siegfried, UMass, David Smelson, UMass, Jennifer Wuest, Behavioral Health Network

Evaluation Update:

74% of enrollment  goal for the month; 42% of annual goal; over 80% housed, discharges at 65%.  If anyone has specific interests for evaluation factors, let Julianne or Heather know – easy to add a standard data update to community consortium meetings.

UMass update:

Steering committee met – good meeting – will send minutes to this group.  New SAMHSA project officer on board.

Behavioral Health Network:  enrolled another person this week.  Working way through Shelter Plus Care vouchers.  More potential enrollees than vouchers available – will need to address  that in the future.

Question on percentages:  end of March , 6 month mark.  Julianne, Heather and Jennifer will follow-up on this.

Soldier On:  in process of discharging 8 clients from first year.  Continuing to meet and set them up with services, meeting with them monthly, community integration meetings.

Network:  Housing Options Tool (HOT) presented by Andrea to Julianne and David.  Very exciting tool.  Now entering implementation phase with providers.  Need to look at how to create incentive for providers to use tool.  Will discuss data collection points where UMass assistance on evaluation could be helpful.  We should look at the UMass assessment tool and see there are places to adjust to better capture any evaluative data on the use of HOT.  Discussed how the tool won’t necessarily speed up placement but instead improve quality of matches , support services and overall satisfaction.  Julianne will send Pamela current assessment tool to discuss with Andrea and Dave.  Pamela, Andrea and Dave to meet to map out timeline on implementation.  Will report back at next meeting.  Also will look at ways to market this tool through Lt. Governor’s office and other possibilities.

Other updates:  Blue Cross/Blue Shield funded  Mercy Medical Center High End Utilizer Program (UMass supported the application).  Grant update:  2 case managers hired, very active.  Will provide more detailed report at next meeting.

Next meeting:  4/22, 11 am – will determine if call-in is possible.  Likely.

MissionWEST (SAMHSA) Community Consortium meeting – 2/25/13

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