Category Archives: SAMHSA Mission West Community Consortium

Community Consortium – SAMHSA – Minutes – 11/17/14

Community Consortium Meeting
November 17, 2014

In attendance: Brian Bickford, Community Health Link, Nate Guevremont, UMass, David Modzelewski, Network, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Chris Zabik, DMH, Heather Zayjowski, UMass

Evaluation Update (Heather):
Click here for evaluation data. Overview: not many changes in numbers since enrollment completed and now just finishing up surveys for those enrolled (collecting data until the end of the grant extension in Feb. 2015). A poster on the project was produced and presented at the American Public Health Association conference this week.   The poster highlights two features: changes in mental health and substance abuse and housing status. In general, findings demonstrate a decline in mental health problems, and a huge leap from homelessness to permanently housed, the ultimate measure of success.

MA DPH received CABHI grant but for Eastern Mass. Neither BHN or ServiceNet were funded. Only Eastern MA received funding. They should receive feedback.

Funding ends in February. Will continue to collect data, will finish up the services. After February, UMass will provide an end of services report.

We agreed our Western Mass group should convene to do our own informal evaluation, specifically around how successfully individuals have been connected to services post SAMHSA grant.

UMass updates (Nate):

Got a new project officer from SAMHSA. Will be planning our next steering committee meeting. David and Leon at APHA conference. Will send poster and Pamela will put on blog.

CHL (Brian):

Working on transitions of Year 3 folks. People are doing pretty well. Still have one person really struggling and just recently moved her into her own apartment.

Network (Pamela and Dave):

Pamela reported that conversations are underway with our region’s CoC’s about how to continue the work of the Housing Options Tool (currently out of funding) and if/how to integrate it into the work of the Hampden County CoC’s Zero 2016 campaign (which also offers housing tracking tools).

Dave reported that the coordinated intake and assessment tool, the VI-SPDAT, is slowly being implemented across the region under the guidance of the CoC’s.

Pamela and Dave noted that with the end of this grant, funding for the REACH meetings is no longer available.  Pamela will follow-up with the Western region group to brainstorm how to close the gap.

BHN (Jennifer, via email): No new information.

Next meeting:  Monday, January 12, 11 am, same number

SAMHSA Mission West Community Consortium Meeting Minutes – 9/29/14

Community Consortium Meeting Minutes
September 29, 2014

In attendance: Brian Bickford, Community Health Link, Nathan Guevremont, UMass, Dave Modzelewski, Network, Jerry Ray, Mental Health Association, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Jennifer Wuest, Behavioral Health Network, Chris Zabik, DMH, Heather Zaykowski, UMass Boston

Evaluation Update (Heather):
Please click here for the latest evaluation report.  We are now closing out Year 3 (September 30). We are meeting our goals for follow-up with 90% of clients housed. A few new people enrolled at Soldier On. Heather compiled data for David Smelson for presentation to funders, which Nate will pass on to us FYI. With the approval for a no-cost extension, we have additional time to provide services. A final report is due 90 days after the end of the grant, so final evaluation will come with the end of the extension.

UMass Update (Nate):
Confirmed no-cost extension until end of February. This is for the continuation of services, not new enrollments. This time period will enable providers to have better and more thorough closure with clients.

Behavioral Health Network (Jennnifer):
Winding down. Working with 14 active clients, about 4-5 discharges will occur within the next week, reducing the client load significantly. The team is feeling positive about successes. Still no word about funding for Mission West 2.

Community Health Link (Brian):
Also winding down with 10 active clients. Transitioning them off of services. Almost all are going smoothly. A few challenges.

Network (Pamela and Dave):
Pamela reported on the Housing Option Tool (HOT), a major by-product of this grant; that it is a tool in the regional implementation of the coordinated intake and assessment process to ensure “best fits” for housing options for homeless individuals. Integration of this tool for housing providers is underway. Dave reported on his interview by UMass staff re: broader perspectives on this project. He also announced the region’s Housing First conference – to learn latest best practices and more – on October 16 at Holyoke Community College. You can register at

We agreed we would meet again in November. Pamela will poll the group for best meeting dates and times.






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.