Category Archives: SAMHSA Mission West Community Consortium

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.

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.