- "When you are emotionally connected to your peers in recovery, you stand the best chance of being protected from the compulsion to use and do things that get you into trouble with your illness." Patrick Kennedy and Glenn Close discuss mental health and advocacy work with the New York Times.
- Mental Health America (MHA) has partnered with Booster.com, a free crowdfunding platform, to launch its first campaign to inspire individuals to "Fight in the Open."
Telecare is pleased to announce that we will be opening eight new programs in the coming months. We are beginning recruitment efforts now for leadership positions at six of these new sites.
If you'd like to learn more about career opportunities at these programs or Telecare in general, please contact Robert Klar, Director, Talent Acquisition and Workforce Planning, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orange County, CA—Pacifica House
Pacifica House will be a 6-bed, short-term crisis residential program that will provide stabilization services to members who are experiencing acute mental health crisis and need additional assistance without resulting in the member being admitted to an inpatient program.
Kern County, CA—Eastern Kern County Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU)
The Eastern Kern County CSU will be a 12-chair, short-term crisis unit that will provide 24/7 individualized services to help consumers stabilize acute psychiatric symptoms and avoid inpatient hospitalization.
Riverside County, CA—Riverside Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU)
The Riverside CSU will be a 12-chair, short-term crisis unit that will provide 24/7 community-based emergency services for adults and youth experiencing crisis related to a mental health condition.
Thurston and Mason Counties, WA—Thurston Mason Mobile Outreach (MOT) and Intensive Case Management (ICM) Teams
The Thurston Mason MOT and ICM program serves two locations—Shelton and Olympia—with four teams at each site. They were developed to provide specialized, recovery-focused services to help individuals during times of mental health or substance use related crisis, so they can regain stability, stay safe in the community, and prevent incarceration or unnecessary hospitalization.
Thurston and Mason Counties, WA—Thurston Mason Evaluation & Treatment (E&T) and Crisis Stabilization and Treatment Unit (CSTU)
The 15-bed E&T and 10-bed CSTU will be co-located in Olympia, WA. The CSU is a 24/7 voluntary program for individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis and who need immediate treatment and support. The E&T will provide services to individuals experiencing severe psychiatric symptoms who may benefit from more structured supports and a secure setting.
In April 2017, Telecare will begin training and preparation to use the FROST assessment in all criminal justice-based programs to help identify people at high risk of recidivism.
“We’re testing the FROST because we need to know which criminogenic needs are highest for our members, so that we are able to drive the appropriate interventions and treatment,” said Gary Hubbard, Vice President of Operations of Southern California and Arizona.
“Studies have shown that programs that target high criminogenic needs with members have a higher success rate and reduced recidivism.”
What Is FROST?
The assessment is called the Field Re-Assessment of the Offender Screening Tool (FROST).
Why the FROST Assessment?
Telecare’s Justice Involved Mental Health (JIMH) subcommittee chose the FROST because:
- It is quick to complete
- It can be administered by non-licensed staff
- It measures for criminogenic risks
- It is reasonable in cost
According to Hubbard, the subcommittee chose the FROST over another potential tool used by the Arizona court system— the Offender Screening Tool (OST) — because the OST was a pre-release measure. The FROST, by contrast, is used in the community and measures the eight criminogenic need areas that can lead to recidivism.
Telecare’s clinical leadership team will attend a free FROST training provided by the Arizona Supreme Court staff on April 11. Telecare's leadership will also participate in a train-the-trainer event that will be offered in the fall to build the expertise to distribute the FROST more widely to our existing JIMH programs.
On January 30, we opened ASSIST, the first Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) program in Ventura County, CA. The program aims to provide recovery-oriented, evidence-based Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) services to adults with serious mental illness who might otherwise not have the opportunity to engage in services.
The Laura’s Law program is the first of its kind in the county, and was made possible through a Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant.
“We are the only SAMHSA granted AOT program in California, which is exciting,” said Shana L. Burns, Administrator at ASSIST. “This means that the program is being evaluated by both the federal government and the county in terms of services. The SAMHSA grant helps to ensure that the ASSIST program is in alignment with Laura’s Law.”
The ASSIST program works with Ventura County Behavioral Health Department’s (VCBHD) Rapid Integrated Support & Engagement (RISE) program with the referral process. RISE program staff are responsible for conducting outreach and engagement to ensure that individuals with severe mental illness are connected to VCBHD for mental health and other supportive services.
“We meet with the RISE team on a weekly basis for an hour,” Shana said. “The RISE team screens the referral calls for ASSIST, goes out to meet with the individual in question to see if they meet all nine AOT criteria, and sends them to us if they do. Once they are referred, we start our engagement process.”
“I think what I am really excited about is that we have that opportunity to try to outreach and engage with individuals to see if the different types of services that we at Telecare can provide to them is something that they would be willing to undergo voluntarily versus being required by a court order to do that,” said Crystal Eastburn, Clinical Director at ASSIST.
Outreach and engagement is a unique component to the program. Unlike other AOT programs that receive individuals after they have been court-ordered, ASSIST has a 90-day engagement period before a court petition has been made for services.
“It speaks to the whole RCCS in terms of respecting the individual and their choice and allow them to be making a choice to participate veruses being required to participate. We try to give them as much opportunity to maintain their right,” Crystal said.
Explore our Roundup of Telecare’s Court-Ordered Care Programs.
On March 7, Telecare’s Orange County Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) program in Santa Ana, CA, moved into its new facility to accommodate their recent service capacity increase from 25 to 120 persons.
"Our amazing team will continue to offer services in the community, but we are so excited to have this new program site for members to feel included, safe, and valued," said Anna Bowes, Administrator for the Orange County AOT program. "The team is really looking forward to creating a community with our members. We plan to start an art gallery and offer gardening on our patio."
The space will serve as an important resource for providing more personalized care. "Now that we are closer to the Central Justice Center, we can offer hearings with an AOT judge at the program for our members who are not as comfortable at the courthouse,” Anna said. “We are also currently working with Orange County Health Care Agency and Genoa Healthcare to have an on-site pharmacy. We hope this service will increase access and efficiency in getting members connected with their medications.”
For many members in the program, access to the proper care and resources can mean a world of difference. "I have been with other programs in the county and have left the state because I had a difficult time with the program rules," said an AOT graduate. "I felt like I as being pushed around a lot and I had a hard time living."
"Ever since I’ve been with AOT, I began making a comeback," he said. "I like AOT program a lot— it has been easy and the staff are very nice. I haven’t been to the hospital in almost five months and I received psychiatry and medication services with the help of AOT."
The member's mother is especially thankful for the services her son has received. "I feel like I have my son back," she said. Although the member graduated, he has chosen to remain in the program voluntarily.
The Orange County AOT program launched in October 2014. It was Telecare’s first Laura’s Law program and has seen eight clients graduate since it opened—one of which has been connected with outside Full Service Partnership (FSP) programs or psychiatrists for continued support in their recovery, while the other seven remain with the program on a voluntary basis.
The information below compares hospitalization and incarceration statistics of members before and after they have been admitted to the OC AOT program from July 2016 to February 2017.
By Anne Bakar, Telecare President & CEO
Over the past 30 years, Telecare has developed a specialized reputation for serving individuals with more serious and complex mental health needs. These are individuals that often come out of acute care settings or state hospitals, and have a hard time finding appropriate treatment in the community. These individuals frequently incur expensive system-wide costs due to repeated hospitalizations and/or incarcerations.
Telecare has provided many successful interventions to serve individuals with complex needs through evidence-based Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) programs, and our Recovery-Centered Clinical System (RCCS). These service models have reduced system-wide costs and have helped thousands of individuals each year regain their sense of hope, acquire stable housing, reduce their substance use, and move forward towards their educational or vocational aspirations.
At the same time, our success in achieving these goals has been limited by our expertise in serving the whole person, whether their needs include justice involvement,
co-occurring substance use, developmental disabilities, or co-occurring physical health care problems. Our ongoing commitment to broaden our capacity to meet these needs is at the heart of our new mission statement when we reference engaging those with "complex needs."
This newsletter is specifically focused on justice-involved endeavors: How do we better serve individuals with serious and complex needs coming out of the criminal justice system?
We hope you enjoy hearing about some of our early work, and look forward to sharing our continued journey in this area of great national importance. Please feel free to reach out to us and let us know your thoughts and ideas.
Last month, we introduced Telecare's new mission statement. This month, we offer a deeper view into what it means to provide excellent and effective services.
By Anne Bakar, Telecare President & CEO
To be an excellent service organization, we have always focused on learning and growing our capabilities.
In particular, we continuously work to improve in three major areas:
- Providing excellent clinical quality,
- Delivering excellent services to our partners, and finally,
- Creating an environment that is a great place for employees to work.
Although we measure our progress in these priority areas over time, with the additional focus on effectiveness we see the opportunity to be more systematic and rigorous in our approach.
This means delivering care that makes a measurable difference in people’s lives, and can be demonstrated with outcomes. Internally, we also recognize that data can be used operationally to make more informed decisions and improve practice.
While this is a long-term focus that will involve new technology and tools, there are specific ways we are working on excellence and effectiveness right now: from new program models, to new leadership, and more. This issue includes several of our latest efforts and we will continue to share more in the months ahead.
Please feel free to reach out to us and let us know your thoughts and ideas. We encourage and welcome your feedback.
Stock images of people living with mental illness range from insensitive to downright cringe-worthy. The organization Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health created the Be Vocal Collection, a selection of free photos that counteract the often grim, one-dimensional portrayals of people with mental health conditions. You can read more about the inspiration behind the project here.
Every month, Sidewalk Talk, a community listening project based in San Francisco, sets up listening events in various cities, where trained volunteers make themselves available for mini therapy sessions with anyone who needs someone to talk to. Sidewalk Talks will be hosting numerous listening events in San Francisco and Oakland in March.
We welcome the newest additions to the Telecare family:
Cindy S. Robins
New Administrator at Telecare Partners in Wellness program in San Jose, CA.
Renee Chiasson Rouwhorst
Director of Opportunity, Learning, and Leadership Development at Telecare's Corporate office in Alameda, CA.
Vanessa F. Garcia
New Administrator at the Los Angeles Area 4 Full Service Partnership (FSP) program in Los Angeles, CA.
We are pleased to announce the promotions of the following Telecare leaders:
Was promoted from Clinical Director to Administrator at AgeWise in San Diego, CA.
Was promoted from HRIS Supervisor to HRIS Administrator at Telecare's Corporate Office in Alameda, CA.
Mary Ann Tocio, who served for 23 years as President and Chief Operating Officer of Bright Horizons Family Solutions, will be returning to Telecare Corporation’s board of directors.
"It is an honor and a privilege to announce Mary Ann's return to our board of directors," said Anne Bakar, President and CEO of Telecare. "She previously served on our board for five years, starting in 2001. Since then, we have been grateful to count on her as a trusted friend and advisor. I am delighted that she will be rejoining Telecare at such an important time in our history."
Before joining Telecare’s board, Mary Ann was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Bright Horizons Family Solutions, the world's leading provider of employer-sponsored childcare, early education, and work/life solutions. Bright Horizons has over $1.4 billion in revenues and operates more than 900 centers in four countries. In total, more than 26,000 Bright Horizons staff members provide care to more than 100,000 children. Bright Horizons has been recognized 16 times as one of Fortune Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For in America."
At Bright Horizons, Mary Ann was responsible for all domestic and global operations. She retired from her position in June 2015.
In addition to her work at Bright Horizons, Mary Ann has served on private, not-for-profit, family-owned, and publicly-traded boards including Horizons for Homeless Children, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Burlington Stores, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Civitas Solutions, and Zany Brainy. Mary Ann received her MBA from Simmons College Graduate School of Management, and was honored by Simmons with the Phyllis Rappaport Alumnae Achievement Award, which recognizes alumnae who further the school's tradition of creating broader opportunities for women.
“Mary Ann’s leadership experience building high-quality, mission-driven service organizations on a scale that is much larger than Telecare will be extremely valuable as we grow. We will also learn from her vast knowledge about how to effectively engage our diverse workforce in our future mission." Anne continued, “She has a great appreciation for our work in behavioral health and will be a tremendous partner. We are so lucky to have her join us at this important juncture in health care.”
"I am truly pleased and excited to be back on Telecare's board of directors," said Mary Ann. "I deeply appreciate Telecare's foundational values, and even more importantly, its commitment and willingness to learn, grow, improve, evolve, and do whatever it takes to help real people change their lives for the better. I look forward to the future that lies ahead."
The Telecare Partners in Wellness program, along with the County of Santa Clara and Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc., hosted an open house for community stakeholders and members on February 8 at their new facility in San Jose, CA.
"Telecare opens many new programs, but this has been a unique experience in terms of the level of effort invested by so many parties to launch this innovative model,” said Anne Bakar, President and CEO of Telecare. "We are thrilled to have been chosen by Santa Clara for this important work. It is in perfect alignment with the value we place on public/private partnerships as the industry shifts toward performance-based funding.”
Opened on September 14, 2016, Telecare Partners in Wellness is the nation's first mental health focused Pay for Success (PFS) project. The program aims to provide community-based mental health services to individuals in Santa Clara County who have a severe mental illness, with the goal of measurably improving wellbeing and quality of life while reducing more costly service usage, including the psychiatric emergency room and inpatient psychiatric settings.
PFS is a performance-oriented contracting model that drives government resources toward social programs that best provide results to the people who need them most. Through this model, Santa Clara County has contracted Keith Humphreys of Stanford University, who is conducting a rigorous 6-year evaluation of the program.
“With this project and our prior Pay for Success project, the County is better defining our objectives in serving vulnerable populations, and is creating incentives that ensure service providers achieve those objectives,” said Chief Assistant County Counsel Greta Hansen. “Through the evaluations of each program, we will have a much better understanding of how to further increase the impact of these and other programs going forward.”
Speakers for the event included Anne Bakar, President and CEO of Telecare; Greta Hansen, Chief Assistant County Counsel for Santa Clara County; Kavita Narayan, Deputy County Counsel for Santa Clara County; Toni Tullys, Director of Behavioral Health Services for Santa Clara County; Miguel Marquez, Chief Operating Officer for Santa Clara County; and Caroline Whistler, President and Co-Founder of Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc.
We welcome the chance to participate in this innovative partnership with Santa Clara County and Third Sector, and are honored to have the opportunity to provide services in a new area.
In the spirit of providing excellent and effective services, we are proud to spotlight our Garfield Neurobehavioral Center in Oakland, CA.
Recently, Garfield achieved a five-star quality rating for their long-stay resident services from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service’s Nursing Home Compare quarterly evaluation.
Five stars is the most up-to-date reflection of how a nursing home is performing. These quality measures are set-up to capture and report clinical outcomes every quarter, which means programs not only have to meet specific quality benchmarks, but they must sustain them in order to keep their five-star rating.
“Craig and his team at Garfield achieved their five-star rating by transforming their morning huddle with the staff,” said David Farrell, Vice President of Subacute Operations at Telecare. “With the consistent exchange of information during these meetings, staff are aware of issues and are able to notice subtle changes in their clients, and can act on them before they turn into something serious.”
The meetings occur every morning with a rundown of client concerns and progress. The check-ins ensure that staff are held accountable for their own work, as well as the performance of their peers.
“The community meetings in the morning have created a team atmosphere for the staff,” said Tara Leiker, Interim Director of Rehabilitation at Garfield. “Employees are able to be more vocal in the morning meetings, which has helped change the culture to a more collaborative one.”
“The morning meetings have also gotten staff more aware of what is happening and the goings on of the program outside of their own workload,” said Norman Biala, Minimum Data Set (MDS) Coordinator. “The meetings are a big part of making sure we reach our goals—in order to maintain five stars, we need all staff to be involved.”
Along with open communication among staff, the team at Garfield has increased on-the-floor involvement from the managers.
“Having the management team taking on more rounds and being on the floor has shown the staff that the managers are really invested in the program,” Tara said. “Changing the management system away from a top-down approach has helped create positive morale among the staff and more accountability among the management team.”
In addition to improving communication among staff and management, residents are given an avenue to participate in their care through monthly resident counsels, where they can voice their concerns and know they are being heard.
The operations overhaul has proved to be beneficial. Garfield’s quality measurements in the last quarter show that pressure ulcers among residents have minimized, restraints have not been used, and falls have decreased.
Way to go, Garfield!
On December 28, Telecare opened the Horizon View Mental Health Rehabilitation Center (MHRC), a sub-acute inpatient facility located in Ventura, CA. Created in partnership with Ventura County Behavioral Health, the new program is a 16-bed locked facility serving adults aged 18 and older.
The new facility is a recovery-oriented space that provides residents with a living room, an open café, an outdoor environment, and an inspiration studio for the program's various activities. Residents also have access to their own private bedrooms and bathrooms.
To get ready for the program's opening, Telecare hosted a Family and Friends Gathering on December 6 to welcome the families of the members who were scheduled to transfer to the MHRC from a neighboring county’s facility.
We are glad to partner with the county to provide these members with the opportunity to recover in their home community where they can be closer to their family, friends, and supports.
By Anne Bakar, Telecare President and CEO
The past year, we made the important decision to review and refine our organizational mission, to reflect our future direction — and how we are meeting the changing needs of the clients, customers, and communities we serve.
We are happy to share our new mission statement with you today.
Here are some highlights of what's new and improved.
Behavioral Health: We’re broadening our orientation beyond serious mental illness to include co-occurring substance use issues.
Excellent & Effective: We’re focusing on outcomes and measurable results as well as striving for excellence.
Complex Needs: We’re expanding our services to address the multi-faceted, complex needs of our clients including physical health issues, substance use education and treatment, intellectual disabilities, justice involvement, and a myriad of social needs that can impact a person’s stability and recovery.
- (Health) Hopes & Dreams: We’re actively moving toward whole person care, and explicitly recognizing that hopes and dreams are what motivate people.
We will share more detail about the changes it contains in the months to come. In the meantime, we welcome and encourage your thoughts on our mission. Please feel free to reach out and share your feedback.
On January 24, Telecare was thrilled and honored to attend Patrick J. Kennedy’s special presentation, The New Frontier of Mental Health and Addiction.
Telecare’s President and CEO, Anne Bakar, and SVP of Development, Faith Richie, were honored to be invited to this galvanizing event.
Held in Washington, D.C. at The Kennedy Forum, the event focused on creating and unifying a bold Frontier Plan to advance parity enforcement, early intervention and prevention, and an integrated system of care — and give Congressional members a guide on what they can do, regardless of their party, to address mental health and addiction issues, which are having profound impact on our nation and millions of individual people every single day.
“Patrick Kennedy is an inspiration and a visionary on so many levels,” said Anne Bakar. He is personally inspiring because of the powerful way he talks of his own recovery and the challenges he overcame to reclaim his life and his family. However, like the Kennedys before him, he is a powerful political agent of change. He had powerful allies at the Forum from both sides of the aisle, including Senator John McCain and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. He also had a comprehensive guide for the 115th Congress regarding how we, as a nation, can provide the tools, treatment and support to transform the system and transform lives.”
Faith Richie said, “He’s an amazing reminder to all of us that in times of uncertainty, we have to double down, and recommit to our purpose. He shows us that it all starts with the individual and their personal story of recovery. From there, everything is possible. Our job is to respect the individual and do whatever we can to support that journey.”
We are pleased to announce the promotions of the following Telecare leaders:
Promoted to Regional Director of Operations in Washington State.
Thurston and Mason Counties, WA
Promoted to Program Administrator at Thurston Mason Crisis Triage, an evaluation and treatment center that serves Thurston and Mason counties in Washington.
Contra Costa County, CA
Promoted to Administrator at Hope House, a crisis residential facility in Martinez, CA.
The Recovery Center at Sarpy program is a Mental Health Rehabilitation Center (MHRC) in Bellevue, Nebraska. The program serves the entire state and is designed to assist adults living with a mental illness who have left acute psychiatric care in a local or state hospital, crisis center, or correctional facility, in preparing to return to their homes or lower levels of care.
In this video, members share with us about how the services they received at the Recovery Center at Sarpy have helped in their recovery.
MHRC Notable Statistics
Our MHRC's are designed to help residents prepare to move to the community and/or lower levels of care. The goal of these programs is to promote a sense of hope in residents for future roles in their community. The services provided at the MHRC programs are rooted in the RCCS, which supports a vision of recovery through empowerment, choice-making skill development, goal direction, and linkage to community supports. The charts below show the commitment to our no force first practices at two of our facilities in Alameda County.
Villa Fairmont MHRC
Our Villa Fairmont program has evolved many times over the years to meet changing needs of Alameda County. The program offers two components:
- Villa Classic offers sub-acute treatment for members coming out of acute care settings and serves adults and transition aged youth in a secure setting,
- Villa Flex attempts to fill the gap in the system by creating a place for members who would benefit from a longer stay in a sub-acute facility.
The graph here shows the benefit of our long-term campaign to reduce the trauma on member's lives by reducing the use of seclusions and restraints.
The Gladman MHRC program cares for some of the most acutely ill, sub-acute level clients in the system. The 40-bed MHRC serves individuals whose psychiatric disabilities require extensive rehabilitation services beyond those provided in typical sub-acute settings.
The data in the graph reflects that while the client acuity and assaults have slightly rose over the past seven years, the rate of seclusions and restraints remained at or near zero. This reflects the Gladman's staff's commitment to the RCCS.
- David Farrell, Vice President of Sub-Acute Services at Telecare, co-authored an article for Provider Magazine about the Nursing Home Leader Academy of Excellence (NHLAE) program's design to help leaders in the long-term, post-actute care field improve the quality of services at their programs and sustain their goals through staff engagement.
- NAMI released its federal policy priorities for the 2017 legislative year to ensure that people living with a mental illness get the health care they need for recovery.
We’re happy to announce the launch of Telecare's robust new job board, which we created to provide candidates with a comprehensive, easily-searchable database that they can use to find a job that is specific to their skills and expertise. All open positions are on the job board now!