CYFD Honored with National Innovation Award in Behavioral Healthcare Services


Courtesy iAwards

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Eight organizations from around the country have been recognized as leaders in the field of behavioral healthcare for developing and implementing innovative approaches to management and process improvement with the first ever iAward.

Sponsored by Washington, D.C.-based State Associations of Addiction Services (SAAS) and NIATx, based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the 2010 Innovation in Behavioral Healthcare Services Awards highlight innovations in process improvement practices that position an organization to meet the challenges of future service delivery.

This year’s award recipients are:

  • The Baltimore Buprenorphine Initiative, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Children, Youth, and Families Department, New Mexico
  • McHenry County Family Services, McHenry County, Illinois
  • Mountain Manor Treatment Center, Baltimore, Maryland
  • The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), New York
  • The RASE Project, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Spectrum Youth and Family Services, Burlington, Vermont
  • University Counseling Center, University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, New York

The iAwards provide national recognition of agencies using innovative approaches and provide a venue for organizations to share how they have adapted to meet the changing needs of clients, staff and the addiction healthcare field.

To be eligible for the iAward, provider organizations, coalitions, or state, county or local government payors/agencies must have developed and implemented an innovative practice in either management or process improvement within the previous three years. To be considered, innovations could be evidence-based or a best/promising practice and were either a new practice or an adaptation of a current practice.

This award was limited to entities engaged in addiction treatment and recovery services. Other behavioral healthcare organizations were eligible if the innovations related to services integrated directly with treatment and/or recovery, e.g., co-occurring disorders, criminal justice, child welfare, primary healthcare and also included organizations implementing recovery-oriented systems of care.

Awards will be presented at the SAAS annual conference and NIATx Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 11-14, 2010.

2010 iAward recipients

Children, Youth, and Families Department, New Mexico
New Mexico’s Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD), needed a secure, cost-effective behavioral health case management tracking program to assist clinical staff working with the juvenile justice population. The goal was to create a web-based behavioral health tracking program that would integrate work processes into the software, offer collaboration between service providers, enhance reporting functions, and provide timely and accurate data for consistent decision-making. CYFD contracted with ADE Incorporated, Clarkston, Michigan, to customize existing web-based services to meet the needs of the New Mexico juvenile justice system. The resulting service provides: 1) coordination and unification of service delivery; 2) accessibility of data to the various stakeholders providing youth services and information; 3) real-time monitoring of activities; 4) complete tracking of behavioral health information on juveniles in the juvenile justice system; 5) customizability; 6) ease of use; and, 7) cost effectiveness.

The Baltimore Buprenorphine Initiative, Baltimore, Maryland
The Baltimore Buprenorphine Initiative (BBI) is a collaborative effort among Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems, Inc., Baltimore HealthCare Access Inc., and the Baltimore City Health Department. The Initiative was launched in October of 2006 and has treated over 3,000 patients. The goal of the BBI is to expand access to effective treatment for heroin addiction in the city of Baltimore and to link patients with health insurance and primary medical care. The BBI promotes individualized, patient-centered buprenorphine therapy in conjunction with behavioral treatment. The Initiative promotes a continuum of care that includes outpatient substance abuse treatment, medication induction, as well as maintenance and stabilization in the medical care system. The integration of the publicly funded treatment system with the medical care system is a unique model of service delivery and has resulted in significantly improved patient health outcomes and in longer treatment retention of patients.

McHenry County Family Services, McHenry County, Illinois
To better meet the needs of youth with co-occurring disorders in McHenry County, Family Service staff partnered with Family CARE, Juvenile Court Services, the Mental Health Board, special education representatives, the crisis line, local police departments, and other community partners to explore alternative treatment models for these youth. As a result, McHenry County’s Integrated Co-occurring Treatment (ICT) program was created during the summer of 2008. This evidence-informed treatment program for high-risk adolescents, ages 11 to 16, who have both substance abuse and mental health problems is based out of Kent State University under the direction of Dr. Rick Shepler. The integrated treatment approach is embedded in an intensive home-based method of service delivery and provides a set of core services to youth and their families. The goals of ICT are to decrease mental health symptoms and substance abuse while improving a youth’s functioning within their family, school, community, and peer groups.

Mountain Manor Treatment Center, Baltimore, Maryland
Mountain Manor Treatment Center in Baltimore MD has developed the Adolescent/ Young Adult Opioid Treatment Track in response to the severe and growing epidemic of opioid addiction (both prescription opioids and heroin) among youth. The core components of the program include:

  • Separate specialty programming for the target population
  • Establishment of pharmacological treatment (using buprenorphine vs oral naltrexone vs injectable extended release naltrexone) as the institutional standard of care, concurrent with counseling and case management
  • Incorporation of physician follow up into the expected course of treatment
  • Adoption of a longer term continuing care model, as opposed to the previous time-limited discrete episode of care model, with an expectation of extended duration of treatment, a lapsing/remitting course, and open-ended return to follow-up following relapse
  • Manual-guided CBT group and individual counseling
  • Specialty counselors cross-trained in integration of pharmacotherapies into treatment
  • Implementation of a separate opioid treatment team with a patient tracking database

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), New York
On July 24, 2008, New York became the first State in the nation to implement tobacco-free regulations in all addiction prevention and treatment programs. This groundbreaking wellness initiative was enacted on the anniversary of the Clean Indoor Air Act. All OASAS-certified and funded providers were required to prohibit tobacco use within their facilities, on their grounds, and in program vehicles. The regulations apply to employees, patients, volunteers, and visitors.

The primary goal of this innovation is to fully integrate the treatment of nicotine dependence with other addiction treatment given that this drug leads to more premature death in our patient population than all other drugs combined. The tobacco-free policy will improve the health of the 110,000 individuals who receive services each day. Additionally, there are 35,000 individuals employed in the field of addiction who will benefit from the knowledge and awareness of the negative health consequences of tobacco. By reducing the acceptance of tobacco use and addressing it as an addiction similar to alcohol and other drugs, OASAS and addiction service providers are helping policy makers, clinicians, and patients understand the importance of addressing them together.

The RASE Project, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
The RASE Project’s Buprenorphine Coordinator Program is an innovative and unique approach designed to assist individuals who are being prescribed Buprenorphine/Suboxone. The program incorporates care management, referral and access to appropriate counseling, assessment to determine emergent and ancillary needs, development of Recovery Plans that address areas of need, coordination of ancillary services, assistance in the identification of recovery support groups, ongoing monitoring of individuals’ successes and/or challenges, education for physicians and psychiatrists about recovery and utilizing Buprenorphine as a viable pathway to recovery, and an increase in the number of outpatient providers willing to treat individuals who are being prescribed Buprenorphine. The model requires outreach and a reciprocal relationship with the enrolled individual, the Coordinator, the prescribing physician’s office, and the treatment provider. This team approach along with regular interaction with the clients and rapid response to their concerns and problems fosters successful recovery from opiate dependence.

Spectrum Youth and Family Services, Burlington, Vermont
Starting in October 2008 Spectrum’s Counseling Program has focused on a NIATx process improvement aim of reducing wait times from date of request for service to first appointment. The goal was to reduce wait times to 72 hours as research has shown that this decreases no-show rates and increases retention, resulting in better clinical outcomes. The Chittenden District Court Judges became interested in this process. In response, Spectrum developed a system to offer weekly rapid assessments for people in pre-trial arraignment. The goal of this is to get offenders in for assessment and counseling sooner (i.e. before Probation or jail) to reduce potential charges and sentencing, reduce recidivism rates, and increase successful treatment outcomes.

University Counseling Center, University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, New York
Developed, implemented, and rigorously evaluated at the University at Albany, the STEPS Program is a comprehensive Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) strategy based on the NIAAA Tier I Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) model. The program is designed to: 1) reduce alcohol use frequency and quantity, and 2) reduce associated negative consequences. The model adapts interventions to meet the very distinct and complex needs of three target populations of high-risk drinkers: first-year students, student-athletes, and students seeking primary health and mental health care on campus. Specific, relevant, and responsive interventions tailored to each target group have been systematically and strategically tested and integrated into the STEPS model, reaching more than 16,000 students to date. In addition to statistically significant reductions in alcohol use and associated negative consequences, the STEPS Program has developed, implemented, and tested two groundbreaking new strategies: a Web-delivered brief alcohol intervention and a team-delivered, student-athlete brief intervention for alcohol use.