Sunday, May 21, 2017

SAMHSA Names Kansas as One of 10 States to Participate In 2017 Policy Academy for Behavioral Health Recovery Programs

Press Release from Kansas Department of Aging

TOPEKA - Kansas is one of 10 states that have been selected to participate in the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) Policy Academy that will devise initiatives to strengthen recovery-oriented behavioral health services and supports for Kansans.
The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services’ Behavioral Health Commission is convening a team of agency staff and stakeholders to carry out this initiative, entitled “Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy” (BRSS TACS).

The Policy Academy will support the state in planning and carrying out initiatives to build and strengthen recovery-oriented services and supports.

The Policy Academy will take place from May to September, 2017, and will include multiple virtual and onsite activities. Team planning sessions will focus on team building, developing a shared recovery vision, analyzing Kansas’ existing strengths, resources, and challenges and drafting an action plan to build, strengthen and sustain recovery-oriented services and supports.
Knowledge-building sessions will feature national experts sharing resources and discussing promising practices on recovery-oriented workforce development topics. Speakers and experts will be available for on-demand consultations with the state team.

By the close of the Policy Academy, Kansas will have developed an action plan for implementation. The team will then finalize the action plan and receive virtual follow-up technical assistance from SAMHSA for up to six months to support implementation.

Kansas team participants will include KDADS’ Mental Health Director Michelle Sweeney, Adult Consumer Affairs Program Coordinator Carrie Billbe, Systems of Care Project Coordinator Kelsee Torrez, Projects Coordinator Charles Bartlett, Problem Gambling Project Coordinator Carol Spiker, along with Manager of Pathfinder Recovery Center at the Central Kansas Foundation in Salina Don Greene, Director of Behavioral Health Initiatives with the Community Engagement Institute at Wichita State University Randy Johnson, Director of Clinical Services for Four County Mental Health Center in Independence Steve Denny, Executive Director of Behavioral Health, Optum Behavioral Health Sandra Hashman, and Director of Regional Contracting/Kansas Provider Relations for Beacon Health Options Frances Breyne.

States participating in the 2017 Policy Academy include Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, New Jersey, New York, Utah and West Virginia.

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