Innovation Award Recipients
In more recent years, the Annapolis Coalition recognizes outstanding and innovative products and programs that are furthering the development of the behavioral health workforce. Using Selection Criteria adapted from those used by the Harvard Kennedy School in selecting the Innovation in Government Award recipients.
MHALA Jump Start Fellowship
The Annapolis Coalition has recognized the Jump Start Fellowship, a program of Mental Health America of Los Angeles (MHALA) as a Workforce Innovation. Jump Start is a 12-week, full-time fellowship program for individuals who are interested in working in the adult community mental health field. The program combines recovery-focused classroom instruction with applied internships to prepare participants for employment. The Jump Start Fellowship is made possible through the support of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, utilizing funding from the Mental Health Services Act Workforce Education and Training dollars.
To evaluate the program, the Coalition assembled a team of eight workforce experts with extensive behavioral health workforce experience to independently conduct reviews of program documentation using a standard scoring system to rate Jump Start on criteria used in previous national innovation searches: significance, effectiveness, novelty, and transferability. Simultaneously, The Coalition created and launched two surveys to assess satisfaction among program alumni and providers who subsequently employed these alumni. MHALA used its social networks and communication systems to reach out to alumni and providers. A summary of the expert ratings and the surveys was compiled for review by the expert panel. The results of this comprehensive review of the data collected about the Jump Start Fellowship confirmed that there was a strong consensus among experts, workplace partners, and alumni that the program is a beneficial and valuable resource—and one that clearly qualifies as a Workforce Innovation.
In late 2018, the Coalition awarded its Innovation Award to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s (UPMC) Community Care Behavioral Health Organization and the UPMC Insurance Services Division in recognition of the outstanding work of its Staff Assessment and Retention (STAR) Program. While providing services to the Medicaid population across Pennsylvania, this non-profit behavioral managed care organization designed a statewide electronic survey of its more than 500 network providers to assess each agency’s current retention and turnover rates – and plans. After providing informational webinars, the survey asked what strategies agencies used to improve retention and what factors were identified by the agencies that negatively impacted retention. Among a broad list of high staff retention factors were staff recognition, supervision time and access to training. Factors with the highest negative impact on retention were low benefits, low pay and excessive paperwork. Community Care is continuing STAR to monitor and improve retention of employees in the provider agencies and system of care. The organization intends to reward agencies with better retention with higher rates of reimbursement as part of Value Based Contracting. The full study or further information can be obtained from Deborah Wasilchak at [email protected] .
Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska
The Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN) was also recognized with the Annapolis Coalition’s Innovation Award for its outstanding work in addressing the behavioral health workforce needs in Nebraska. BHECN is a state-funded, university-based that addresses mental health and addiction workforce issues through Nebraska. The Board noted the innovative leadership BHECN has provided in many areas, including: creating behavioral health regional education and training sites; developing innovative strategies to deliver behavioral telehealth and integrated care training; establishing leadership in inter-professional behavioral health training, curriculum development and outcomes research; and providing funding for behavioral health trainees across disciplines. Particularly noteworthy is the organization’s effort in collecting, analyzing, and disseminating behavioral health workforce data, including monitoring workforce trends and identifying priorities for future workforce development. The multiple reports and dashboard maps created by BHECN and available on its website attest to the work it has done to identify shortage areas and then target resources to train, recruit and retain behavioral health providers to meet the needs of the citizens of Nebraska.
Massachusetts Department of Public Health and its Bureau of Substance Addiction Services
This award was presented 2018 in recognition of its outstanding work in developing and maintaining the Careers of Substance website. This website is a central resource for anyone involved in preventing, intervening in, treating, and supporting recovery from addictions in Massachusetts. The Annapolis Board noted the following characteristics of the Careers of Substance initiative: the overall quality of the design; the functionality of the site; its breadth of content; its practical utility for diverse audiences; and the ongoing commitment to maintain the site and continually refine it. It clearly can serve as a model for other states and communities.