Posts Tagged ‘#arnoldsarn’

Arnold v. Sarn Fidelity Reviews Posted

November 4th, 2014

In September 2014, Governor Brewer signed the dismissal agreement for the historic Arnold v. Sarn case against the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS).

Among the aspects of the agreement, officials at the health department agreed to implement national fidelity tools to measure the quality of services being provided in four behavioral health services.

Four new staff members, trained by officials from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), were hired during the summer. They are now in the field and have completed the first handful of provider reports.

The reports, along with provider responses (when submitted), are posted on the 15th of each month here.

For more information about the case and its progress, visit:

Reminder – Nov. 3 suicide prevention meeting

November 2nd, 2014

This is a friendly reminder to join us at a community meeting near you to learn more about your role in preventing suicide.

Suicide has a huge effect on our communities. You are invited to help turn Arizona’s plan into action to prevent suicide. Everyone can play a part and make a difference.  Please, plan on attending and bring friends, family and co-workers.  We can work together to prevent suicide.

Everyone is welcome, join us at:

TUCSON:           1-3 pm, Monday, November 3 at CPSA: 2502 N. Dodge, Suite 130

SCOTTSDALE: 9-11 am, Wednesday, November 5: Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, Two Waters Tribal Administration, Bldg. A -Akimel (River) Rooms A109A – A109B, 10005 E. Osborn Road

FLAGSTAFF:      9:30-11:30 am, Wednesday, November 12 at NARBHA: 1300 South Yale St.

For a copy of the state suicide prevention plan, currently in draft format for public comment and review, or for more information about the meetings – contact: Kelli M. Donley,

Arnold v. Sarn Dismissed

September 23rd, 2014

Yesterday marked an important day in Arizona history.  The longstanding Arnold v. Sarn lawsuit was formally dismissed by the court.  Why that is important is that it demonstrates Arizona’s commitment to creating and maintaining a vibrant community based system of care.  That wasn’t always the case in Arizona so we are thankful for the opportunities that were originally created by the lawsuit and for the commitment of Governor Brewer and others that helped shape the system and create a sustainable infrastructure for its success.  The dismissal does not mean our work is done however.  We have embedded the principles of the lawsuit in our contracts and funding models and will continue to move the system forward with thing like integration that will help improve the overall health outcomes for members.  Finally, I would just like to say thank you to all the members, providers, RBHA staff and state employees that worked on shaping the system over the years.  We have a great deal to be proud of and will continue to build upon your efforts.

FACT team in Maricopa County

September 14th, 2014

We are pleased to share with you that Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care has recently implemented a new Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) team under the direction of Community Bridges.  The new FACT team will address the unique needs of people who have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness and who have had involvement with the criminal justice system.

FACT is designed to reduce recidivism and assist our highest-need members with a full array of community-based supports and services delivered in a wrap-around model so they can achieve their recovery goals and maintain in the community.

The Community Bridges team is one of four Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams that Mercy Maricopa intends to add to the system in FY15 and it will be the RBHA’s second FACT team. The new 13-member team will complement the work of the Regional Behavioral Health Authority’s existing FACT team, operated by People of Color Network, by using the evidence based practice to:

Identify and engage members with complex, high needs;

Remove barriers to services and supports;

Address the whole person and provide a full range of community-based services and supports wherever and whenever they are needed;

Reduce hospitalizations and contact with the criminal-justice system, improve health outcomes and help establish and strengthen natural community supports.

FACT team members have experience in psychiatry, nursing, social work, rehabilitation services, substance-abuse interventions, employment support, independent-living skills and housing. A key member of the team is a peer who has lived experience with behavioral health challenges and prior interaction with the criminal justice system.

The team will assist members with following treatment plans, activities of daily living, employment-related services, finding and maintaining affordable housing, budgeting, obtaining benefits and engaging in community activities, delivering services in accordance with SAMHSA  evidence-based practices.

Discussions with system partners, providers and the community, supported by evidence in the ADHS Service Capacity Assessment Priority Service Areas Report, clearly demonstrated the need for an additional FACT team. Studies have shown that members served on FACT teams experience significant reductions in arrests, jail days, hospital days and hospitalizations.

Community Bridges has a long history of significant experience with this population, including work with the chronically homeless in Project H3 and Project H3 Vets, and at its crisis stabilization and detox facilities. Community Bridges already partners with the criminal-justice system and law-enforcement, and is well prepared to identify members and accept referrals from these systems, as well as from hospitals, clinics and the crisis system.

“It’s a population that Community Bridges is passionate about. It’s a population that we’ve had good success with,” said Chief Operations Officer John Hogeboom. “We’ve had relationships with these folks, so when the opportunity presented itself we jumped at it.”

Currently, 15 ACT teams across Maricopa County are available to serve 1,500 members. In FY14, these teams served approximately 1,360 members, which a vacancy rate of 8 percent. Like the other teams, the new Community Bridges FACT team will serve 100 members, bringing the total program capacity to 1,600 members. By the end of FY15, 19 teams will be in place with the capacity to serve 1,900 members. Four additional teams are planned for FY16.

As Mercy Maricopa expands the number of ACT teams, we will work with providers and stakeholders to determine the need for additional specialty teams, targeted provider education and technical assistance. We continue to provide ongoing technical support to ACT team providers to improve member engagement strategies and ensure fidelity to SAMHSA evidence based practice.

“Expanding the capacity of this critical program holds tremendous promise to make a real difference in the lives of the members we serve and their families, as well as significantly impact the health-care, crisis and criminal justice systems, and the overall community,” said Tad Gary, chief clinical officer for Mercy Maricopa. “Through this collaborative effort, we will help more people break the cycle of incarceration, homelessness and hospitalization so they can achieve their life goals.”


For additional information about the new FACT team, the ACT model or readiness reviews, please contact Alisa Randall at or Crystal Domblisky-Klein at


Let the Fidelity Begin

July 23rd, 2014

As part of the Arnold v. Sarn Stipulation for Providing Community Services and for Terminating the Litigation, signed in January 2014, ADHS agreed to oversee new mechanisms for evaluating the quality of services provided to the Seriously Mentally Ill.

One area of evaluation involves the implementation of fidelity tools. These measures were created by officials at the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and provide national benchmarks for quality of services provided to individuals diagnosed with a Serious Mentally Illness.

A team of reviewers at ADHS began this week with the implementation of the SAMHSA fidelity tools in Maricopa County. During the next fiscal year, they will see that each provider of ACT teams, supported employment, permanent supportive housing and peer services is evaluated with the corresponding fidelity tool.

The first fidelity reviews started Monday. A nationally recognized expert in SAMHSA fidelity tools is working alongside the ADHS reviewers in the field for the first two weeks to provide further training and guidance.

For additional information about the tools, visit:

For more information about Arnold v. Sarn, visit:

Fidelity Review TA coming up

July 2nd, 2014

A class action suit—Arnold v. Sarn—was filed in 1981 against the State of Arizona alleging that the Arizona Department of Health Services/Division of Behavioral Health Services (ADHS) and Maricopa County did not provide a comprehensive community mental health system as required by statute.

In January 2014, officials at ADHS, Maricopa County, and office of the Governor reached an agreement with Plaintiffs, an exit to the Arnold v. Sarn, Parties agreed to provide certain community services and terminate the litigation. The agreement includes an increase of services in four areas: Assertive Community Treatment, Supported Employment, Supportive Housing and Peer and Family Services. The agreement also provides for the use of several tools by the parties to evaluate services provided in Maricopa County, including a quality service review, network capacity analysis and SAMHSA fidelity tools.

To prepare the community for SAMHSA fidelity tools, regular technical assistance sessions will occur. The first series, all to be held at ADHS, are scheduled as follows:

1-3 pm, July 8:                  Permanent Supportive Housing – eviction prevention/review of the tool

9-11 am, July 10:             COS – board development/review of the tool

9-11 am, July 29:             ACT – recruitment/review of the tool

1-3 pm, August 12:         SE – DB 101/review of the tool

The sessions have limited capacity, and are first come first served. For more information about locations and agendas for the sessions, contact: Kelli Donley –

Visit the new Arnold vs. Sarn website to learn more about Arnold vs. Sarn and the fidelity tools.

ADHS welcomes SAMHSA tools’ fidelity reviewers

June 23rd, 2014

In conjunction with the exit agreement for Arnold v. Sarn, ADHS is using Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) fidelity tools to evaluate the services provided to persons with a serious mental illness in Maricopa County in four areas: ACT teams, supportive housing, supported employment and peer services. In collaboration with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), ADHS has hired four SAMHSA fidelity reviewers.

The reviewers started in June. They are responsible for reviewing the providers in these four evidence based practice areas. The reviews will begin in July, with oversight of a SAMHSA consultant and WICHE staff.

The reviewers hired are:

Jeni Serrano

Jeni brings more than 14 years’ experience across a broad spectrum of mental and behavioral health services.  Prior experience includes serving as a Site Manager for a program dedicated to providing basic needs of seriously mentally ill adults and improving their quality of life through member-run non-clinical peer-to-peer programs; working as a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist for the Arizona Department of Economic Security and as a Rehabilitation Specialist for Value Options; assisting individuals to become involved in or maintain involvement in meaningful daily activities, paid or unpaid. Jeni holds a B.S. Degree from State University Of New York, Empire State College.


Karen Voyer-Caravona

Karen earned a Master of Social Work, with a concentration in policy, planning, administration and community practice from Arizona State University in 2014. Also earning a Certificate in Gerontology, she completed internships at the City of Phoenix Housing Department and the Alzheimer’s Association.  In addition, Karen brings 10 years of experience as master level therapist working in a variety of treatment settings such as inpatient psychiatric, day treatment, community mental health, school-based settings and private nonprofit agencies.  Her range of clinical experience includes severe mental illness, child and family therapy, child sexual abuse, and offender treatment. In 2003, Karen left clinical practice to serve to a Legislative Aide for a Louisville Metro Councilman where she developed a passion for public policy and the legislative processes that affect social programs.

T.J. Eggsware

T.J. has 13+ years of experience working in the Maricopa County behavioral health system. He completed his Bachelor of Social Work at Wheelock College in Boston, MA.  T.J. moved to Phoenix, AZ and began his behavioral health career as a Case Manager at a RBHA managed direct care clinic serving the SMI population where he was promoted to a supervisory role.   He has held titles of Team Lead, Clinical Liaison, and Clinical Coordinator on both a specialty Supervisory Care Home team and a Forensic case management team at a clinic located in Central Phoenix. With the hope of having a broader impact on the behavioral health system, T.J. moved into an administrative role with the RBHA. He worked in Quality Management and the Learning Department. Through those roles he was able to collaborate with a variety of community stakeholders, agencies, staff, service recipients and family members.  Additionally, T.J. completed his Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling through Argosy University in 2012 and was awarded his Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) certification from the Arizona State Board of Behavioral Health Examiners (AZBBHE) in 2013.


Georgia Harris

Georgia is a workshop speaker and community crusader, dedicated to multi-sector improvement in communities nationwide. Most recently she was a Learning Specialist with Magellan.  She has worked throughout the RBHA for Maricopa C ounty since 2005. Georgia completed her Baccalaureate degree in Family and Social Relations at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Canada. Georgia has also completed a Master’s in Education with emphasis in Adult Education and Training at the University of Phoenix and has a technical background in radio broadcasting and audio production. She has worked in the Behavioral Health field since 2002, and has held positions in direct care; city-wide program coordination; program curriculum design and development; as well as assessment, tracking and evaluation of program outcomes. Specialty areas include: Youth and Behavioral Health, Cultural Competency, Education, Adult Learning, Bullying (traditional/ cyber/ elderly/ workplace), Social Media, Autism, program coordination, program curriculum design and development.

For any additional questions or information about the agreement, please contact: Kelli Donley –

Update on implementation of fidelity tools

April 22nd, 2014

Staff from the Division of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS or the Division) continues to work on the implementation of four SAMHSA evidence based practice fidelity tools. This implementation plan was discussed in February 2014 at a three-day kickoff event led by SAMHSA contractor, David Lynde and Division staff. During the kickoff, participants asked to be kept up to date with the progress of the project.

The four tools – examining ACT teams, supportive housing, supported employment and peer services in the community — will be implemented in the Summer of 2014. Each provider of these services will be reviewed at least once annually with the fidelity tool. Division staff members, in collaboration with partners at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), are currently interviewing candidates for the reviewer positions. We had a strong response to the job posting; the first round of phone interviews was completed last week. In-person interviews are scheduled for mid-May. The four strongest candidates will be hired by the end of May; as reviewers, they will be responsible for working with providers, implementing the tool, and reporting to the Division and WICHE the findings.

The findings, along with a provider response, will be made available on the ADHS website.

If you have any questions concerning the project, please email Kelli Donley at


Seeking a Fidelity Reviewer

March 7th, 2014

You may recall that we recently entered into an agreement for the Arnold v. Sarn suit that requires use of four of SAMHSA’s Evidence-Based Practices (EBPs) and their implementation in Maricopa County. As part of the full implementation of these EBPs, providers in our State’s behavioral health care system will need to be evaluated according to SAMHSA’s fidelity tools to determine their fidelity adherence and future support needs. ADHS is seeking Fidelity Reviewers to conduct the provider reviews over a two year contract period.

View details about this contract position (and how to apply).

Live chat on SAMHSA fidelity tools today & tomorrow

February 5th, 2014

We will be conducting live twitter chats today and tomorrow during the

SAMHSA fidelity tools training in Phoenix

 Registration for this training is now closed but you can join the live chat!

To follow it on twitter use the hashtag:    #arnoldsarn

 Agenda for the live chat (9 am -noon &  1 pm – 4 pm each day):

                February 5th Morning Session – ACT Teams

               February 5th Afternoon Session – Supported Housing

               February 6th Morning Session – Supportive Employment

               February 6th Afternoon Session – Peer and Family Services