New Frontiers in
Rubicon Programs, in collaboration with Contra Costa County’s Department of Health Services, presented a one-day conference on the integration of physical and behavioral healthcare in Contra Costa County. Highlights from the conference can be
The Affordable Care Act has spotlighted the need to better coordinate the physical and behavioral health care for individuals with serious mental illness and substance abuse disabilities. Research indicates that individuals with serious mental illness die at least 25 years earlier than their peers, and they incur four times the costs to the physical health care system due to a high rate of serious health issues that are not well controlled. Substance abuse addiction exacerbates health problems, complicates treatments when it is provided and is disruptive to the continuity of care. People who are homeless have higher rates of physical and mental illness, frequent hospitalizations that typically begin with several visits to the emergency room as their primary locus of care, and increased mortality.
Contra Costa County is well positioned to be a model county in the integration of physical and behavioral healthcare. Several integration projects are already underway, and the County has begun the integration of Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs, and Homeless Services into one new division, the Behavioral Health Division. The overall purpose is to develop a consumer-driven, recovery oriented, trauma-informed integrated system of care that will improve client outcomes. The County is committed to transforming the system of care so that it 1) aligns with the changing environment, 2) improves client outcomes, and 3) keeps costs down.
The primary objectives of the conference were:
1. Setting the stage: Educating and informing conference attendees within the Federal, State, and Contra Costa County contexts of healthcare reform and integration.
2. Getting involved: Providing opportunities for various partners/stakeholders to learn about each other’s needs, to be informed of best practices, and give input into the integration planning process, including presenting on specific issues of interest.
3. Building the Road to Success: Present next steps, process for moving forward and giving continued input, ongoing education and measuring outcomes.
Rubicon Programs was the fiscal sponsor and coordinator of the conference. The conference was endorsed by Contra Costa County’s Department of Health Services, and the Contra Costa County Human Services Alliance. Additional financial sponsorship for the conference was provided by The California Endowment and Kaiser Permanente.
The Contra Costa’s New Frontiers in Healthcare Integration Conference Steering Committee has been meeting monthly since October of 2011. Members include:
Stephanie Batchelor, Council Member, Inter-jurisdictional Council on Homelessness, Consumer Partner and Advocate
Kimi Barnes, Management Intern, Rubicon Programs
Cynthia Belon, L.C.S.W., Director, Behavioral Health Services, Contra Costa Health Services
Haven Fearn, Director, Alcohol and Other Drug Services, Contra Costa Health Services
Jane Fischberg, President and Executive Director, Rubicon Programs
Brenda Goldstein, Psychosocial Services Director, LifeLong Medical Care
Steven Grolnic-McClurg, LCSW, Director of Mental Health and Wellness, Rubicon Programs
Tamara Hunter, Putnam Clubhouse Director, Consumer Partner
Julie Kelley, MSW, MPH, Ambulatory Care Program Chief, Contra Costa Health Services
Lavonna Martin, MPH, MPA, Behavioral Health Director of Operations, Acting Director, Homeless Programs, Contra Costa Health Services
Mariana Moore, Director, Human Services Alliance of Contra Costa
Teresa Pasquini, Family Member Partner and Advocate
Leslie Preston, Behavioral Health Director, La Clinica de La Raza
Naomi Smith, Program Coordinator, Ujima West, Consumer Partner
Maeve Sullivan, MA, Director of Programs and Grants, Community Clinic Consortium
Patricia Tanquary, CEO, Contra Costa Health Plan
Suzanne Tavano, BSN, Ph.D, Acting Mental Health Director, Mental Health Adminisration
Bonnie Zell, MD, MPH, Strategic Advisor, Community Health, Contra Costa Health Services