2022 California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies (CBHA) Conference

Behavioral Health Transformation: ASAP Provides Vision and Leadership

The New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers, Inc. (ASAP) is committed to influencing public policy so that substance use disorders and problem gambling prevention, treatment, and recovery services providers and the people they serve have the best opportunity to succeed. Toward that end, ASAP has worked to position itself strategically to influence policy change and its implementation and, at the same time, to help services providers make the changes necessary to achieve desired outcomes and to thrive while doing so. We are working with the Governor, who has invited our participation, and we are working with numerous state agencies to achieve a transformation of services delivery that is of a magnitude not previously experienced by persons working in the field.

Relative to policy change, ASAP has been working with a diverse network of advocates and stakeholders, the New York Coalition for Whole Health, to ensure that behavioral health services are included as a core component in emerging healthcare models and in policies that are developed as NYS implements healthcare reform. Simultaneously, NYS is moving forward with Medicaid redesign, development and implementation of the NY Health Benefit Exchange, transition from a fee-for-service model to managed care, integration of behavioral health with primary healthcare, implementation of health homes, and a variety of additional innovations and transformations including re-organization and transformation among state agencies. ASAP staff and members are actively participating with advisory and decision-making workgroups in each of these areas. We are working to ensure that people with substance use and problem gambling disorders have access to the prevention, treatment, and recovery services they need and that services providers are able to thrive as they work to help those in need. ASAP sees the value of working collaboratively with consumer and family groups and with advocates from a range of services delivery systems to ensure that new policies respond to our collective needs.

To help services providers make the changes necessary to achieve desired serves outcomes and to ensure implementation of a sound business model, ASAP has initiated a major technical assistance initiative. We are developing Learning Communities, Transformation Workgroups, and a technical assistance team comprised of experts from a cross section of content areas to help services providers learn as much as possible about the emerging environment, assess the need for organizational transformation, and help them implement the necessary changes with support from expert technical assistants. ASAP invites behavioral health providers from across NYS to participate in our Learning Communities and to participate in the work of our Transformation Workgroups. For additional information, contact Ashley Behrle at ABerhle@asapnys.org.

ASAP intends to provide Behavioral Health News readers with updates about our systems transformation work relative to public policy and implementation. Please feel free to reach out to us with questions and recommendations for future articles. ASAP is pleased to be a catalyst in the transformation of this publication as it transitions to Behavioral Health News and we are committed to making the transformation a success.

ASAP Makes Commitment to Behavioral Health News

According to Ira H. Minot, LMSW, Executive Director of Mental Health News Education, Inc., the nonprofit organization that publishes Behavioral Health News, “The New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers, Inc. (ASAP) was very supportive during our transition from Mental Health News to Behavioral Health News. In early discussions with John Coppola, ASAP Executive Director, he encouraged our Board to move forward with the transition and offered his support. John will be a regular contributor to Behavioral Health News and has promised to assist in our work to ensure strong content addressing substance use disorders and problem gambling prevention, treatment and recovery.”

ASAP is responsible for providing vision and leadership to organizations and individuals who work to provide effective substance use disorder and problem gambling prevention, treatment, and recovery support services in communities across New York State. With close to 200 agency members and a Board of Directors that includes representatives from every regional and statewide coalition or association of substance use disorders services providers in the State, ASAP is the voice of the substance use disorders services field. ASAP’s membership includes programs from rural, suburban, and urban communities; not-for-profit and for-profit corporations; prevention, treatment, and recovery support services providers; professional development and research; organizations ranging from very small to quite large; and individuals working in the field or wanting to support the work being done by addictions programs. In addition to a comprehensive range of substance use disorder and problem gambling services, ASAP members also provide primary healthcare, mental health services, housing, alternatives to incarceration, peer support, recovery coaching, social services, employment and vocational services, care coordination, and more. ASAP is the largest state association of substance use disorders services providers in the U.S.

We encourage readers to reach out to us with requests for articles and other content covering addiction specific issues. We appreciate the support and contributions made by ASAP to this first issue of Behavioral Health News and we look forward to future contributions from ASAP staff and members.

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