November 9, 2023

“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.” —Abraham Lincoln

The Biden-Harris Administration Is Taking Actions to Improve the Health of Rural Communities and Help Rural Health Care Providers Stay Open

The Biden-Harris Administration is taking actions to improve the health of rural communities and help rural health care providers stay open. These actions:

  • Build on the Affordable Care Act and Inflation Reduction Act to increase access to affordable health coverage and care for those living in rural communities
  • Keep more rural hospitals open in the long run to provide critical services in their communities
  • Bolster the rural health workforce, including for primary care and behavioral health providers
  • Support access to needed care such as behavioral health and through telehealth services. Read more here.

Related: 10/24/23 Webinar Recap: Addressing Health Challenges and Opportunities in Rural New York

CMS Makes Hospital Prices More Transparent and Expands Access to Behavioral Health Care

Westchester County DCS Honored by NAMI-NYS

The National Alliance on Mental Illness on Mental Illness-New York State (NAMI-NYS) presented its 2023 Lew Opler Memorial Award to Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health Commissioner, Michael Orth, MSW, on November 3. This award is presented annually to a psychiatric provider who has demonstrated a deep partnership with NAMI-NYS and/or one of its local affiliates. This is the first time a county commissioner has received this distinguished honor. The award was presented in grateful recognition of Commissioner Orth’s leadership and tremendous dedication to partnering with NAMI-NYS and NAMI Westchester. Commissioner Orth has forged a unique collaboration with NAMI Westchester, seeking their insights on service delivery and participating in town hall events, as well as their Running for Recovery initiative, where Commissioner runs alongside those living with serious mental illness. Commissioner Orth has created a blueprint for how counties can listen to families and peers and partner with NAMI affiliates to advance the mental health of their residents and reimagine mental health crisis situations in their counties. On behalf of the NYS Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors, congratulations, Michael, for this well-deserved honor!

NAMI-NYS Conference Panel for "Anyone Can be a Hero-A Conversation with Community Champions."  Pictured L-to-R: Matthew Shapiro, Senior Director, Government Affairs, NAMI-NYS; Leader of Mental Health Awareness Award recipient Jeremiah Brown; Commissioner Orth; Heroes of CIT Award recipients Ernie Stevens and Joe Smaro; and Young Leader Award recipient Isaiah Santiago.

Governor Hochul Announces Launch of New Commission on the Future of Health Care

Governor Kathy Hochul last week announced the establishment of a New York State Commission on the Future of Health Care, a commitment made in her 2023 State of the State address. Building on historic $20 billion multi-year investments made under the Hochul administration, the 13-member advisory body will work to build evidence-based recommendations for the state’s health care system to ensure it can best serve the needs of New Yorkers. “This is a transitional moment for the health care system. Patient preferences are shifting, new technologies are emerging, and we are still feeling the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Governor Hochul said. “I have assembled this Commission – with some of the top health care experts in the country – to help us build a resilient health care system that leads the nation and delivers every New Yorker the care they deserve.” Read more here.

Related: Governor Hochul Announces $5 Million to Expand Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Workers

Governor Hochul Announces $12 Million Awarded to Engage Individuals With Complex Mental Health Needs

Governor Kathy Hochul last week announced the award of $12 million to develop three new Intensive and Sustained Engagement Teams to serve communities in New York City, the Hudson River region and on Long Island. Administered by the state Office of Mental Health, the awards will enable three service providers to develop peer-led multidisciplinary teams that will provide intensive community support services for New Yorkers with complex needs who have difficulty connecting with traditional forms of mental health care.

Read more here.

Governor Hochul Takes on Infant and Maternal Mortality Crisis

Governor Kathy Hochul on Monday announced New York’s latest effort to combat the maternal and infant mortality rates, as infant mortality rose nationwide for the first time in decades. Legislation S.1867A/A.5435A directs the New York State Department of Health to create and maintain a New York directory of doulas – birthing experts who provide physical, emotional and informational support before, during, and after the child-birthing experience. Governor Hochul also announced that doula services will be covered for all Medicaid enrollees starting on January 1, 2024. The governor also highlighted $4.5 million in annual funding for Regional Perinatal Centers secured in the FY23 budget, which has been allocated by the New York State Department of Health. Read more here.

Related: ‘She Made Me Feel Seen and Heard.’ Black Doulas Offer Support That Can Help Mom & Improve Birth Outcomes

Biden-Harris Administration Launches ‘Birthing-Friendly’ Designation on Web-Based Care Compare Tool

DiNapoli: State Needs to Help Addiction Support Providers Better Prepare for Emergencies

Some addiction treatment programs may not be adequately prepared in an emergency to prevent gaps in care, which could compromise patient progress or safety, according to a new audit released last week by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The audit, which covered the period from 2019 to 2022, found the state’s Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) must improve its oversight and monitoring of nearly 400 certified providers that offer vital programs to thousands of New Yorkers battling substance use disorders or gambling addiction. Read more here.

How Social Work Researchers are Developing Culturally Specific Interventions to Assist Youth of Color in Despair

The death of former Miss USA and Emmy-award winning TV star Cheslie Kryst in 2022 cast a shocking spotlight on the increase, among people of color, of suicidal behaviors that can arise from persistent thoughts of harming oneself. When Kryst, a 30-year-old lawyer with an MBA, died by suicide, researchers who focus on the problem were frequently asked to offer insight into the issue. One traditional view is that suicide in America is principally a “White problem,” fueled, in part, by the fact that most suicide deaths do occur in White people, the largest segment of the US population. However, recent scholarship underscores that among Black and Latinx Americans, suicidal ideation or intent is part of what many experts are calling a mental health crisis in the US. Read more here.

Treating Rural America: The Telehealth Solution

There is a persistent shortage of primary care doctors in the rural United States. Specialists, like OB-GYNs and endocrinologists, are even harder to access. According to the National Rural Health Association, there are only 30 specialists for every 100,000 residents in rural areas, compared to 263 per 100,000 in urban communities. These shortages mean that many patients must routinely drive long distances to see their doctors, or simply go without care. This leaves rural populations more vulnerable to developing more serious illnesses. “We know that urban patients typically do better based upon their ZIP code,” said David Newman, an endocrinologist based in Fargo, N.D. “We don’t want your care to be defined by your ZIP code. We want everyone to have equal access to specialty care.” Read more here.

Related: Telehealth helps Veterans’ treatment for opioid use disorder

Webinar: How the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly Can Meet the Needs of Dually Eligible Individuals in Rural Communities

Bipartisan Bill Aims to Expand OUD Medication Access via Telehealth

A bipartisan group of four senators reintroduced legislation that would eliminate barriers to the virtual prescription of medication for opioid use disorder (OUD). Called the Telehealth Response for E-prescribing Addiction Therapy Services (TREATS) Act, the bill would permanently extend telehealth prescribing flexibilities enacted during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). This would waive the requirement for healthcare providers to conduct an in-person examination before prescribing medication like buprenorphine via telehealth for OUD patients. Read more here.


NYS Division of Veterans' Services

NYS Veterans Health Information Clearing House: Provides a list of resources for veterans, their families and their health care providers seeking health care information.

NAMI Homefront Mental Health Resources: NAMI offers information, support and education specifically for veterans, service members and their families. 

Operation Green Light: A collaboration between the NYSAC, NYSCEA, the NYS County Veteran Service Officers' Association, and the 62 counties of New York State. Its mission is to show support for veterans of all military conflicts, with a special emphasis on the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as raise awareness about the challenges faced by many veterans and the resources that are available at the county, state, and federal level to assist veterans and their families.

PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support Project: Mission is to assist Veterans, service members, and their families to achieve and sustain personal health, wellness, and purpose in their post-service lives through the support of trained, veteran peers.

SAMHSA’s SMVF TA Center: A national resource to support states, territories, and local communities in strengthening their capacity to address the behavioral health needs of military and veteran families.

Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF): For very low-income Veterans, SSVF provides case management and supportive services to prevent the imminent loss of a Veteran's home or identify a new, more suitable housing situation for the individual and his or her family; or to rapidly re-house Veterans and their families who are homeless and might remain homeless without this assistance.

US Department of Veterans Affairs - Mental Health

BROOME: Governor Hochul Announces Completion of 27 Unit Permanent Supportive Housing Development in Broome County

CATTARAUGUS: Genesis House assists variety of people experiencing homelessness

CHAUTAUQUA: County investigating Strong Starts Chautauqua

ERIE/NIAGARA: Higgins: More than $3 million for local law enforcement and public safety

ESSEX: Residents, organizations gather to discuss housing solutions

FULTON/MONTGOMERY: NYS OPWDD and SUNY Fulton-Montgomery Community College Announce Success of Direct Support Professional Microcredential Program and Opportunities for Spring Enrollment

JEFFERSON: Children’s Home restarts 24/7 crisis respite services in Watertown

MONROE: Rochester's new training event aims to foster community collaboration for youth support

MONROE: Excellus BCBS announces Health Equality Innovation Award winners  

NASSAU: Northwell Launches $500 Million Initiative to Expand Pediatric Mental Health Services and Access to Care for Children and Teens

NIAGARA: Hilary's House dedicated in Sanborn

NYC: Hospital-based Overdose Prevention Program Expands

NYC: Brooklyn Communities Collaborative Launches Community Health Worker Training Program for Formerly Incarcerated Brooklynites

NYC: Social workers discuss important steps being taken by New York City in dealing with fentanyl crisis

NYC: HIGN receives grant to develop long-term care nursing workforce in New York

NYC: Governor Hochul Announces Completion of 96-Unit Affordable and Supportive Housing Development in the Bronx

ONONDAGA: ‘Wings for All’ helping those with intellectual disabilities feel comfortable flying

OTSEGO: Coming Soon: Bassett's 22nd School-Based Health Center at Cherry Valley – Springfield Central School

TOMPKINS: Tompkins County grapples with soaring emergency response times

WAYNE: Wayne County school districts land huge grants

Governor Hochul Appoints Dr. Ruth Westheimer as New York State’s Honorary Ambassador to Loneliness

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that she has appointed Dr. Ruth Westheimer as the nation’s first Ambassador to Loneliness. In accepting the honorary title, the iconic talk show host pledged to help New Yorkers of all ages address the growing issue of social isolation, which is associated with multiple physical and mental health issues, including cognitive decline, anxiety, depression, cardiovascular disorders, weakened immunity, Alzheimer’s disease, and premature death. Read more here.

Related: Loneliness Is a Policy Problem. A Big One.

Governor Hochul Announces $2.6 Million in Fines Against Insurance Companies for Failing to Adequately Cover Behavioral Health Services

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced more than $2.6 million in penalties against five Medicaid managed care health plans following a comprehensive examination of their reimbursement of behavioral health service claims. New York State levied these fines after the carriers repeatedly and inappropriately denied claims or failed to pay for specialty behavioral health services at the rates required by law. Read more here.

A New Law to Support STOP-DWI Programs

A new law in New York will direct two payments of impaired driving convictions to relevant county’s special traffic options for driving while intoxicated or STOP-DWI programs. Currently in the state, there are two mandatory fines for impaired driving convictions that go to a general state fund. This new law will re-direct the money from these offenses to STOP-DWI programs. Read more here.

Elevance Health and AADMD Launch Bold Initiative to Broadly Expand Physician Training on the Care of People with I/DD

As part of its ongoing commitment to health equity and medical workforce development, Elevance Health is investing $1.42 million to support the National Inclusive Curriculum for Health Education—Medical (NICHE- Medical) community-engaged approach to Intellectual and Development Disability (IDD) curriculum by medical schools across the country. NICHE-Medical was founded by the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD) in 2009 to provide training to medical students on the care of individuals with IDD. From 2016 – 2023, 20 U.S. medical schools, or about 10% of the nation’s medical schools, were supported by NICHE – Medical in developing and implementing IDD curriculum. Read more here.

Veterans Who Have Been Arrested or Incarcerated Are at Heightened Risk for Suicide

Recognizing the Role of Peers in Recovery for Veterans

Cities know the way police respond to mental crisis calls needs to change. But how?

Conflicts of Interest and Opioid Litigation Proceeds: Ensuring Fairness and Transparency

As billions roll in to fight the US opioid epidemic, one county shows how recovery can work

'Just say no' didn't actually protect students from drugs. Here's what could

Scaling Up Point-of-Care Fentanyl Testing — A Step Forward

Psychiatrists Prescribe or Recommend Ozempic, Other Weight Loss Drugs

NIMH: Emergency Department Intervention Reduces Adult Suicide Risk

Incidence of Drug Overdose-Related Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Up Fivefold

A Chance to Modernize Health Care behind Bars — Section 1115 Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Waivers


Walking The Tight Rope: A Discussion Of Striking The Right Balance In Depression, With A Focus On Norepinephrine

November 9, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Lived Expertise and Data Management: Trauma-Informed Approaches and Perspectives

November 9, 2 - 3 pm, CSH

The Power of Collaboration: Success Stories of Harm Reduction and Public Safety Partnerships to Prevent Overdose

November 9, 3 - 4:30 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Systems in Crisis: Revamping the Juvenile Justice Workforce and Core Strategies for Improving Public Safety and Youth Outcomes

November 13, 1 - 2 pm, CSG Justice Center

Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community Recruitment Event

November 13, 1 - 2 pm, HANYS

Exploring Value-based Payment for Substance Use Disorder Services

November 13, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Tele-Transformation in North Carolina: Telehealth Policy Lessons Learned During COVID-19 and Beyond

November 13, 3 - 4 pm, Manatt Health

PSYCKES Mobile App for iPhones & iPads

November 14, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

Transforming Behavioral Health: Embracing Generative AI Technology to Drive Better Outcomes

November 14, 11 am - 12 pm, OPEN MINDS

A Look at Medicaid Enrollment and Spending Trends and an Array of Policy Issues Amid Unwinding of the Continuous Enrollment Provision

November 14, 12 - 1 pm, KFF, National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD)

Building a Modernized and Connected Public Health System Through Multisector Partnerships

November 14, 12 - 1 pm, NASHP

Pursuing Health Equity Goals Despite Adverse Environments: Perspectives from the Field

November 14, 12 - 1:15 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies

Center for Workforce Solutions: Reimagining Our Approach to the Workforce Crisis

November 15, 12 - 1 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Exploring Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Disease Burden

November 15, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

The CMS Innovation Center’s Approach to Person-Centered Care: Elevating Care Experience Across Models to Improve Outcomes and Equity

November 15, 12 - 1 pm, CMS

Understanding and Treating the Complex Comorbidity of ADHD and PTSD in Youth

November 15, 12 - 1:30 pm, CTAC/MCTAC

Ask the Expert: Homeless Outreach Teams

November 15, 2 - 3:30 pm, CSG Justice Center

Sustainable Integrated Care Through Community Partnerships

November 15, 3 - 4 pm, NAADAC

Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency (ARC) Initiative Webinar

November 16, 11 am - 12 pm, CTAC/MCTAC

Honoring Native American Cultures in Integrated Health

November 16, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

National Trends in State Spending for Children and Youth

November 16, 2 - 3 pm, National Conference of State Legislatures

Peers and Clinicians Together (PACT)

November 16, 2:30 - 3:30 pm, NTTAC

Broadening Your Scope of Care - A Focus on Prevention Series, Part 2: Cannabis Policy and Prevention in the Era of Commercial Cannabis

November 17, 12 - 1:30 pm, NAADAC

Transgender Day of Remembrance - Virtual

November 19, 2 pm, Adirondack North Country Gender Alliance

HR Staff and Employers: Part Time or Full Time? Hiring Peers Receiving Social Security Benefits

November 21, 11 am - 12 pm, PeerTAC

Utilizing Incentives and Sanctions to Support Successful Outcomes in Treatment Court

November 27, 1:30 - 3 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Complex Case Discharge Delay Learning Series: Considerations for Information Sharing During Discharge

November 30, 2 - 3 pm, HANYS

Navigating PSYCKES Recipient Search for Population Health

November 30, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

Peer Recovery Support Series, Part 10: The ABCs of Problem Solving for Peer Specialists

November 30, 3 - 4 pm, NAADAC

Recovery Ready Workplace New York Symposium

December 4 - 5, Crowne Plaza, Albany, FOR-NY


HRSA Health Workforce

NYS Grants Gateway

NY Health Foundation

OASAS Procurements

OMH Procurements

OPWDD Procurements

Rural Health Information Hub - New York

SAMHSA Grants Dashboard



Quarterly LGU Billing Staff Call

November 8: 11 am - 12 pm

Addiction Services & Supports (ASR) Committee Meeting

November 9: 11 am - 12 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting

November 9: 3 - 4 pm

IOCC Meeting - Albany, in-person

November 14: 1 - 3:30 pm

Membership Call

November 15: 9 - 10:30 am

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting

November 16: 1 - 3 pm

Children & Families Committee Meeting

November 21: 11:30 am - 1 pm

CLMHD Office Closed - Thanksgiving

November 23 - 24

Deputy DCS Call

November 28: 10 - 11 am

Links to State Guidance and Updates on COVID-19

NYS Coronavirus Vaccination Information

The Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors advances public policies and awareness for people with mental illness, chemical dependency and developmental disabilities. We are a statewide membership organization that consists of the Commissioner/ Director of each of the state's 57 county mental hygiene departments and the mental hygiene department of the City of New York.

Affiliated with the NYS Association of Counties (NYSAC)
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