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In This Issue


Upcoming Events:

* On September 20th Join American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for the Out of the Darkness Community Walks, 8 AM to Noon at Reid Park, Tucson. With each stride, our walkers save lives, honor loved ones lost to suicide and raise funds to support AFSP's vital mission. Visit here for more information.

* Prevent Teen Dating Abuse Before it Starts Teach Tweens & Teens How to BLOOM for Healthy Relationships™
September 22nd from 4:00 to 6:00 pm Rio Vista Recreation Center, 8866-A W Thunderbird Rd, Peoria. Call 623-773-7070 or e-mail
* Helping Consumers Understand Health Insurance 9am-4pm on September 25th at Central United Methodist Church, 1875 N. Central Ave., Phoenix.  Register here.

* Arizona Coalition of Military Families & NARBHA on September 30th in Flagstaff present Navigator Training & Prevention TA.  The training will be at the High Country Conference Center 201 West Butler Ave. This is part of the initiative to engage all behavioral health & prevention providers statewide.  Call 602-753-8802 or visit ACMF
* 2015 AZ Nonprofit Expo Saturday, October 3rd from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The Salvation Army KROC Center 1375 E Broadway Rd, Phoenix. This is a day of exposition, workshops, retail shopping to benefit attending non-profit groups and Ron Haberle as Keynote speaker who founded  Register here.  
Regional Behavioral Health Authority Calendars:

Cenpatico Community Events Calendar

Mental Health First Aid Statewide Calendar

Mercy Maricopa  Community Events Calendar 
NARBHA Community Events Calendar 
Board of Directors 

Michael Shafer, Chair

Joshua Mozell, Vice Chair

Kristina Sabetta, Secretary

Jason Bernstein, Treasurer

Jack Beveridge

Max Dine, M.D.

Sheri George

Charles Goldstein, M.D

Laurie Goldstein

Emily Jenkins

Marcus Johnson

Barbara Lang

Karen Pitico

Clarke Romans
September 15, 2015
Rally for Ride to Awareness

Join Mental Health America of Arizona (MHA-AZ) as we meet, greet and support the 9 bicyclists riding across country.  Join us Sunday, September 20th at PERA Park at 1 E. Continental Drive in Tempe from 8 am to 10:30 am. 

Allen Giese, the founder of Ride To Awareness explained his reasons for participating in this ride.  "Mental illness is a very misunderstood disease.  Until my family was personally affected, I certainly didn't understand it. That's why this ride is so important. It's not only to raise funds, which are desperately needed, but more importantly to raise awareness and remove the stigma associated with having a mental illness. It's the stigma that keeps many from seeking treatment."  Check out their website here.

A free continental breakfast will be provided.  Local cycling shops and clubs and mental health agencies have been invited to provide information at exhibit tables.  Throughout the morning our DJ, Matt Kennedy, will provide music for the event.  Face painting for the kids will be available by artists from PSA Art Awakening.  There will be a short on-site Family Fun ride if you bring a bicycle.  Local dignitaries have been invited to join us for the morning to celebrate the efforts of this group of bicycle riders and help Mental Health America of Arizona promote awareness of mental health issues and end stigma. 

Join us for "Rally for Ride to Awareness".  Registration is free, join by going to our website. A Ride to Awareness T-shirt for $25 will be available at the event.

Input Needed 

Public forums were hosted by Arizona's Medicaid program (AHCCCS) as they prepare to submit their Section 1115 waiver package to the Center for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in early October.

The deadline for submitting questions, concerns or comments is Friday, September 25th.  Testimony was taken in the various community forums, so this phase requires you to submit your comments in writing to to AHCCCS, c/o Office of Intergovernmental Relations, 801 E. Jefferson Street, Mail Drop 4200, Phoenix, AZ 85034 or via e-mail at

Links to the materials that AHCCCS presented at the forum can be found here.  You may find the short You Tube video by Governor Ducey informative.  It is linked here.

MHA-AZ will be submitting written comments. This is an advocacy opportunity you should not miss!

A Change is Gonna Come 

Like the great Sam Cooke song says, "a change is gonna come" to the public behavioral health system on October 1st.  The Greater Arizona areas of our state (areas outside Maricopa County and the tribal areas) will see newly configured Regional Behavioral Health Authorities (RBHAs) adding physical health to their responsibilities of delivering behavioral health services for members who are classified as Seriously Mentally Ill.   These are the next steps in the evolution of 'integration' which began in Maricopa County in April 2014 when Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care (MMIC) became the RBHA for that county.   
The southern area will now be served by Cenpatico Integrated Care (CIC), a partnership of Cenpatico (the RBHA currently serving  Gila, Pinal, Cochise, Santa Cruz, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz and Yuma counties) and the University of Arizona Health Network (an existing AHCCCS health plan).  Pima County will now be part of this service area and not a stand-alone region.  Gila County will now be served by the northern RBHA as described below.  The San Carlos Tribe will be served by CIC even though they reside in Gila County.

CIC is planning to focus on specialized populations including:    
1) A focus on members served by the Justice System with prisoner review teams being put in place to reduce the number of members' interactions with the jail; 2) Enhanced data sharing for tribal members, a tribal peer program and a tribal warm line; 3) Children served by the foster care system will see a focus on trauma  informed care, and on reducing disruptions while promoting reunifications; 4) Operating a regional crisis center out of Tucson that will include mobile and community-based crisis programs; and 5) Specialized residential based facilities for members with developmental disabilities.

CIC has opened an office in Tucson to manage the changes that are underway for that community.  Community meetings and briefings have been underway to address members' issues or concerns about the changes.  For the SMI Title 19 members, integration with the new RBHA will be the focus.  No one, however, has to make any change in their Primary Care Physician during the first year.  The CIC Customer Care Center is available to answer questions.   That number is 866-495-6738.

The newly configured northern area is served by Health Choice Integrated Care (HCIC) which is a partnership with Health Choice Arizona (an AHCCCS health plan) and the Northern Arizona Regional Behavioral Health Authority (NARBHA) which is the current RBHA for northern Arizona.  The HCIC management team will work out of Flagstaff.

HCIC will build upon its existing staff, facilities, provider networks, and technologies to implement the transition that has been underway since the contracts were announced.  A three-pronged approach is planned.  That includes: 1) A Coordinated Behavioral Care Program where non-SMI members will continue to be served; the member's AHCCCS Acute Plan and HCIC coordinating to assure that behavioral health service needs are met. 2) A Recover Wellness Premier Integrated Care Program will serve members with serious needs wherein both physical and behavioral health care services will be delivered through a single "integrated" program.  SMI members will be able to retain their primary care doctor for a year. 3) Health Choice Generations will serve members who are dually eligible (enrolled in Medicare and AHCCCS). 

The initial focus during the spring and early summer was on assuring the adequacy of networks because of the changes to the service area which now includes Gila County minus the San Carlos Tribe.  A key concern was balancing provider availability in these largely rural areas of the state.  At this point in time, after over 30 community meetings, 7 tribal consultations, 5 provider meetings and over 80,000 letters to members, things are ready.  HCIC has a customer service phone line available to respond to questions and concerns.  That number is 800-640-2123.
Meet 2 New Board Members  

Mental  Health America of Arizona (MHA-AZ) is pleased to announce the election of Laurie Goldstein as a board member.  

As Laurie says of herself, "I am a mother of an adopted adult son who suffers with mental illness.  My advocacy began with my son, but greatly expanded in the past several years after observing the dysfunctional manner with which persons suffering with mental issues were being treated or, more correctly, not treated.  I truly believe many of the current issues surrounding the treatment of mental illness are the unintended consequences of good intentioned efforts to right previous injustices. I am looking forward to making a difference!" 

In her professional life, Ms. Goldstein works for Freescale Semiconductor in Chandler as a Senior User Experience & Usability Engineer.  You'll have to ask her to explain what that means.  But, a review of her community activities demonstrates her willingness to be involved in community service.

Dr.  Charles Goldstein, her husband, has joined Laurie on the MHA-AZ Board of Directors.  He serves as an emergency room physician at John C. Lincoln Sonoran Health and Emergency Center.   A quick review of his resume highlights the involvement that Charles has had in the delivery of emergency room services in hospitals throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area.   In addition, Dr. Goldstein is a Fellow in the American Academy of Emergency Medicine.  He has shown his willingness to be an active community volunteer with his service on various community nonprofit boards in the Valley. 

What a dynamic duo we have with Laurie and Charles.  Welcome!

Mental Health America of Arizona wants to acknowledge the support of Janssen Pharmeutical Company for our activities.  Corporate support is key to assuring there's a voice in the community. 

We invite your participation and sharing of this newsletter by forwarding to your friends and colleagues.  If they wish to receive the newsletter, encourage them to simply click on the link here.  Let's share the word.  Time to get involved.
Eddie L. Sissons
Executive Consultant
Mental Health America of Arizona | | |