Behavioral Health Services Coalition

October 12, 2009

Meeting Minutes

Amanda Jones - Skyland Trail
Keith Wood - Central Fulton Mental Health/Grady
Phyllis Rosen - Central Fulton Mental Health/Grady
Jean Toole - Community Friendship
Sarah Schwartz - MHA of GA
Robert Woods - MHA of GA
Pierluigi Mancini - CEPTA
Michelle Crider - GPPA
Talley Wells - ALAS
Sue Jamieson - ALAS
Carol Koplan - Suicide Prevention of GA
Dave Sproat - Bristol Meyers Squibb
Catherine Jackson - AstraZeneca/Cullari Communications

Election of officers

Ellyn Jeager opened the meeting with discussion regarding the new slate of officers. Since Ellen is on the slate she turned the meeting over to Pierluigi Mancini.

Since the last meeting the Governance Committee met and made the following recommendations:

Chair (for one year)   Ellyn Jeager

Chair-elect - Neal Kaltenecker

Treasurer  - opened

Discussion was held regarding the position of treasurer and Talley Wells was nominated.  He accepted the nomination and the Coalition members present voted unanimously to accept the slate of officers as presented

Chair (for one year)   Ellyn Jeager

Chair-elect - Neal Kaltenecker

Treasurer  - Talley Wells

After the vote Pierluigi turned the meeting back to Ellyn.

Operating Procedures Proposal and Draft Principles

Ellen presented the Operating Procedures Proposal and the Draft Principles and asked for input. The following changes were recommended:

Operating Procedures Proposal:

To draft clear language regarding the elections occurring in October with terms to begin in November.
Draft Principles

Add "Georgia" to the document
Line 8  - "prevents illnesses" to be changed to "promotes health"
Line 14 - "citizens" to be changed to "people"
Line 20 - "operates" to be changed to "provide"
Lines 35-36 - delete "The Coalition advocates for the end to discrimination against people with mental illnesses and addictive diseases in the private sector. "  There was robust discussion as to how to change Line 4 to reflect public and private as well as mental health and addictive diseases. The following line was suggested however no final decision was made: "The Coalition advocates for mental health and addictive diseases systems that:
Any further additions and changes should be sent to Ellyn before the next coalition meeting. 


Ellyn presented the following updates:

Dr. Bill McDonald, Special Advisor to the Governor on Mental Health, will be attending the Coalition meetings on a regular basis. Commissioner Frank Shelp, GA Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, David Sofferin, Deputy Commissioner of Mental Health Services and Acting Deputy Commissioner Onaje Salim have committed to attending when they are able.

Medical College of Georgia has taken over the clinical services for East Central Georgia Regional Hospital.

2010 Legislative Session

The Department is looking to the Coalition to assist with a legislative agenda. The Coalition is identifying 3 legislative priorities in the following areas:

Substance Abuse
Adolescence and Children
Substance Abuse

Neal Kaltenecker is in the process of finishing the top 3 legislative priorities for the substance abuse community and, with Pierluigi Mancini, will choose one to bring to the coalition.


Jean Toole discussed a Carter Center meeting that brought together the Department of Behavioral Health, providers and advocates. Housing was identified as one of the top priorities for Georgia.  A committee was formed to look at the issue with 3 work groups -

Funding Retention, Support Services, and Hospital to Community

Funding Retention is looking at how to keep federal funds in GA.

Support Services is looking at what services are really needed in a supportive hosing model. This group is reviewing a SAMSA supportive housing model tool-kit and also looking at a program developed in Tennessee that has over 7000 units and utilizes regional housing specialists.

Hospital to Community is looking at what needs to happen to the people in institutions to transition them to the community.

Talley Wells presented a draft of the Olmstead Mental Health Initiative.

The Olmestead Mental Health Initiative is a five year plan for 2000 units/slots of housing with supports for individuals who would otherwise be at Georgia Regional Hospital for an extended time or multiple times. The plan includes funding for ACT Team or targeted case management, Peer Support Programs, psychoscial rehabilitation and Addictive Disease day programs, supported employment, rental subsidies, transition support, and the addition of Peer Support and Wellness Centers.

Exact costs are being calculated but it is estimated that approximately 2/3 of most services would be Medicaid funded with a 39% federal match.

This initiative is what the Coalition is looking to adopt as its legislative priority on housing.


A C&A proposal is being developed and any who are interested in helping can contact Ellyn.

Sue Jamieson suggested that Audrey Sumner, Director, Community Mental HealthServices, DBHDD and Kim Ayertey, GA Regional Hospital be invited to speak at a Coalition meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:40. Next meeting is Monday, November 9th.

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