Jan 142012
 

The CAC Board and staff met via conference call January 3rd.   Here are some of the highlights as well as a few updates since the meeting.

Chris White attended the meeting of the Kansas Mental Health Coalition in December and several others participated via teleconference.  It was decided to submit a request for funding to the legislature on behalf of the CAC.  The request would probably help to fund the Leadership Academy and Recovery Conference, though the request has not yet been finalized.  The coalition emphasized that the CAC should tightly focus on how the funds will be used and that they should follow up with legislators on their own.  Some assignments of legislators to be followed up with were made, but more are needed. If you would like to help please, contact Rene Strunk, renestrunkatyahoodotcom  (renestrunkatyahoodotcom)  

Below are the links to the pages listing legislators phone numbers and email addresses:

 http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2011_12/chamber/house/roster/

 http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2011_12/chamber/senate/roster/

 Link to find your legislator:

http://www.ipsr.ku.edu/ksdata/vote/

As reported earlier, the state will be shifting Medicaid services to a managed care system.  Three private companies will be selected to administer the system from among those submitting proposals.  If all goes as proposed the three managed care companies will be selected by July 1, 2012.  It appears that consumers will initially be assigned to one of the companies, but will have the option to switch to any of the three during an open enrollment period.  The CAC has been approached to discuss ways it may be involved in the process which include possibly educating consumers and families about their options under the new system and the possibility of supervising Certified Peer Specialists which could work with CRO’s.  All this is still in the very preliminary discussion stages, but if it works out it may provide additional services to CRO’s as well as possible additional funds to the CAC and CRO’s.

Discussion continues on the possibility of forming a NAOPS (National Association of Peer Specialists) chapter in Kansas.  The CAC will follow up to see if there is enough interest to support a chapter.

Gary reported that SAMHSA has yet to post a request for proposals for Statewide Networking Grants and that it looked as if the may not be funded this year.  However in a later email he reported, that a rumor is beginning to circulate that funding has been secured to continue funding statewide network grants at the same level that is currently funded.  That would mean there will be 12 new grants awarded in October.  If this is fact, we need to be ready to start writing the RFP.  We will not be able to focus on TIC, but Gary did talk to the TA center, and if this is true, we may want to focus on Certified Peer Specialists (and the creation of the NAOPS chapter!).

Gary will meet with the Association of Community Health Center Directors at their upcoming meeting.

 The proposal the board submitted to host an inclusive disability conference appears to be on hold and it is questionable whether the original request for proposals will be funded at all, however the board continues to pursue additional opportunities for grants and other funding.

It was reported that current funding for CRO’s has been extended for two months.  Board members plan to be at the CRO outreach meeting, February 7, 2012, 10:30 am – 2:00 pm. and begin informing the CRO’s about the legislative proposals to reform the Medicaid services and the possibility of CRO’s utilizing peer specialists to a greater extent.  The CAC board will meet for a two hour face to face meeting immediately after the CRO outreach meeting.

It continues to be a trying, but exciting time for consumer mental health initiatives.  Though difficult and uncertain at present, the climate is ripe with possibilities for better things to come.  If you have creative suggestions, talk to a staff or board member or post them in the CAC forum.  Now would also be a good time to write or call your legislators and tell them how helpful consumer initiatives have been for you and to encourage them to continue to support them.