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There Is No Going Back, We Are Moving Forward in a New Paradigm: NJAMHAA Conference October 13, 2021


The COVID-19 pandemic changed many things for behavioral health service providers and the individuals they serve. At the beginning of the pandemic, providers rapidly shifted to provide telehealth services and NJAMHAA has been working to ensure that policy and waivers were in place to support that. With the availability of COVID-19 vaccines and the rise of the Delta variant, one thing is certain: Behavioral health providers cannot simply return to how things were before the pandemic; they must move forward in a new paradigm. Providers can learn what they can do to move forward by attending the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies' (NJAMHAA's) 2021 Fall Conference, No Going Back, Moving Forward in a New Paradigm, on October 13, 2021.

NJAMHAA is grateful for the generous support of the conference sponsors: Mutual of America Financial Group, Ocean Partnership for Children, PerformCare New Jersey, Acenda Integrated Health, We Work for Health New Jersey, New Jersey Innovation Institute, Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, HMH Carrier Clinic, Integrity House, The New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities and Oaks Integrated Care.

Program highlights include a keynote presentation, The Decade of 2020: This Is our Moment, by Susan Dreyfus, BA, of Susan Dreyfus Consulting, and a plenary session featuring Valerie Mielke, MSW, Assistant Commissioner of the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, sharing her vision for services in the future. See more detailed highlights below or click here for all program details and to register.

Keynote Launches Conference with Insights into Trends and Making the Most of Them
A very compelling and fitting start to the conference will be a keynote presentation, The Decade of 2020: This Is our Moment, by Susan Dreyfus, BA, of Susan Dreyfus Consulting. Dreyfus will identify the current trends and issues in the behavioral health field.

When determining whether a trend is long-standing or a "fad", Dreyfus watches for three things - the trend's staying power, how innovative the trend is and how policymakers, influencers and the media are beginning to discuss it. "If I were a CEO or board member today, I wouldn't watch trends only to see if they are real or not. I would begin having generative discussions with my team, board and other partners now so we can think, plan and move as adaptively and quickly as possible. Even if the trend doesn't move forward, there is always something to learn and consider," says Dreyfus.

Participants will gain insight into strategies and current trends to which providers should pay close attention. Dreyfus says healthcare reform is "the biggest disruptive force to influence behavioral health for the foreseeable future." She stresses that disruption is not always negative and can be positive. "If we can truly get this right as a nation and understand what it is that creates health beyond primary care, we will not only bend the cost curve of health care, but we will also have healthier people and communities through the lens of equity, especially race equity. This will build our nation's greatest economic resource, which is our human capital."

Another item that Dreyfus will discuss during her keynote speech is the eight accelerants of differentiated and influential social sector organizations. She says that when the eight accelerants are combined, they create "the combustion to lift [the behavioral health] field and sector to higher impact." While all eight of the accelerants are important, the one that Dreyfus says can keep her up at night and is probably making the 2020s "our moment" is an organization's board of directors. "I see in too many organizations 20th-century governance models in a 21st-century world," she adds.

DMHAS Leader to Share Newly Implemented and Planned Services
During the plenary session, Valerie Mielke, MSW, Assistant Commissioner of the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies (DMHAS), will also discuss trends that will shape the future of mental health and substance use treatment, including what may be expected of the 1115 waiver and how New Jersey will implement the 9-8-8 crisis response system, which is required by federal law to be operational by July 2022. She will also explore areas that DMHAS might be moving toward, such as value-based purchasing, recovery services and integrated care.

Workshops to Provide Variety of Important Knowledge and Skills
In addition to the insightful keynote presentation and afternoon plenary, the Fall Conference offers workshops that will further guide attendees in moving forward. Topics include peer workforce mentoring, actionable approaches to staff recruitment and retention, neuromodulation, and integration of primary and behavioral health care.

Click here for all program details and to register.

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