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The BCA’s Year in Review

BCA members at the Indy Juneteenth Celebration

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The year of 2023 was full of progress for the Black Cultural Awareness (BCA) Taskforce. In late 2022, the BCA restructured to welcome ally members and added another chair position, naming Jaymee Cummings and Alyssa Hurt as co-chairs. Expanding membership and establishing co-chairs provided the group with more flexibility and extra hands to achieve more during the year.

In June of 2023, the BCA took part in the Indianapolis Juneteenth Celebration for the first time. A group of 15 members and supporters, which included the BCA and their families, marched in the parade and had a presence at A&C’s booth to show support in the community. 

Adult & Child BCA members walk in the Juneteenth parade.
BCA Members at the Juneteenth Parade

Another new event for the BCA was the Indianapolis Black Expo. “It was amazing that we had the opportunity to share A&C’s services and the BCA with the community,” said Alyssa Hurt, co-chair. With enough staff volunteers to cover three whole days of Expo activities, she said that A&C’s participation “showed the agency’s dedication and support to the community, while allowing us to have fun and learn more about our friends at the Expo.”

Later during the summer, the BCA joined A&C’s inaugural National Health Center Week Health Fair. This event was held at A&C’s 8404 Siear Terrace location and was open to staff and the community. Attendees played filled out a scavenger hunt by speaking to every table to learn more about A&C,which allowed the BCA to talk about the taskforce and their 2023 highlights so far. It also gave the BCA an opportunity to meet some of A&C’s clients and make deeper, mission-driven connections. Employees and attendees also enjoyed karaoke hosted by ZeeBee Karaoke and sponsored by the BCA.

In December, the BCA visited Gleaners Food Bank to volunteer their time to give back to the community. They spent three hours in the warehouse filling grocery and pantry requests for families; everything from boxed goods to fresh fruit. They filled over 800 bags for food pantry distribution and packed enough food to provide over 4,000 meals for the community!

“The BCA is proud of the year we had and we look forward to 2024,” said Hurt. This year’s plans include building new partnerships, continuing to get together as a group to support Black owned businesses, and showing our support within the community.

Any A&C staff who are interested in joining the BCA or learning about volunteer opportunities tied to BCA initiatives can reach out to the BCA (bca@adultandchild.org) or DEIB Commission (DEIB@adultandchild.org) directly. Members of the community who own or know of a business that the BCA should support or who have connections that could help the BCA meet their goals are also invited to reach out any time.

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Agency News

Adult & Child Health Receives CCBHC Designation

Adult & Child Health, a leading community mental health center in Central Indiana, is thrilled to announce it has been designated as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). This designation is announced alongside the exciting news that Indiana was selected as one of 10 new states to join the CCBHC Medicaid Demonstration Program. By becoming a CCBHC, Adult & Child Health can unlock critical resources to address the growing need for mental health services in Indianapolis. This includes crisis care, improved staff recruitment and retention thanks to sustainable funding, and the ability to expand their service offerings. CCBHC will allow Adult & Child Health to offer competitive compensation and top-of-market wages, making them a more attractive workplace for qualified providers. With the rich history and commitment of Adult & Child Health to making a difference, they can achieve even greater impact through this transformation. “Indiana’s selection for the CCBHC program is a major step forward in strengthening mental health resources for residents,” said C.J. Davis, CEO, Adult & Child Health. “This designation allows us to make a significant impact by expanding access to essential mental health services in Central Indiana. We’re committed to ensuring our community members have the resources they need to live healthy and fulfilling lives.” The Biden-Harris Administration announced the additional states being added to the CCBHC program earlier today. Adult & Child Health had been selected by the state to be a CCBHC if Indiana was selected, but the decision of which states would be selected to join the program had been pending until today. CCBHC is a transformational program that provides sustainable funding for designated organizations and has been shown to increase access to mental health and substance use care, reduce homelessness and substance use, decrease use of emergency rooms and hospitalizations and improve overall health outcomes. It requires that designated CCBHC organizations provide 24/7 crisis services, outpatient care within 10 business days, medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder, care coordination and support services, as well as other evidence-based treatments.

School Based Services

Perry Township School Enjoys a Successful Summer SEL-ebration

Students and families at Glenns Valley Elementary enjoyed a Summer SEL-ebration on May 15 thanks to the planning and preparation of Glenns Valley Elementary SEL Specialist, Miranda Mellendorf, and Glenns Valley Elementary Social Worker, Amanda Craig, along with support from the GVE PTA, GVE teachers, and additional members of the A&C SEL team. Attendees made tie-dye t-shirts, slime, decorated some petunia plants to take home, added to the GVE Gratitude Banner, helped with a collaborative sticker mosaic, played outdoor games, and discovered how all of these fun activities can help promote SEL. The event was free for students and their families and was made possible by a Family Engagement Impact Grant from the Perry Township Education Foundation.

Sarah Miller, PMHNP-BC

Sarah Miller works with the addictions team, general psychiatry for adolescents and adults, and the competency restoration team. She is board-certified as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Her specialties are working in addictions and with people who experience serious mental illness.

Miller graduated from Indiana University with a psychology degree and went back to school for nursing. She received her nursing degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and worked in a nursing home and also spent time working in a group home with adolescents. She received her master’s degree from Vanderbilt University.

She enjoys hanging out with her family and her two dogs, and going to sporting events.

Joanna Chambers, MD

Dr. Joanna Chambers is a psychiatrist who began seeing Adult & Child Health patients in November 2021. She graduated from Medical College of Georgia with her Doctorate of Medicine in 1996 and completed her residency in psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine. In addition to bringing a wealth of experience, she currently serves as an associate professor at Indiana University School of Medicine where she teaches Clinical Psychiatry. She is certified in Addiction Medicine and has a special interest in treating pregnant and postpartum women. She is President of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry Organization as well as a sitting member of many medical association boards. Recently, she has won the Residents’ Award for Teaching Excellence in 2020 from Indiana University and has received “Best Doctors Award” in 2010, 2011, and 2014. Dr. Chambers is incredibly active in the medical, academic, and research realms of medicine. She is currently accepting new patients on Wednesdays.