Governor Holcomb

Mental Health Organizations and Providers Applaud Indiana Lawmakers and Governor for Enacting Critical Mental Health Legislation Amidst Growing Need for Services and Dire Workforce Shortages

Today Governor Holcomb signed legislation into law HEA 1222 that would continue a critical grant program that has expanded access to urgently needed mental health and substance use disorder treatment services across the state of IN. The program is known as the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (or CCBHC) program. CCBHCs are designed to provide a comprehensive range of mental health and substance use disorder services to vulnerable individuals; with an emphasis on the provision of 24-hour crisis care, utilization of evidence-based practices, care coordination and integration with physical health care.

In Indiana, there are currently 18 CCBHC grantees throughout the state that are recipients of federal grants designed to jumpstart the CCBHC program. Initial evaluation outcomes from Indiana CCBHC program have shown a 73% reduction of depression and a 93% reduction of clients hospitalized for mental health reasons. Now, HEA 1222 will build upon these successes.

“Around the state our community providers have seen demand for services sky rocket” said Zoe Frantz, CEO for the Indiana Council of Community Mental Health Centers. “That’s why today’s announcement, of Governor Holcomb signing the CCBHC legislation into law is such incredible news for the continued work of these programs and the people they serve every day.  Ultimately, this program gives providers more tools to ensure those in need, will get the help they need when they reach out.”

Adult and Child Health (A&C) became a CCBHC in April of 2021 and, in the first 10 months, they’ve successfully supported 741 people in crisis through their CCBHC team.  In addition to their 24/7 crisis response team, A&C Health has worked very closely with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department to increase immediate access to mental health professionals to support police response to calls involving people in crisis.  The two entities have found synergy in developing tandem training and crisis response programming to better support the needs of Johnson County. Under the leadership of Sheriff Burgess and Deputy Jim Engmark, nearly 100 law enforcement personnel have been trained in the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programming, which is an innovative community-based approach to improve outcomes for people who experience mental illness when they have encounters with law enforcement.

“Our heightened partnership with A&C provides a beneficial impact for law enforcement and our ability to change the potential outcome for people we encounter who are experiencing a mental health-related crisis.  We’ve been able to deliver immediate support for Johnson County residents through A&C’s crisis teams and prevent unnecessary jail or ER placements,” said Deputy James Engmark of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, CCBHCs have played a transformative role in addressing workforce shortages, creating a more integrated care delivery system, and ensuring providers meet quality metrics. Providers advocating for HEA 1222 see the legislation as an opportunity to provide better access and higher quality care through the state.

Programs such as CCBHCs give community behavioral health agencies more tools successfully recruit and retain additional staff members as well as resources to ensure that consumers have access to critical, evidence based services.”

“The legislation, HEA 1222, that was signed into law today requires the state to develop a plan for the expansion of the CCBHC program by November 1, 2022.  The behavioral health community has already seen demonstrable results from the CCBHC program and looks forward to supporting the Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) in developing a statewide infrastructure that meets the growing need for mental health services in Indiana,” said Steve McCaffrey, CEO of Mental Health America of Indiana. “We’re grateful for the leadership of Rep Cindy Ziemke, Rep Ann Vermilion, Sen. Mike Crider and the other members of the Indiana General Assembly, Department of Mental Health and Addiction, and Governor Holcomb for the passage of this critical mental health legislation.”

For more information on CCBHCs, please visit the CCBHC Success Center, here.

Media Contacts
Zoe Frantz- 812-298-4533,
Tina Serrano- 317-882-5122,
Kelby Gaw-317-496-7193,

Adult & Child Health is an accredited nonprofit primary care, behavioral health, and social services provider with multiple locations in central Indiana. We strive for caring communities, where every child, adult and family have the opportunities they need to live healthy, happy, productive lives. For more information about Adult & Child Health programs, please contact Tina Serrano, Director of Strategic Initiatives, at 317-882-5122.

Adult & Child Health Welcomes New Doctors to Indianapolis Clinic

Adult & Child Health (A&C) is pleased to announce two new physicians joining the Garfield Park clinic. Dr. Joe Banks and Dr. Joanna Chambers are the newest physicians to join the growing clinic and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the organization. They are the newest additions to the Garfield Park clinic located at 234E. Southern Ave., Indianapolis. 

As A&C continues to keep pace with the demand for primary care, Dr. Banks’ addition to the healthcare team is welcomed. “Dr. Banks brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of our patients’ needs. I am very excited to welcome him to the team,” said Jeremy Tuterow, Practice Manager at Garfield Park. “He provides top-notch primary care services with a strong passion for providing community-based care focused on social determinant factors to bring the best outcomes possible for our patients.”

Dr. Joe Banks is a primary care physician with his Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine from Nova Southeastern University College of Medicine. He completed his residency in Family Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in Jamaica Queens, New York City. He brings significant family medicine and primary care experience, working to treat Hoosiers across the state since 2008. Dr. Banks joined Adult & Child Health in at the end of 2021 and is currently accepting new patients.

Additionally, A&C welcomes a new psychiatrist to the healthcare team. Dr. Joanna Chambers is a psychiatrist who began seeing Adult & Child Health patients in November. 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. Incredibly active in the medical, academic, and research realms of medicine, we are happy to welcome her. Dr. Chambers is currently accepting new patients on Wednesdays.

“We are very excited to welcome Dr. Chambers,” said Dr. Christine Negendank, Chief Medical Officer. “Her knowledge and strong reputation for quality care makes her a great addition to the Adult & Child Health team. As an active member of the medical community, we’re looking forward to the impact her care has on the surrounding neighborhoods and our patients who are seeking compassionate, empathetic care.”

Both Dr. Banks and Dr. Chambers are accepting new patients. Appointments can be scheduled by calling the Adult & Child Health scheduling center at 1-877-822-5122.

Adult & Child Health is an accredited nonprofit primary care, behavioral health, and social services provider with multiple locations in central Indiana. We strive for caring communities, where every child, adult and family have the opportunities they need to live healthy, happy, productive lives. For more information about Adult & Child Health programs, please contact Tina Serrano, Director of Strategic Initiatives, at 317-882-5122.

Adult & Child Health Receives Federal Funding to Expand and Optimize Telehealth Technology

Adult & Child Health (A&C) was awarded grant funding from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for healthcare technology to improve efficiency and access to care. Announced in early November, the FCC awarded Adult and Child Health and 74 other healthcare organizations grants through its COVID-19 Telehealth Program. As a part of the CARES Act, the COVID-19 program supports the efforts of health care providers to continue serving their patients by providing reimbursement for telecommunications services, information services, and connected devices necessary to enable telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adult & Child Health was awarded $516,208 for laptops, tablets, Wi-Fi hot spots, a telehealth platform, and remote patient monitoring devices such as glucometers, otoscopes, stethoscopes, and blood pressure monitors. This allows providers to treat patients remotely and directly in the community from homeless shelters to schools – and to support treatment not only for COVID-19, but also for health care conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and chronic respiratory issues, among others.

As a Federally Qualified Health Center Look Alike program, Adult and Child Health’s four family medicine clinics have been providing telehealth services since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Expansion of telehealth services funded by the FCC grant coincides with and complements a larger healthcare technology initiative as A&C moves to a new medical records system. In December 2021, A&C will switch to a new electronic medical record system (EMR), NextGen. The implementation of this industry leading EMR will lead to improved customer services, access, efficiency, and improved health outcomes. Working within NextGen, A&C providers will have access to a telehealth platform fully integrated within the patient medical records or seamless workflows and ease of use for both patients and staff.

“We are very excited about this program. There is a lot of reach within this technology project. We’ll be able to better equip our patients to monitor their chronic conditions from home, our staff to provide high quality remote care. We’re also able to better support our community partners in homeless engagement projects and school-based telehealth services for parents,” said Kerri Lewis, Chief Information Officer at Adult & Child Health. “It’s very exciting because ultimately it improves the health of the patients who have serious chronic health conditions and need additional monitoring.”

Adult & Child Health will utilize FCC grant funding to purchase new end user hardware, medical testing devices, waiting room kiosks, and remote monitoring technology. The NextGen EMR, with integrated telehealth capability, is scheduled to be implemented in early December and remote patient monitoring will be available for rollout in early 2022.

Adult & Child Health is an accredited nonprofit primary care, behavioral health, and social services provider with multiple locations in central Indiana. We strive for caring communities, where every child, adult and family have the opportunities they need to live healthy, happy, productive lives. For more information about Adult & Child Health programs, please contact Tina Serrano, Director of Strategic Initiatives, at 317-882-5122.

Spotlight On: Wraparound Services

(Editor’s note: Names have been changed to protect anonymity)

This team will laugh often, require respectful communication from each other, laugh again.

This is the mission of the Smith family’s Wraparound Services team. On a Monday evening, they all circle around the family’s kitchen table for a Child and Family Team Meeting. They talk and joke like they’re about to share a meal together.

They’re all here to support Ashley, the Smiths’ youngest daughter. She has battled anxiety, self-harm, disordered eating, a suicide attempt, and withdrawal from school, all within the past year. They’ve pulled up chairs, distributed paper packets, and someone tosses the first question into the mix like a beach ball:

“What’s gone well this month?”

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What are Wraparound Services?

This strengths-based and positivity-based program has been embedded within Adult & Child Health for a long time, catching some of the most severe at risk youth cases. That said, Wraparound Services are bigger than Adult & Child. It’s an internationally used model of care that embraces severely unstable kids, not letting go until they can stand on their own.

Youths ages 6 through 17 connect with this program through a multitude of referral sources: local psychiatrists, residential facilities, Department of Child Services, and any Adult & Child service line. A large majority of referrals come from A&C’s School Based service.

A&C has two Wraparound teams, one in Johnson County, one in Marion County. The Johnson County team is the exclusive provider in its area, but Marion County has three other agencies that provide Wraparound: Midtown, Aspire, and Gallahue.

But it’s never been a competition among the Marion County providers. Until recently, when Gallahue relocated, All Wraparound providers work together and collaborate out of the same 603 E. Washington St. location.

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Each A&C team has a Leader, a Lead Clinician, a group of Facilitators, and an Access Coordinator who acts as a gatekeeper, making sure potential clients meet the criteria.

Since Wraparound involves so many support sources, the providing agency constantly works with outside entities and independent providers to create the perfect social and supportive network for a family to heal.

How do Wraparound Services work?

Elaine Trepanier, Marion County Lead Clinician and Wrap Facilitator, facilitates for the Smith family. Her job is to lead and manage the entire team through the entire process. Ashley’s team consists of her mom, dad, grandmother, sister, A&C Wrap Therapist Sophie Foster, and a Habilitation Provider. This person helps her to work on skills and interact with the outside world. A Family Support and Training Provider also works with the parents and family to understand diagnoses and give parenting tips.

Elaine’s earnest admiration for this family shines through when she talks about Ashley’s case.

“She hasn’t gone to school in a year, and she just started to go again one to two days a week,” she said. “It’s brilliant. She’s got such a great, sarcastic sense of humor. I love this child.”

“The coolest thing about Wrap, I think, is that it’s all based on family voice and choice,” said Lisa Kress, Wrap Team Leader for Johnson County. This means the family gets to choose every person they work with throughout the process.

Who oversees Wraparound Services workers?

The Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction certifies everyone who works in Wraparound. An agency employs the facilitators, but there are many different types of independent professionals who are also certified in the Wrap process.

Those individuals earn a spot on what’s called a “pick list.” This is a reference guide for families to look through providers and pick who they think might be right for them. A facilitator can set up interviews and meetings to help them choose.

The family can switch  providers at any point, including agency people. This helps them develop the best team possible and lets the clients wield more control over their recovery. Most teams consist of a therapist, a Habilitation Provider (Hab) and a Family Support and Training provider (FST). Other important people in the youth’s life can also join the team as natural supports.

How ‘Ashley’ utilizes Wraparound Services

Ashley’s grandmother is her natural support on the team . She was the only family member Ashley allowed to stay in the room while practicing her slam poetry piece after the CFT meeting.

“That’s the thing about Wrap,” Trepanier said. “You get to be creative in ways other types of services don’t.”

Ashley attends salsa dancing lessons and Inner Beauty workshops and writes slam poetry. She has also attended yoga sessions with Elaine and Tiffany Covele, Marion County Wraparound team leader and Ashley’s habilitation provider, as part of her Plan of Care. The Wraparound Services team is essentially extended family you get to choose. It’s a path to healing you get to alter at any point.

“It’s an in-depth process,” said Lisa Kress, a team leader for Johnson County Wraparound. “(There are) Lots of meetings, lots of past info. We build on what went well, we push you outside your comfort zone, but you have a team behind you and you’re never alone. I always say, ‘If you don’t like something, we can change it … When you remind people of that, you can see that sigh of relief.”

The strength of Wraparound Services seems to be its strength-based philosophy. “We build on what’s gotten the family through tough times before,” Trepanier said.

How Wraparound Services turns negative circumstances into a positive environment

Families who come into the program are struggling. They’ve suffered a lot. But the Wraparound Services process often seems like a celebration, even during crisis. It’s almost a mindset. Families celebrate every victory. They focus on what’s going right instead of what’s going wrong. You follow your passions. Then, you discard things not meant for you.

That mindset seems to spill into the staff as well. Every facilitator or provider witnesses the dramatic changes in these families every day, and can rattle off cases with miraculous turnarounds.

In the Smiths’ dining room, Trepanier says to Ashley, “If you were trying to get into Wrap today, you would not meet the criteria,” noting how far she’s come since beginning the process in November. The entire meeting is full of a sense of buoyancy. Laughter punctuates the discussion of every new topic. Every meeting isn’t like this, but the rhythm of Wrap is a heartbeat. It’s all-at-once intimate, compassionate, and fundamentally human.

Do you want to learn more about Adult & Child Health’s Wraparound Services program? Click here or call 317-632-6140 ext. 3252 (Marion County) or 317-736-7744 ext. 5658 (Johnson County). See the brochure pictured below for Johnson County Wraparound Services info.

This is an updated version of an article that originally published March 14, 2018.

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