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Adult & Child Health CEO Allen Brown Announces Retirement

Indianapolis, IN – After nine years working devotedly as the President and CEO for Indiana integrated healthcare provider Adult & Child Health (A&C), Allen Brown is set to retire at the end of March 2024. During his tenure as CEO, Brown has led A&C through many projects and positive changes that will continue to have a profound impact on the Indianapolis community and the organization’s 600 employees. Brown joined A&C in December 2014 with a vision to be the state’s leading provider of whole-person healthcare and played a crucial role in the organization’s growth as a prominent safety net organization in central Indiana. A&C started providing primary care services in 2016, earned FQHC look-alike designation in 2017, and currently operates  four integrated healthcare clinics in the south Indianapolis area. A&C services have also expanded in the areas of mental health counseling, addictions treatment, and housing resources for persons experiencing homelessness. Under Brown’s leadership the organization has nearly doubled its annual revenue and has tripled the number of people served each year. Brown also championed A&C’s early adoption of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC) model, which is designed to increase access to care and crisis services for the community’s most vulnerable residents. A&C has been at the forefront of this movement in the state of Indiana and was recently selected as one of eight Indiana community mental health centers to serve as a proposed pilot site in the Division of Mental Health and Addictions (DMHA) application for a federal CCBHC Demonstration Project. Additionally, A&C plans to open a Behavioral Health Crisis Center at the organization’s south Indianapolis clinic in late March of 2024.  Under the CCBHC model of care, crisis centers located within the community play a prominent role in assuring individuals have timely access to services when urgent needs arise, helping to decrease unnecessary emergency room visits and jail incarcerations. “Allen is a skilled team builder and has had a knack for finding ways to help our organization achieve its goals,” said A&C Board President Tom Gaunt. “He has led our organization into a new era with a masterful vision for how we can be  more effective moving forward, which is a win-win for Adult and Child and the people we serve. He will be dearly missed.” While a CEO successor has not yet been named, A&C has forged a partnership with Missouri-based Brightli, Inc. – the nation’s fourth-largest nonprofit behavioral health organization by total revenue. The partnership will significantly increase financial and system support resources available to Adult & Child Health, for the benefit of underserved persons with behavioral health and primary care needs. The partnership has been approved by each company’s board and is anticipated to be finalized in coming weeks pending regulatory approval. A public signing and press conference will be announced upon partnership closing, which is expected in Spring 2024. “I am going to miss Adult and Child Health and I’m deeply grateful for the support, trust, and collaboration I’ve received. It has been an honor to serve as CEO and I know even greater things lie ahead for this remarkable organization,” said Mr. Brown.

Adult and Child Health Awarded Funding to Expand and Develop Community Mental Health Workforce

Members of the BCA at the National Health Center Week Health Fair

Adult and Child Health (A&C) was recently awarded $750,000 in grant funding for three years by the Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) to enhance the local behavioral health workforce, improve accessibility to peer recovery services, and expand professional growth and development opportunities for Adult and Child Health employees. Funds will support A&C’s efforts in two separate ways: training and certification for Community Health Workers (CHW) and Certified Recovery Specialists (CRS) and the development of Career Pathways for A&C staff. Both initiatives link to A&C’s greater vision of cultivating equitable, caring communities, where every child, adult, and family have opportunities to live healthy, purposeful lives. The demand for Community Health Workers (CHW) and Certified Recovery Specialists (CRS) in Indiana far exceeds the number of available staff in the workforce.  CHW and CRS certification courses often have limited openings and a six month or longer waitlist, creating a significant barrier for individuals seeking certification. DMHA funding will support A&C becoming its own training site, creating an additional resource for staff and people in the community to draw upon their personal experience in mental health recovery and/or their professional work experience at A&C as they look to advance their mental health career through certification.      To raise awareness and interest in CHW and CRS certification as a career option, A&C will partner with local high schools, adult education centers, and other organizations to provide information to the public. Built-in scholarship money will be made available for behavioral health technicians and recovery specialists who want to take their skills further. “At A&C, we know that our employees are our greatest asset,” said Denise Amato, Executive Vice President of Operations. “This grant funding should help us attract and connect with a new wave of compassionate, mission-driven people who are interested in pursuing a career in community mental health.” In addition to expanding the certified health workers and peer specialist workforce, the DMHA grant award will be used to fund staff engagement, recruitment, and retention initiatives in A&C’s Career Pathways program, which promotes long-term growth opportunities for employees of Adult and Child Health.  DMHA grant funding will support increased staffing, mentoring, and training resources so that A&C employees have access to the tools and support needed to reach their career goals. This heightened focus on career growth and development is one of several initiatives in place to promote the well-being of Adult and Child’s workforce, including financial assistance for employee continuing education, opportunities to serve on diversity-focused taskforces, and access to health and wellness staff-led self-care groups that are supported within the organization. A&C is honored to be one of only a few selected organizations from over 90 organizations who submitted proposals for the Behavioral Health Workforce Recruitment and Retention Innovation Grant Program. Both components of A&C’s planned use for grant funding will strengthen A&C’s workforce capacity, ultimately leading to better mental health services for persons in the community. 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. Learn more at www.adultandchild.org.

Join A&C in Celebrating National Health Center Week August 7-11

Staff, clients, friends, and community members are all invited to celebrate National Health Center Week with A&C from August 7 through August 11 on-site and on social media. A&C will feature a different topic of focus each day, which will involve education, agency highlights, and several giveaways: Monday, August 7: Youth Healthcare Tuesday, August 8: Patient Appreciation Wednesday, August 9: Healthcare for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness Thursday, August 10: Staff & Stakeholder Appreciation Friday, August 11: Minority Healthcare Rounding out the celebration will be a free community health fair on Friday, August 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the 8404 Siear Terrace office. Several community partners will be participating in the event, including NAMI Indiana and InteCare. Free snacks will be provided by Market Square Popcorn, and food will be available for purchase from Taste Budz Food Truck. Entertainment and activities will be provided by Good Moves Yoga and ZeeBee Karaoke. There will also be a free, interactive photo booth by Bhatta Boom Photo Booth. National Health Center Week is an annual celebration to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers, including the many innovative ways that health centers are providing high-quality health care, improving health outcomes, and narrowing health disparities. For A&C, this week is also an opportunity to strengthen local partnerships, increase community understanding of the organization’s mission and services, and ultimately encourage more folks to walk through A&C’s clinic doors on the first step of their journey toward comprehensive, compassionate healthcare.

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

Governor Holcomb

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, zfrantz@indianacouncil.org Tina Serrano- 317-882-5122, tserrano@adultandchild.org Kelby Gaw-317-496-7193, kgaw@mhai.net 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.

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.