Effie created a strong infrastructure and organizational culture for collective impact including the creation of a multi-disciplinary Steering Committee to catalyze implementation of the state’s first comprehensive children’s behavioral health plan. In partnership with the Communications Workgroup, she developed a website, new branding and messaging, and a social media presence. Additionally, we successfully utilized opportunities like children’s mental health awareness day to increase visibility and awareness. Also, our membership has increased by 50 percent allowing us to have even more impact.
The CBHC supports the actions of many NH leaders--both inside and outside of government--to create a system of care approach. Our collaborative action has leveraged more than $60 million in new grant funding to date. These resources have helped us move closer to achieving the vision outlined in the state plan. With several new grant applications submitted, we expect to continue to build on these successes.
The CBHC includes many separate but aligned workgroups chaired by strong leaders in the field. These workgroups advance specific outcome areas in the state plan. Additionally, leadership teams manage numerous federal grants. The CBHC brings coordination to these aligned efforts to ensure they add up to the collective impact we envision.
The importance of this infrastructure cannot be understated. We have made significant progress while Effie directed the Collaborative. Structurally, we have seen the creation of the Office of Student Wellness within the Department of Education; and most recently, the announcement of the Bureau of Children’s Behavioral Health Services within the Department of Health and Human Services. Senate Bill 534, which is on its way to the Governor’s office for signing, directs implementation of a system of care for children’s behavioral health and authorizes interagency agreements to do so. We have seen modest state budget increases and, for the first time, utilization of the State’s Mental Health Block Grant for children’s services. The Workforce Development Network developed and piloted a high fidelity wraparound model; and a Medicaid state plan amendment has been drafted to bring that model to scale statewide. This is not an exhaustive list of accomplishments, but gives a few examples of the power of collective action. We have Effie to thank for building the organizational structures that support these successes.
While Effie will be greatly missed, the work of the Collaborative will continue. The Steering Committee is leading the transition and will be providing information on the search for a new director in the coming weeks. The transition also provides the opportunity to assess the future needs of the workgroups. During this transition period, please direct questions or concerns to Debbie Williams of the CBHC and she can direct you to the most appropriate contact person. Debbie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (603) 225-9540 extension 118.