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Policy Areas

Members, Please Share With Anyone You Know Who May Be Interested/Qualified. Thank you for your consideration!

RCPA is looking for a policy analyst to support substance use disorder and mental health policy-related work within its Behavioral Health Division. View the job description here or contact Jason Snyder with questions. Thanks! #job #mentalhealth #behavioralhealth #SUD #addictiontreatment #work

ODP Announcement 23-009 shares that MyODP’s redesigned navigation structure is now live. Resource pages now reside on MyODP’s home page without the need for a login. MyODP will continue to host all Trainings and role-specific resources that require login.

The website will now be the primary site to access ODP-related resources. Many resource pages that were on MyODP have been consolidated for simpler navigation on the home page and are accessible without the need for login. The home page will also be the main point of access for Everyday Lives content, news, and communications. The home page search bar will search materials on MyODP, ASERT, and AIDinPA.

If you have bookmarks to any resource pages, they will remain accessible until February 28, 2023. Please change your bookmarks to the new resource pages before this date.

Along with this announcement is a Navigation Guide. Please submit feedback through the following MyODP New Navigation Feedback Form.

Based on feedback that the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) has received, it has been determined that there is a need for people who are providing Behavioral Support to gather and discuss the service requirements and ODP’s Best Practice Standards, share resources, and develop a network of those providing this critical service.

In 2022, ODP provided this opportunity to Behavioral Specialist Supervisors in their first two cohorts of the Behavioral Support Roundtables. They are looking for more supervisors to participate in the third cohort. If you are willing to be a part of this cohort, they ask that you commit to:

a) Joining ODP virtually for three-hour roundtables once per month for three months (you must be able to attend all 3 sessions in their entirety):

  • February 22 — 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
  • March 29 — 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
  • April 26 — 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

b) Participating during the roundtable with your camera on — ready to share and engage.

If you are interested in participating in this cohort or think you would be interested in future cohorts, please fill out this survey by February 10. ODP will accept providers into the third cohort on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Please know that if you are unable to participate in the above dates or if ODP has closed registration, there will be additional opportunities to join — ODP intends to host cohorts on an ongoing, quarterly basis. Once they have finalized the BSS Roundtable Cohort, they will follow up with additional instructions and information.

Please note that ODP is only able to accept one Behavioral Specialist Supervisor per provider agency. If your organization has multiple supervisors, please choose just one to participate.

Relias Presents:

Webinar: Rapid Fire Retention Strategies: How to Improve Behavioral Healthcare Provider Retention

  • Campaign: Organizational Development
  • Webinar Date: Wednesday, January 25, 2023
  • Target Audience:
    • All titles in BH, CH, CYF, Social Services, Substance Use Disorder
  • Learning Objectives:
    • Factors that affect behavioral health provider retention;
    • Strategies to improve recruitment and increase retention; and
    • Stories of organizations that have successfully retained long-term staff.

Register here to participate.

The RCPA 988/Crisis Regulations Work Group meeting has been rescheduled to Monday, February 6, 2023, at 3:00 pm. The group was originally slated to meet on March 23, 2023, but there was a request from the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) to meet with our members to review several important crisis system updates as well as information regarding a small provider work group to collaborate with OHMSAS for a specific project around mobile crisis.

In addition to the OMHSAS updates, we will revisit the activities of the work group to date, prepare for the OMHSAS section of the call, and map out a strategic agenda in preparation for the release of the crisis regulations.

Register for the meeting here. If you have any questions, please contact RCPA Policy Director Jim Sharp.

PUBLISHED: 
NORRISTOWN — The Montgomery County Intermediate Unit has been awarded a $7.2 million four-year grant by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

This highly competitive Project AWARE grant, for which the intermediate unit will receive $1.8 million a year for four years, has only been awarded to approximately 20 entities across the United States.

Project AWARE is a nationwide grant created to develop a sustainable infrastructure for school-based mental health programs and services. The intermediate unit provides programs and services to Montgomery County school districts, career and technical schools, non-public schools and other organizations. Through its direct service to students, especially those most at risk, the intermediate unit has been able to identify ways to assist students and their families to navigate mental health supports and services.

“This grant award is a major recognition for the MCIU and reflects all the hard work and accomplishments of our MCIU employees in supporting students and families across the region,” Executive Director Regina Speaker said in a press release issued by the Intermediate Unit. “We appreciate the support of Senator Robert Casey and Congresswoman Madeleine Dean and many other partners, including the Pennsylvania Department of Education, for this grant project.”

The grant project will: expand suicide awareness training opportunities for students(K-12), implement a universal mental health screener to be utilized by school district or nonpublic school staff members and create an electronic data system to connect school mental health practitioners (e.g. psychologists, social workers and counselors) with community-based mental health providers that have immediate availability to support students in all levels of care (outpatient therapy to inpatient psychiatric care).

The MCIU is partnering with two other intermediate units on this project — Luzerne and Carbon-Lehigh County Intermediate Units — to proactively address students’ mental health needs.


RCPA recommends members in the Montgomery County region engage with the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit and local school districts for planning and discussions on how your continuum of services may benefit student mental health in the schools.

If you have further questions, please contact RCPA Children’s Mental Health Director Jim Sharp.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), requires State Rehabilitation Councils (SRC) to submit an annual report to the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) and to the Governor of the State on the status of vocational rehabilitation programs operated within the State. The report also provides an excellent resource to learn more about the PaRC.

Read the report here.

ODP Announcement 23-007 is to inform Providers, Supports Coordinator Organizations (SCOs), and County/Administrative Entities (AEs) that report or manage incidents in the EIM system, including those who are designated as Incident Management Representatives, that enhancements have been made to the EIM system.

On Saturday, January 14, 2023, the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) released enhancements within the EIM system. With this release, EIM users will benefit from updates that have been made to the system related to medication errors. To facilitate medication error trending and oversight, updates were made to the Medication Error Incident Report and a medication error visual analytic dashboard was created. In addition, a new EIM Medication Error canned report was created to facilitate the use of the Medication Error Dashboard and the analysis of medication errors.

For more specific information related the changes, please reference the HCSIS Release 90.10 Newsletter, pages 25-31.

Photo by Copernico on Unsplash

The PA Family Network has a wonderful series of events happening this March — five in-person Summits on Emergency Preparedness. These summits will be regional — happening in York, Wilkes/Barre, State College, Philadelphia, and Cranberry — and will provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities, families, and interested individuals to learn more about Emergency Preparedness, Safety, Interactions with First Responders, and more.

There will be no fee to attend, and breakfast and lunch will be provided. Each day will be from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm.

The locations and dates of these events are:

  • March 15, 2023: South Central — Wyndham Garden York
  • March 20, 2023: Central — Penn Stater, State College
  • March 21, 2023: West — Pittsburgh Marriot North
  • March 23, 2023: Northeast — Mohegan Sun Casino, Wilkes-Barre
  • March 27, 2023: Southeast — Rivers Casino Philadelphia

For more information and to register for your local summit, visit here.

Seminar sessions each day will include:

  • Interacting With Law Enforcement
  • Tools to Use Before an Emergency
  • I-PREPARE: Make a Plan Using This Unique Tool Created by a Self-Advocate
  • Emergency Management & Red Cross: Not Just for Large-Scale Disasters
  • Panel Discussion and Q&A With Local First Responders Police/Ambulance (EMS)/Fire/Emergency Management Agency

Important Information:

  • Support Staff are welcome and encouraged to attend!
  • Breakfast and Lunch will be provided for FREE.
  • If you’re a family member/self-advocate and are driving/taking public transportation, a travel stipend will be available at the event. Limitations apply, one per household.
  • Lunchtime birthday celebration! Let us know if you have one you’d like us to acknowledge when you register!
  • Spanish interpretation will be available.
  • Resource Area, Wellness Lounge, and Technology Lab will be open for the duration of the event.
  • FREE to-go emergency bag, at $100 value, for eligible waiver participants.
  • Every attendee will be entered to win door prizes!