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ASU Center honors behavioral health heroes, contracts with ADHS

August 28, 2007

Arizona State University’s Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy (CABHP) has announced the recipients of its third annual Arizona Behavioral Health Awards, as well as receiving a $250,000 contract awarded by the Arizona Department Health Services (ADHS) to oversee training of the behavioral health workforce for state agencies.

Honored by the center for their work in the area of mental health and substance use issues in Arizona were:

· Pete Herschberger, Leadership in Advocacy – Herschberger, who has served in the state legislature representing southern Arizona since 2001, was recognized by CABHP for his focus on children, advocating for their needs on many levels, including education, juvenile justice and child welfare;

· David Miller, Legacy Award – Miller, who served as executive director of the Arizona Council of Human Service providers, has helped create a unified vision among a diverse community of health, welfare, and social service providers statewide. He was recognized by CABHP for the impact his work has had in strengthening behavioral health services in Arizona;

· Gustavo McGrew, Cultural Heritage Award – McGrew is president of Art Awakenings, an expressive arts program of the PSA Behavioral Health Agency, a private, non-profit agency dedicated to the treatment and recovery of individuals with psychiatric illnesses who may also suffer from substance abuse, trauma, and/or other behavioral health issues. McGrew has worked the full continuum of behavioral health services, including prevention, intervention and treatment both as a practitioner and as an administrator;

· Regina Koch-Mart, Leadership in Services – As founder of HOPE, Inc., Koch-Mart helped create a program that has become the premier model of recovery services now replicated throughout Arizona. She was recognized by CABHP for her innovative and sensitive approach at HOPE, where support services are now provided and managed by consumers of behavioral health services.

Award recipients were recognized during the center’s recent Summer Institute in Sedona. The five-day conference drew more than 350 participants, including practitioners and supervisors from agencies and health providers from across the state. Among the 39 breakout sessions were presentations and panel discussions on a wide variety of topics, including methamphetamine addiction, adolescents and alcoholism, gender and cultural competence, post-traumatic distress order, mental health in public schools, gambling addiction, offender re-entry programs to reduce recidivism, and child welfare.

“At the center, we work to improve programs and policies that impact Arizonans with behavioral health disabilities and their families,” said Michael Shafer, director of the center and the associate dean of ASU’s College of Human Services. “The tireless work and the devotion of these four outstanding professionals we have recognized has helped us come closer to that reality.”

Center earns $250,000 contract
As CABHP was handing out its own awards, ADHS awarded a $250,000 training and consultation contract to the center.

Aimed at expanding the capacity and competency of the workforce, providers and provider networks, the contract will cover a range of services to be delivered to the Division of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS), the state authority which oversees the delivery of state-funded behavioral health services.

Through an intergovernmental agreement, CABHP and its affiliated Pacific Southwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center will provide workforce training, assessment, evaluation and technical assistance to support ADHS/DBHS in delivering on goals that include the provision of continuing education to employees working in substance abuse treatment and prevention facilities, coordination of adolescent substance abuse treatment statewide and the evaluation and administration of the Arizona Child and Adolescent State Infrastructure Grant.

“This contract allows us to continue our longstanding partnership with the Arizona Department of Health Services to bring the very best in behavioral health services to the people of Arizona,” said Shafer, who serves as the associate dean of ASU’s College of Human Services.  “We are gratified by ADHS’s continuing faith in the center’s ability to create meaningful impact with the behavioral health treatment system of our state.

“Recovery doesn’t happen overnight.  Research shows that long-term recovery from substance dependence requires continuing treatment over an extended period of time.”

CABHP is a research and training center at Arizona State University’s College of Human Services, which conducts research, provides program development and evaluation services, and designs and conducts workforce development initiatives to improve policies and programs that affect people with substance use disorders or mental illness.

The center engages in a variety of initiatives and programs as it strives to inform and influence public policy, programs and practices to support those with behavioral health disabilities by synthesizing and transforming information and promoting new insight and understanding of crucial societal issues.