Learn how to lead and sustain change: NIATx Change Leader Academy

Submitted by: 03/12/2013 by Maureen Fitzgerald

"I definitely recommend the NIATx Change Leader Academy. It's a fun, interactive workshop that affords ample time for you to practice all of the techniques that you will use during your change project. The instruction, and time allotted for each topic, help you to understand the general principles of NIATx and the logic behind them as well as how to apply the whole thing to your own agency.”

Mandi Bane
Research Analyst
County of Los Angeles Public Health Department
Substance Abuse Prevention and Control

As a research analyst for the County of Los Angeles Public Health Department’s Substance Abuse Prevention Control, Mandi Bane does research and program design and implementation. The best part of her job? “The end goal of helping people get into treatment and recovery services,” says Mandi.

Mandi attended a NIATx Change Leader academy in fall 2012. Since then, she’s been part of a change team that includes staff from one of the county’s contracted Community Assessment Service Centers, which serve as the entry point to 240 County-contracted treatment providers.

“Our change project aim is to increase assessment and referral to treatment services in one of the county’s psychiatric emergency rooms, “ explains Mandi. The target population for this project is patients who have co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. The patients remain in the ER only for 72 hours; a counselor does not see them until they are stabilized. While this process results in many positive assessments, the number of patients who are referred to and show for treatment is low. Mandi’s team wants to find more effective ways of connecting these patients to treatment.

The change project began with collecting baseline data. While lots of data was available from the monthly reports, the change team determined they needed more information to understand the process better. This exercise helped them develop a tracking form and “consent to follow-up form.”

Mandi’s looking forward to the next step in her team’s rapid-cycle change project. “Our preliminary data show that a lot of people aren’t making it to treatment, but there are easily identifiable ways to improve that number.”

Working on the change project has allowed Mandi to polish the skills she gained in the two-day face-to-face workshop. The Change Leader Academy continues after that with six months of e-mail and phone support from an expert coach. Adds Mandi, “The workshop is great, but the best part is what happens after the training. Being able to call or email your workshop leaders for advice as you implement your first change project is wonderful!"

Learn to lead and sustain change and get ready for health reform by attending a NIATx Change Leader Academy!

Registration is now open for the NIATx Change Leader Academy in Madison, Wisconsin, April 24-25, 2013. 

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