NIATx Year In Review

Submitted by: 12/01/2009
Keywords: ACTION Campaign, Advancing Recovery, NIATx 200, NIATx Summit, NIATx-SI, STAR-SI

2009 has been an exciting year for NIATx, marking the end of several innovative projects designed to improve behavioral health care treatment, and the beginning of new ones.

The Strengthening Treatment Access and Retention-State Implementation (STAR-SI) project, funded by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, concluded this fall. Over the course of the three-year project, the nine participating states established payer-provider relationships to improve access to and retention in substance abuse treatment. On average, the grantees have achieved:

  • 12% increase in client admissions
  • 20% decrease in wait times

NIATx200, a five-year randomized trial funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, has moved into the sustainability phase. The project involved five states testing various combinations of the NIATx learning collaborative model. NIATx 200 will yield valuable information on not only the most effective ways to implement process improvement, but also on winning methods for spreading and sustaining successful change. The participating agencies made impressive changes-click here to read their success stories.

Advancing Recovery (AR), funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will draw to a close in January 2010. In two rounds of grant cycles, AR funded 12 states to promote the use of evidence-based practices. The AR grantees have made great progress in improving the clinical and administrative practices that impede the use of evidence-based practices such as medication-assisted treatment and continuing care.

While these projects wound down in 2009, we also launched exciting new initiatives. The NIATx-State Implementation project, funded by CSAT, aims to support AR, STAR-SI, and NIATx200 grantees' efforts to spread and sustain their improvements. The Accelerating Reform Initiative, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will provide a forum for innovative behavioral health care leaders to plan for the sweeping changes anticipated to accompany health care reform and parity legislation.

NIATx expanded its reach in 2009, working with an increasing number of mental health treatment providers. We also took on new projects in the criminal justice system, child welfare, gambling, and services for the aging.

The success of the first Adopting Changes to Improve Outcomes Now (ACTION) Campaign inspired us to launch the ACTION Campaign II, with a special focus on helping you improve services and build financial strength in these challenging economic times. We hope that you have participated on our popular twice-monthly webinars presented by experts in the field. The webinars have covered popular topics such as promising practices for reducing waiting times and how to secure staff buy-in for change. Upcoming webinars will focus on building services for families and upcoming parity reforms. See upcoming events for complete details.

The 2009 NIATx Summit/SAAS National Conference in July received rave reviews, ranked by many attendees as one of the best professional development opportunities in the field. Mark your calendars now for July 11-14, 2010 in Cincinnati. We promise to "shine a light on innovation" with the inspiring speakers and energizing workshops that you've come to expect at the NIATx Summit/SAAS conference. Please visit regularly for event updates.

All the staff at NIATx National Program Office sends thanks for your support and best wishes of the season.

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