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ACMH Goes to Albany

Advocating for Vulnerable New Yorkers

As part of the "3-for-5" campaign, non-profit coalitions are calling on New York State to invest in a 3% increase on contracts and rates for direct care workers over the next five years for the survival of the sector. Earlier this month, ACMH Executive Vice President and CEO Daniel Johansson, and ACMH Peer Program Specialists Richard Lewis, Joseph Martin, and Michele Matthews traveled to Albany to urge legislators to adequately invest in human services and address the urgent supportive housing needs of New Yorkers.

"I was very impressed with our advocacy day in Albany. It illuminated what I do on a higher level. With the other peers, it felt like we were a voice – the staff in Albany did a lot of listening and seemed engaged," shared Richard. "A lot of people are vulnerable and have a desire to live independently, but because of disparities and destabilizing environments, they are unable to attain the proper services. I would like our legislators to know that housing is a right, not a luxury. There is a real need for more housing in order to have a better New York.” Michele concurred that the day felt productive. "As a Peer Program Specialist," she said, "my motive to act as an advocate has given me a voice for my sector of humanity." Joseph also shared his perspective on why he advocates, and added that "housing is essential in people’s lives. It’s important that people have the opportunity to have a roof over their head, have help navigating the systems they need to utilize to get and stay well, and hopefully grow to have a more self-determined role in their communities."

Human service non-profits provide vital services, including supportive housing, homeless services, and mental health services to millions of New Yorkers annually. Due to failure to keep up with inflation, state funding for human services has been cut by 26% since 2008; and up to 70%, depending on program type, since 1980. New York State continues to expect non-profits to do more with less, but the sector cannot continue to provide quality services to communities without fair funding.
 

Program Spotlight

Transitions of Care

“Engaging people takes time. This additional time allows ACMH and NYP staff to work more effectively with each individual.”

Our Transitions of Care (ToC) program began as an innovative partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) in 2017 as a way to provide time-limited intensive care coordination for high-risk patients. Three teams at NYP and ACMH work together to identify individuals with medically complex issues or with strong behavioral health issues. As a way to further assist individuals who have been hospitalized 4 or more times in the last 12 months, the program, funded by NYP, has since been revamped and expanded its length of care to work with individuals for up to 6 months. “Engaging people takes time,” noted Kristina Socha-Garcia, Senior Director for Care Management Services, who leads the ToC team at ACMH. “This additional time allows ACMH and NYP staff to work more effectively with each individual.” While hospitals are able to treat the acute presenting issues of patients, ACMH and NYP’s ToC teams will look more closely at each individual’s social determinants of health and work together to offer a joint comprehensive assessment and contact plan to meet with the individual following their hospitalization. “This program embodies the ‘whole person approach,’" said Patrick O’Quinn, ACMH’s Senior Vice President for Care Management & Program Development. “Our ToC Coordinators remove the hospital’s four walls and become the eyes and ears for NYP, as they help clients navigate their day-to-day in the community, providing time-limited motivational approaches to promote treatment adherence for chronic conditions and behavioral change, which in turn helps reduce risk factors that lead to rehospitalization.”

Reducing Hospital Readmissions

Hospital-to-Housing Updates

Hospital-to-Housing (H2H) is an initiative which started in 2019 as a way to link patients to housing, and reduce hospital readmissions and visits to the emergency room. In this program, a Housing Navigator and Peer Program Specialist work towards engaging clients in inpatient psychiatric units, in order to assist them in finding supportive housing upon discharge from the hospital. Within the past year, H2H has enrolled 105 individuals, submitted 65 Human Resources Administration (HRA) applications, and housed 7 clients through ACMH, as well as 4 externally. 

We are pleased to announce that the pilot will be extended for another year to continue our work with Mount Sinai West, St. Luke's, Beth Israel, as well as expanded to Mount Sinai Hospital.

"People are afraid. They have never had anyone knock on the door, encourage them to make a change, and stick around to support them through those changes - which are overwhelming."

"I coach clients on how to prevent reentry. The key to success is in meeting people where they are and helping them proceed from there. People are afraid. They have never had anyone knock on the door, encourage them to make a change, and stick around to support them through those changes-which are overwhelming. I have been where they are and I have been through what they are facing, so they trust me. I find creative solutions for each person and my supervisors support me. This flexibility allows me to tailor my support to each client and really meet their needs. ACMH does not have a one size fits all approach. I do everything I possibly can to help clients stay out of jail and help them become productive members of society. And to do that, I have to be flexible because everyone has a different set of needs. Working in this role is very fulfilling, it is actually therapy for myself. It gives me a chance to give back. It keeps me grounded and reminds me that there go I. Nobody is immune."
- Emanuel Kelly, Peer Specialist,
ACMH community member since 2016
LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR COMMUNITY

Coming Soon to The Bronx

Updates on The Grand

The Grand, being developed by the Thorobird Companies, consists of three new buildings near the Grand Concourse, slated to open in late 2020/early 2021. The Grand will provide a total of 138 apartments, including 41 studios for which ACMH will provide supportive services.  Pictured above in construction: 225 East 179th Street, which will provide 37 units, including 11 supportive studios.

Keep up with all our latest housing updates by following us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Did You Know?

You Can Support ACMH Through AmazonSmile!

Whenever you shop on Amazon, you can also support the mental and physical well-being of vulnerable New Yorkers with every purchase.

Visit www.smile.amazon.com, log in with your Amazon credentials, search for "ACMH" and select us as your charity of choice. Amazon will donate 0.5% of every eligible purchase.
 
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ACMH, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation founded in 1973.
ACMH is committed to the mental and physical wellbeing of vulnerable New Yorkers.
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