MHMRA of Harris County - Annual Report Fiscal 2013-2014 - Page 4

H e l lo F r i e n d s , W e are pleased to provide you this report covering Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014. In the previous two years at The Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County (MHMRA), we experienced significant changes which impacted the mental health and intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD) community. Caring for individuals with mental illness and IDD in a timely and adequate manner is in the best interest of everyone in our community. We are proud of the services and support provided by and through our network and of our participation in these major developments for many of the people who need and should be able to access care through our system. As with every substantial growth endeavor, the changes in the system’s infrastructure presented numerous challenges, and required consistent energy and attention to ensure successful implementation. Our dedication to bring top quality mental health and IDD services and supports to those qualifying Harris County residents who are most in need kept our focus on target: to build brighter possibilities for Harris County residents with mental disabilities and their families. The statewide 1115 Medicaid Transformation Waiver brought the opportunity to expand and enhance programs for the individuals we serve along with others who don’t historically have access to our traditional services through the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) initiative. This multi-billion-dollar-a-year program, along with the much needed General Revenue funds appropriated by The 83rd Texas Legislature to address the waiting list for mental health care, provided hope to many individuals in Harris County affected by mental illness as well as those with co-occurring mental illness and IDD. MHMRA staff devoted tireless hours to submitting the projects and, once approved, building the necessary framework and models to support the expansion, hire staff, identify facilities, implement contracts, and begin delivering a dramatic expansion with improved outcomes as quickly as humanly possible. Thanks to these efforts, we were able to zero out the six-year-old adult waiting list for MHMRA mental health care in Harris County. We expanded crisis response services to help prevent many individuals suffering a mental health crisis from going to jail, avoiding significant cost to the individuals themselves and the taxpayers in general. We were able to provide a more comprehensive level of care to individuals with a dual condition of IDD and mental illness. And, we increased our community impact through strategic collaborations with a number of organizations like the The Council on Recovery (formerly known as The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston), Lighthouse for the Blind, Saint Joseph’s House, and Santa Maria Hostel. A total of 27 DSRIP projects totaling a 50 million-a-year valuation has been approved and are in various stages of implementation. These are just a few of the many exciting new initiatives now possible thanks to the unprecedented infusion of support we saw for community mental health and IDD care these last two years. While we are proud of the work we have done alongside our community partners and other supporters, there is still so much to be done to sustain, maintain, and build upon the foundations of care established for individuals with chronic, life-long mental health and IDD conditions. In this report you will learn more details about these promising programs that became operational in FY 20132014 and how you can join us in Building Brighter Possibilities for Harris County. Steven B. Schnee, Ph.D. Executive Director, MHMRA of Harris County pg. 1 | MHMRA of Harris Count