Resources Articles

Application Now Available for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

FVN, News, Resources

The New York State Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) provider application for the Rest-of-State (ROS) behavioral health providers is now available. Providers should submit the application by August 10, 2015. An OMH User ID is required to access the application. The link to ‘How to Access the HCBS Online Application’ and to the actual HCBS application and guide as well as the HCBS provider manual is: 

OMH/OASAS/DOH anticipate the initial designation process for the rest of the state will be completed in October 2015. Rest-of-State providers that have already submitted an HCBS application do not need to resubmit their application. This application and subsequent designation does not guarantee a gain in business or mandate your agency to provide designated services. HCBS questions and comments can be submitted to

Rob Kent
General Counsel

Arounja Updates in Erie County

News, Resources

By: Ceci Bair 
CCNY Intern

While working as an intern at CCNY, I was introduced to at first glance it looks a lot like Yelp or Urbanspoon, but, when you start updating and adding resources it is easy to see that Arounja can be helpful in more ways than trying to find a good restaurant or see the ratings on a hotel. Not only is resourceful in finding new things to do, it’s also a way to find community groups, health services, and educational resources, and more. After updating countless  entries for local soccer camps, block clubs, church groups, crisis services, etc, it was easy to see that this website could do a lot more for the community so I began to think of how Arounja could be a resource for everyday life.

Arounja is designed to provide the public with everything that Erie County has to offer. My goal reentry photoover the past three weeks at CCNY was to update so that it could reach a broader audience. I did that by adding schools, school activities, new attractions, town events, art galleries, food trucks, festivals, and concerts. By adding these resources and events Arounja has increased its cultural relevance in Erie County.  New events were also added  to make it easier to find upcoming things to do in all of the different categories that encompass Arounja. This resource has so many services to offer which can help build up the Buffalo and surrounding area with all of the education, culture, and values that this region has to offer.

To broaden the base of users, the community at large needs to be more involved in updating resources and adding events to it.   Creating a twitter account for Arounja was one way to move towards this goal. Social media today is used by almost everyone, by starting a Twitter account for this creates a bigger network of people who are aware of arounja and what it can do. If all of the updates and new events for arounja can be broadcast on Twitter this will help increase the site’s traffic and relevance to the social media audience.  One objective is that local programs, schools, events, or companies will start looking to see if their events are on Arounja by checking the Twitter for new updates. If not, they could use the website themselves and then let CCNY know via Twitter.  If others look at the twitter and find an event or attraction then they will tell others about it.

Looking towards the future developing Arounja into an app will make it more accessible to the community. With the creation of an app, more and more teenagers would be open to using it because almost everything is accessible on our smartphones, and when something isn’t accessible via smartphone it makes it harder to use. With arounja being available via app it will increase the reach and benefit of such a great resource! In all, I have enjoyed working on Arounja and giving my own input into it.

The Impact of Childhood Trauma on Overall Health

News, QI, Resources


Exposure to childhood trauma dramatically increases the risk for seven out of ten of the leading causes of death in the United States. People exposed to intense levels of trauma in childhood have three times the lifetime risk of heart disease and lung cancer and a 20 year decrease in life expectancy.

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris strongly advocates for pediatricians to become active participants in the prevention and treatment of trauma.

Please see her spirited TED Talk below:


Older Adults and Substance Abuse


There is a growing trend among older adults in regards to at risk use for alcohol, prescription medication and illicit drugs.  It is estimated that there are 78 million baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) in the United States.  The number of older adults in need of substance abuse treatment is predicted to increase from 1.7 million in 2001 to 4.4 million in 2020.

As healthcare moves towards becoming more integrated with behavioral health there is an opportunity for screening and identification of substance abuse.  Screening, ideally could be a routine part of routine care. This could help diminish the lack of awareness that is often a barrier to identification of this issue.

Please click the following link for an interesting article on this topic:


New York State Managed Care: Are You Ready? Get Your Assessment Here

While reviewing the NYS Medicaid Managed Care Kick Off Videos (Part 1 and Part 2), there was an interesting tool referenced on slide 78. The Managed Care Technical Assistance Center (MCTAC) has created an online readiness tool for managed care. Although, the date to participate in their data collection and dissemination has passed, it is a very useful tool for assessing your organization’s readiness, and identifying areas of strength and improvement. It is a five-page tool you will want to use with your leadership team and staff. Here’s an example, does your organization have an individual responsible for managing the Quality Assurance/ Quality Study expectations of MCOs? I hope you find it valuable in preparing for the future.

If you find you need assistance in improving your processes or procedures, let us know and we would be happy to help.

The Raising of America event

Events, News, Resources

At WNED on November 10 from 5 – 7 pm the  Buffalo Promise Neighborhood, WNED, and RTSB are hosting a forum entitled ‘The Raising of America.’  The main topic is the importance of early childhood and the future of our nation.  This is a national event, sponsored by the main policy group for Promise Neighborhoods, the  Center for the Study of Social Policy.  The documentary will be viewed in many different sites across the country.  It illustrates how a strong start for all of our children leads not only to better individual life-course outcomes (learning, earning, and physical and mental health) but also to a healthier, safer, better educated, more prosperous and equitable nation.  Please look at the attached generic flyer that gives a general description of the documentary and the event.

BPN’s program will include screening the film to an audience of at least 250, followed by a panel of experts  who will respond to the issues, as well as answer questions from the audience.  The discussion will fall into four main categories:  the importance of early childhood education for future success, healthy child-healthy-mind-healthy family, parenting, and the development of public policies that will meet these needs.

For more information on The Raising of America documentary please click here

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

News, Resources

Do you work for a non-profit agency? Are you paying student loans? You might be eligible for for Public Service Loan Forgiveness!

Check out all the Eligibility Requirements at the link below, but the Employment Qualifications include:

  • A Federal, State, local, or Tribal government organization, agency, or entity (includes most public schools, colleges and universities);
  • A public child or family service agency;
  • A non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (includes most not-for-profit private schools, colleges, and universities);
  • A Tribal college or university; or
  • A private non-profit organization (that is not a labor union or a partisan political organization) that provides at least one of the following public services: •Emergency management
  • Military service
  • Public safety
  • Law enforcement
  • Public interest law services
  • Early childhood education (including licensed or regulated child care, Head Start, and state-funded pre-kindergarten)
  • Public service for individuals with disabilities and the elderly
  • Public health (including nurses, nurse practitioners, nurses in a clinical setting, and full-time professionals engaged in health care practitioner occupations and health care support occupations)
  • Public education
  • Public library services
  • School library services
  • Other school-based services


More info can be found here too: