Projects & Impact

AHP has built its business on applying best practices, many of which we have helped to shape, and real-world, hands-on knowledge to improving systems and business practices for our clients.

In all of the work that we do, we are guided by our mission to improve health and human services systems of care and business operations to help organizations and individuals reach their full potential.

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BHbusiness Plus

BHbusiness Plus is funded through a contract with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It offers customized, virtual technical assistance and training to behavioral health executives at no cost to participants. The goal is to help behavioral health providers identify and implement customized change projects that expand their service capacity, harness new payer sources, and thrive in the changing health care environment. The program empowers participating organizations to actually make quantifiable changes, rather than just learning how to do so. It links participants into specific learning networks that focus on a specific topic of interest and provides opportunities for networking and peer support. Everyone in a learning network receives hands-on expertise and guidance to initiate, continue, and complete business operations changes.
 
Participants benefit from the following supports:
 
  • focused technical assistance that meets each organization’s business needs;
  • guidance from a dedicated coach that helps participants develop a customized change project;
  • access to a peer group of like-minded providers that empowers organizations to learn from combined experiences to grow their businesses;
  • consultation from leading subject matter experts in the field; and
  • resources designed to be meaningful to learners, providing practical action steps to meet individual challenges.
 
Related resources and publications:
 

National Center for Trauma-Informed Care and Alternatives to Restraint and Seclusion (NCTIC)

AHP is a subcontractor to SAMHSA’s National Center for Trauma-Informed Care and Alternatives to Restraint & Seclusion (NCTIC). A diverse team of staff and consultants, many of them trauma survivors and nationally recognized leaders, provide technical assistance (TA) and participate in developing products and materials under this contract. The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) is the prime contractor for NCTIC.
 
NCTIC supports SAMHSA’s commitment to provide information, technical assistance, and support to increase awareness about the impact of trauma on people with mental health or substance use disorders, as well as people served by public health, education, and corrections systems.
 
A key focus of this work has been to promote alternatives to seclusion, restraint, and other coercive interventions to minimize the likelihood of re-traumatization. The use of trauma-informed approaches has therefore been incorporated into a broad range of service systems, with input from trauma survivors’ perspectives in all aspects of the contract. NCTIC is guided by the fundamental beliefs that people with personal experiences of trauma can and do recover and heal; Trauma-Informed Care is the hallmark of effective programs to promote recovery and healing through support from peers, consumers, survivors, ex-patients, and recovering persons and mentoring by providers; and leadership teams of peers and providers charting the course for the implementation of Trauma-Informed Care are essential.
  
The project has made major strides in addressing SAMHSA’s Trauma and Justice Strategic Initiative goals of creating capacity and systems change in the behavioral health and justice systems; implementing and studying trauma-informed approaches throughout health, behavioral health, and related systems; and reducing the impact of disasters on the behavioral health of individuals, families, and communities.
 
Major accomplishments of the project have included the administration of more than 130 technical assistance events in one year, reaching approximately 10,000 individuals between on-site events, webinars, virtual learning networks (VLNs), and consultation. This project was able to leverage funds with multiple organizations willing to help cover costs for presenting training and technical assistance, which resulted in our ability to present so many events, thereby increasing NCTIC’s visibility and shifting thinking in the field.
 
Specialized TA was provided in Baltimore, MD, to stakeholders from 76 different agencies following major unrest in that city after a teen died while in police custody. In addition, a training curriculum, Trauma-Informed Approach: Key Assumptions and Principles, has been developed to provide a framework for understanding trauma and its impact and prevalence, along with the key principles and implementation areas for trauma-informed approaches; and a General Adult Trauma Screening and Brief Response (GATSBR) toolkit is in development to facilitate screening for trauma in primary care.
 
Related resources and publications:

National Drugged Driving Reporting System (DDRS)

AHP, in collaboration with Carnevale Associates, received both Phase I and II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to develop and support the National Drugged Driving Reporting System (DDRS). The project was initiated because current enforcement approaches—developed originally to reduce drunk driving—are not adequate for dealing with the problem of drugged driving. In addition, there is not enough data collected about drugged driving at the local, state, or national level to inform policy and programs fully.  
 
The DDRS team worked with an expert panel of nationally recognized researchers to agree upon a National Minimum Data Set (NMDS) on Drugged Driving to meet the government’s need for data and to understand the magnitude of the problem of drugged driving, as well as identify possible public health prevention strategies. Based on this work, AHP designed the Drugged Driving Survey, an anonymous online survey designed to collect data elements outlined in the NMDS.
 
The DDRS team is partnering with up to three states to collect data on drugged driving. Each state recruits participants through their state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DDRS team assists with implementation of data collection strategies. After the field test with the initial three states, data collection will expand into other states. 

Related resources and publications:

Recovery to Practice

AHP has contracted with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) on the Recovery to Practice (RTP) workforce initiative to expand and integrate recovery-oriented care delivered by behavioral health providers across systems and service settings by fostering a better understanding of recovery, recovery-oriented practices, and the roles of the various behavioral health professions in promoting recovery.
 
The RTP initiative aims to address applications and recovery-oriented practices within multidisciplinary services and integrated settings. The contract tasks include redeveloping and expanding the RTP website, creating quarterly newsletters and other resources; providing technical assistance and educational events to help promote and support recovery-oriented approaches in integrated and multidisciplinary settings; creating new training modules on interdisciplinary service approaches and homelessness; and developing decision support resources for clinicians.
 
In this project, AHP leads a team that includes the Center for Social Innovation and the Foundation for Mental Hygiene, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Center for Practice Innovation at Columbia University.
 
Key accomplishments of this project include the development and delivery of 12 onsite and 12 virtual technical assistance programs and presentations for diverse audiences of practitioners, administrators, and consumers; the distribution of four magazine style newsletters with practical information on integrating recovery across a variety of topics and practices to a list of more than 6,000 subscribers; the development of a “virtual grand rounds” six-part clinical decision support webinar series that offers real-world training in recovery-oriented practice to clinicians and prescribers; and the creation of two comprehensive training manuals.
 
Related resources and publications:
 

Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Aftercare Study

AHP has been awarded a grant by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to conduct a study of the treatment and aftercare services provided under the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Program. The goal of the RSAT Study is to provide NIJ with programmatic knowledge about BJA RSAT-funded treatment and aftercare services. Using a mixed methods design, the study will focus on describing the range and types of substance use treatment, re-entry/release planning activities, and related aftercare services that are provided to offenders through the BJA RSAT program. In particular, the evaluation seeks to identify the application and penetration of evidence-based principles and practices in facilities (jail, prison, juvenile detention) and post-facility with RSAT funds.  

Technical Assistance and Training on Women and Families Impacted by Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders (also known as: Women, Children, and Families)

The WCF project supports the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) advancement of state-of-the-art knowledge around substance use and mental health needs of women and families through supporting leaders, workforce development efforts, product development, and expert consultation. The Women, Children, and Families Technical Assistance Project (WCF TA Project) utilizes a multipronged approach to increase the field’s capability for meeting the needs of women, adolescent girls, and families across the nation, which includes working with policy makers, providers, and leaders committed to improving women's services throughout the nation.
 
Key project components include:
 
  • the development of a series of the Girls Matter! and Women Matter! webinars;
  • the Introduction to Women and Substance Use Disorders and Effectively Addressing Adolescent Girls with Substance Use and Co-Occurring Disorders eLearning curricula;
  • convening expert panels and developing publications including the Guidance Document for Supporting Women in Co-Ed Settings and accompanying Self-Assessment Tool; and
  • creation and implementation of the Women’s Addition Services Leadership Institute (WASLI).
 
AHP also provides expert consultation on gender responsive prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery support services for adolescent girls, pregnant women, and families with children. Under this project, AHP provides general support for SAMHSA’s WCF and Families agenda, including technical assistance and logistical support, along with some support for the National Association of State Alcohol/Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) Women’s Services Network. 
 
AHP has been providing training and technical assistance through the WCF project since 2008. AHP provides subject matter expertise and consultation to SAMHSA, NASADAD, states and community groups on effective interventions, treatment and recovery support for women and families.

Related resources and publications:
   

Technical Assistance to the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) Office of the Director

Over several contracts, AHP has conducted studies, provided analysis and technical advice, and reviewed CMHS business operations. In addition, AHP writers are the principal speechwriters for the CMHS Office of the Director. Speeches communicate SAMHSA’s vision, mission, and priorities as they relate to development of a person-centered, recovery-focused, evidence-based, quality-driven system of behavioral health care. Staff members also prepare speeches for meetings of national organizations, SAMHSA grantees, peer-run and recovery organizations, national and international policymaking groups, and congressional committees. In addition, staff members draft posts for SAMHSA’s blog.
 
AHP’s accomplishments in support of the CMHS Office of the Director are both broad and deep. For example, AHP:
 
  • wrote a report to Congress on Borderline Personality Disorder;
  • helped assess the evidence base for the effectiveness of selected behavioral health treatments;
  • examined states’ priorities vis-a-vis health reform;
  • reviewed crisis support programs for people with behavioral health conditions;
  • examined employment of individuals with behavioral health disorders who have criminal justice involvement;
  • conducted an examination of patient activation for behavioral health;
  • developed CMHS program profiles;
  • helped develop materials related to the prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders;
  • examined the relationship of maternal health and child behavioral health outcomes; and
  • analyzed the extent to which the landmark Supreme Court decision in Olmstead v. L.C. is working for Americans with disabilities, including those with mental and substance use disorders.
 
In addition, because of AHP’s extensive knowledge and experience in working with SAMHSA over its 20-year history, AHP was tapped to help CMHS developed materials to mark the Agency’s 20th anniversary in 2012.
 
Related resources and publications:
 

The Behavioral Health and HIV/AIDS Technical Assistance Center (BH-HIVTAC)

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has contracted with AHP on this national technical assistance and training center, which provides services to Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) grantees funded through the SAMHSA Minority AIDS Initiative. Through onsite and innovative virtual technical assistance (TA), the BH-HIVTAC provides high-quality services to foster an understanding of the people it serves and support development of integrated services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate for these priority populations and their communities.The goal of this TA and and training is to:
 
  • increase integration of behavioral health prevention and treatment services, including HIV and viral hepatitis, and strengthen linkages to primary health care; and
  • increase capacity for local behavioral health provider networks to develop and expand their substance use prevention and treatment services, particularly those integrating HIV and viral hepatitis prevention services and linkages to primary health care.
 
AHP’s partners on this initiative are the Altarum Institute and the Danya Institute.
 
Among the major accomplishments in this project, AHP hosted a two-day virtual conference for 62 SAMHSA/CSAP grantees. Approximately 150 participants (project directors and staff, evaluators, and SAMHSA staff) attended the conference, which included keynote sessions, plenaries, and three concurrent workshops each day. Additional activities in this initiative have included a variety of highly interactive national webinars, site visits, phone consultations, and small learning networks all designed to strengthen and support grantee effectiveness.