Community Wide Effort Underway to Address Behavioral Health on Nantucket
A major community-wide effort to address inadequacies in the delivery and coordination of behavioral health and substance misuse services on Nantucket got underway today. A new steering committee made up of leadership from the island’s major health and human service organizations, local government and public safety met today and endorsed the first phase of a plan to evaluate the current state of service availability on the island.
The evaluation will be coordinated by Government Performance Solutions, Inc. (GPS), a Denver, CO consulting firm with extensive experience in the facilitation of community-wide collaborations to address Behavioral Health systems. This phase of the project is funded by a grant from the Community Foundation for Nantucket (CFN) to a new Behavioral Health Initiative Fund. CFN Executive Director, Margaretta Andrews said “CFN is excited to award this grant and to see the leaders of all of these organizations move quickly to push this critical initiative forward. Despite all best efforts, the current system of care is fragmented, and people fall through the cracks.”
Representatives from CFN, Fairwinds, NAMI Cape Cod and the Islands and Nantucket Cottage Hospital make up the advisory board of the Behavioral Health Initiative Fund; they recommended proceeding with this assessment. Work on the evaluation will begin immediately and will run through the summer.
The evaluation will include extensive interviews, focus groups and data mining across a broad swath of service organizations, community groups, and constituents on the island. This work will ultimately result in a detailed current-state analysis in early fall. The next phase of the project is envisioned to chart a course forward including the development of a strategic initiative roadmap. Steering Committee member Dawn Hill Holdgate said, “we are not working towards a final solution yet, but beginning the critical identification of barriers and gaps and building consensus for a community supported vision of the future of behavioral healthcare on Nantucket.”
The steering committee will continue to meet throughout the project to review progress and make recommendations. Gary Shaw, President and CEO of Nantucket Cottage Hospital offered that “no single entity can solve this problem; it will take alignment, collaboration, and integration to make a difference.”
The 15-member steering committee includes:
• Margaretta Andrews, Executive Director, Community Foundation for Nantucket
• Jennifer Frazee, Executive Director, A Safe Place
• Libby Gibson, Town Manager, Town of Nantucket
• Chris Glowacki, Vice President of Strategy and Community Development, Nantucket Cottage Hospital
• Dr. Beth Hallett, Superintendent, Nantucket Public Schools
• Dawn Hill Holdgate, Chair, Nantucket Select Board
• Michael Kellerman, Executive Director (Interim), Fairwinds
• Jackie Lane, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness Cape Cod and the Islands
• Dr. Tim Lepore, Addiction Solutions of Nantucket
• Holly McGowan, Community Member
• Jim Perelman, Sheriff, Nantucket County Sheriff’s Department
• William Pittman, Chief of Police, Nantucket Police Department
• Kevin Ralph, Chief Development and Community Relations Officer, Gosnold Inc.
• Gary Shaw, President and CEO, Nantucket Cottage Hospital
• Father Max Wolf, Rector, St. Paul’s Church