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Stark County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery increases access to care with help from Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton

Stark County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery increases access to care with help from Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton

Stark County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery (StarkMHAR) has been a longstanding partner of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton. Together, the two have significantly increased access to care, thereby improving the lives of thousands of relatives, friends and neighbors in Stark County.

The foundation continues to work with StarkMHAR to ensure the stability and sustainability of the community’s behavioral health system. Toward that end, the Continuous Improvement in Behavioral Health project began in 2015 with joint support for leadership development services for local leaders. The partnership expanded to include workforce development, as well as process improvement and productivity enhancement. The work continues to this day, having become the cornerstone of the partnership.

StarkMHAR Executive Director John Aller and Continuous Improvement Manager Jen Richeson came to a recent foundation board meeting to update the board on the most recent collaborative efforts.

  • Leadership development: by helping the next generation of leaders to strengthen their leadership skills, we have built capacity across the system. This has been accomplished through training, peer support, and ongoing coaching and consultation from Mark Plaster of Markwood Partners. Nearly 200 leaders and emerging leaders (from behavioral health organizations, government agencies, the family court system, and community nonprofit organizations) have participated.
  • Workforce development: efforts include employee engagement and retention campaigns, professional development opportunities, and surveying the workforce to learn of their needs and motivations. As a result of these efforts, participating Stark County behavioral health agencies have now have on staff nearly two dozen additional practitioners with an advanced license, employee engagement has increased systemwide, and turnover has dramatically decreased.
  • Process improvement and productivity enhancement: implementing Lean Six Sigma techniques (which spell out strategies for defining a problem; quantifying it; analyzing its cause; and implementing, verifying, and maintaining a solution) has enabled our behavioral health agencies to strengthen the bottom line, decrease no-show rates and billing errors, and increase reimbursement rates, among other effects.

As these efforts continue, StarkMHAR and the foundation are also working to partner with local and regional educational institutions to create viable career pathways to address the ever-increasing need for care, thereby ensuring that everyone in the community will have access to needed behavioral health services and resources.

Catholic Social Teaching Connection
The mission of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton is rooted in its commitment to effecting systems change as a means for ensuring the systems of care in the community are strong and able to serve everyone who needs them. Its foundation-led initiative that focuses on mental health is a direct result of that commitment. This dovetails nicely with numerous tenets of Catholic Social Teaching, which compel the foundation to ensure that the vulnerable have access to the resources, services and support they need to grow in community, participate meaningfully in society and realize their potential.

Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery
A multi-faceted county behavioral health board comprised of expert professionals, dedicated volunteers and concerned community leaders, Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery (StarkMHAR) believes in hope, wellness and recovery for everyone. StarkMHAR provides funding to behavioral health organizations throughout our community.

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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