Leading Healthcare Officials Gather at CBH: A Discussion on Advancing Health Equity

Published on August 7, 2023

Last month, a prominent assembly of healthcare stakeholders convened at Community Behavioral Health (CBH), featuring Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) Secretary, Dr. Latika Davis-Jones. The spotlight was on CBH’s innovative strategies to advance health equity, foster holistic patient care, and harness data-driven innovation to uplift those struggling with substance use disorders (SUD).

Spearheaded by Dr. Faith Dyson-Washington, CBH’s CEO, the discourse welcomed several healthcare leaders from DDAP, CBH, and the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS). Participants included DBHIDS Commissioner Dr. Jill Bowen, DBHIDS Deputy Commissioner Dr. Tierra Pritchett, DBHIDS Chief Program Officer Amanda David, CBH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Charles Altman, and CBH Chief Program Officer Andrew Devos.

A focal point of the conversation was the comprehensive, integrated care approach CBH employs. Dr. Dyson-Washington spotlighted several initiatives, such as “Mommy’s Helping Hands,” a complex care program supporting pregnant and postpartum members with SUD. She further emphasized CBH’s collaboration with Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), which deliver a broad spectrum of on-site health services, thereby enhancing access and mitigating obstacles to comprehensive care for CBH members.

“Proactively identifying and overcoming barriers to behavioral healthcare access is a cornerstone of our mission at CBH,” stated Dr. Dyson-Washington. “We persist in broadening our outreach to foster access to superior quality SUD interventions and behavioral supports within our members’ communities.”

Dr. Davis-Jones highlighted the pivotal role of organizations like CBH in enabling access to SUD treatment, advocating for ”no wrong door” to care, and establishing transparent pathways to link individuals with vital behavioral health services.

Another hot topic was the leveraging of data to inform decision-making and diminish health disparities. Through its Population Health initiative, CBH prepares to harness technology to better member outcomes and equip providers with relevant CBH member data.

“At CBH, we’re genuinely enthusiastic about data-driven innovation,” declared Andrew Devos, CBH’s Chief Program Officer. “Our Population Health Program enhances health equity by enabling us to craft effective interventions that counter disparities.”

The discussion also underscored CBH and DBHIDS’ collaborative efforts to improve access to peer support services, including incorporating Certified Peer Support Specialists (CPS) into various treatment settings. CPS, through their lived experiences and specialized training, foster trust-based relationships with individuals with SUD and other behavioral health conditions, consequently breaking down personal barriers to care.

CBH is committed to ensuring all members receive holistic care for their well-being.