Executive Director Corner: January 2017

It’s been a busy month for VCPI as we continue to discover the many ways we can have a positive impact on the Vermont system of care.  Our membership is increasing and, with bigger numbers, the benefits also grow. Our collaborative participation allows us to add to our initiatives and the opportunities for members to participate in professional development opportunities at no cost.  If you and/or your organization are not VCPI members yet, visit the Membership area of the VCPI website where you can learn more about the membership process and access a listing of current members.  Any of us are happy to talk with you further and you are welcome to call the VCPI office, as well.

To be specific regarding initiatives, we are very excited to announce that the Core Orientation for Direct Service Providers project is officially back underway. Some of you may be aware that this project hit a bump in the early developmental stages, but it has continued to be considered an essential offering for our members as it fills a very important need.   You can read more about the overall project on our website.  At present, a small work-group has established a work plan that allows us to feel confident we will be able to share the content of Module 1 by April 1, 2017.  It seems very appropriate to start with the module that focuses on the values, principles and beliefs that we share as the Vermont System of Care.  The module is being designed to give new staff the opportunity to hear about the importance of these directly from those who have participated in supports and services.  In addition to an on-line module, there will be supporting materials to assist in integrating the information into practice.  We will provide regular updates on our progress, but for those who would like to play a more active role in development, we are currently looking for advisory committee members who are willing to review our progress along the way.  If you’d like to talk more about this, please contact Rita Johnson at

Additionally, we are kicking off the second iteration of the successful Co-Occurring Competency E-Learning Community Project, piloted last year.  The information about that first round is available to you on the website and we will soon be updating with new logistical details.  However, we are intending to use much of the same format.  Absolute commitment to the number of sessions, scheduling, etc. will not be made without input of the potential participants.  We are currently asking those who may be interested in participating in this round to submit the form that can be found here.  Also, know that you can call the VCPI office for more information.  Click here to download the form.

Please feel welcome to keep in touch and share your thoughts and ideas about VCPI and the places we are headed.  Maybe you’d like to submit a commentary for the newsletter, or join a work group or just chat about some things.  Call or e-mail anytime:  (802) 503-2857 Also, we welcome you to join us for our upcoming Steering Committee Meeting, January 24th from 10-1 at the Best Western Windjammer in South Burlington. Visit the VCPI Calendar for details and email us to be added to the invite list!

Culture of Wellness Project

VCPI is supporting the Department of Mental Health (DMH) and the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) in a collaborative effort to focus on the issue of wellness. Mental health and physical health are fundamentally linked and a focus on overall wellness is becoming commonplace in practices that have traditionally treated either physical or mental health—but not both. With an increased understanding of the fact that people living with a serious mental illness are at higher risk of experiencing a wide range of chronic physical conditions, now mental health practices, as well as the doctor’s office and hospitals, are being called upon to focus in more holistic and integrated ways.  Similarly, we have gained in our understanding of the importance of attending to both the physical and mental well-being of those who work in helping professions. Health challenges can impact a staff member’s abilities in their work and sometimes the challenges of the work can impact the health of the staff member.

The Culture of Wellness project is designed to assist practices in addressing both of these issues, while maintaining the flexibility to allow each participating provider to focus their efforts in their individual priority areas.  The initiative is using an array of strategies including the use of a national consultant who focuses specifically on developing and supporting initiatives to address these complex issues. Participants will also have the opportunity to share emerging best practices with one another, and the benefit of VDH’s significant experience in supporting behavioral change to improve health.

Lastly, we are using proven technology for maximizing the potential of sustainable cultural change in these settings, such as beginning this work with a group of change champions from participating organizations who will play an important role in integrating the new efforts.

We look forward to keeping you updated about the progress of this new project and welcome your questions and ideas.


Integrated Scope of Practice Resource

The Integrated Scope of Practice for Singly Trained Clinicians Working with People with Co-Occurring Issues sheet provides tips and information surrounding screening, trauma-informed approach, treatment planning and support- including stage-matched treatment, interventions, skills training, education and collaboration.

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Changing the World: Informing Hope, Health & Recovery

This PowerPoint presentation is oriented around transforming systems at every level to be about the needs, hopes and dreams of the people and families with complex needs who come to our door.

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12 Steps for Clinicians Developing Co-Occurring Competency

An excellent resource for clinicians developing co-occurring competency. These steps are based on the principles of a Comprehensive Continuous Integrated System of Care (CCSC) (Minkoff and Cline, 2004), and can be taken by any clinician within the scope of his or hear existing job category.

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ILSA-Basic Integrated Longitudinal Strength-based Assessment

The Integrated Longitudinal Strength-based Assessment (ILSA) is a template intended to help clinicians and/or clients walk through the recovery-oriented assessment process step by step and facilitate a recovery-oriented process for adults.

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ILSA Worksheet for Assessment Supervision

The Integrated Longitudinal Strength-based Assessment (ILSA) is a worksheet for Supervisors to assist staff in developing Co-occurring Competency. The material for discussion is drawn from an assessment recently performed by the staff member or from a video tape assessment.

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COMPASS-Prevention Prevention Provider Tool

COMPASS-PREVENTION helps programs being the process of developing "recovery and resiliency-oriented co-occurring capability." COMPASS-PREVENTION bring together critical knowledge of what we all have learned over the years about what helps individuals and families- knowledge about integrated services, trauma-informed services, person-centered interventions, cultural competency, population specific services, and most fundamentally, empathetic relationship that inspire hope and help. The most important purpose is to create a foundation for an improvement process through an empowered conversation that involves as many people as possible working together to make progress for the program and its services.

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CODECAT-EZ Recovery-oriented Co-ocurring Competency: A Clinical Self-assessment Tool

A tool for Behavioral Health Treatment and Service Providers Working with Adults, Children, Youth and Families CODECAT-EZ™ is a tool for clinicians working on their recovery-oriented co-occurring competency development. This tool provides a way for staff to evaluate their own attitudes/values and knowledge/skills related to helping people and families with complex lives make progress in recovery. CODECAT-EZ™ also provides supervisory staff with a structured process to assist staff with competency development. We hope that you find the process to be enjoyable and helpful to you.

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