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NewsNow - 07.22.2022

>>> Eric D. Bess Named OhioMHAS Chief Information Officer

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) is pleased to announce that Eric D. Bess has been appointed as Chief Information Officer (CIO) overseeing the department’s Office of Information Services. As CIO, Bess will be the lead in establishing/maintaining infrastructure, project management and systems support for information technology throughout the department. 

Bess brings nearly three decades of diverse, technical experience and leadership to his new role. As a Project Management professional, Bess has served in many industries and implemented systems ranging from application development networking and vendor implementations to telephony projects and data analytics. Bess most recently has served as Chief Program Officer, Interim Application Development Manager and as Interim Chief Information Officer at OhioMHAS. In these roles, Bess has been trusted to build out an operating model to prioritize the demand of IT work based on agency priorities, strategical alignment of the application development team to support a build and run environment, and ensure the strategic partner role of the IT department within the agency. Prior to OhioMHAS, he has held IT project management positions with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and HP Enterprise Services.

Bess earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management from Wittenberg University and an associate’s degree in Civil/Construction Engineering and Architecture from Clark State Community College. Bess resides in Troy, where he and his spouse are the proud parents of six children. The past decade has been filled with traveling to Annapolis, MD, supporting three U.S. Naval Academy graduates.

>>> Ohio MRSS Call Center and Data Management System Launch

OhioMHAS and partners are excited to announce the launch of the new Ohio MRSS Call Center and MRSS Data Management System on July 25. The past year has seen tremendous growth for Ohio’s System of Care for children and youth through the expansion of Mobile Response Stabilization Services. Families with children, youth and young adults up to age 21 who are experiencing difficulties or distress can receive 24/7 assistance within 60 minutes by contacting 1.888.418.MRSS (6777). The MRSS Call Center will allow for a single point of access for families and is equipped with mechanisms and protocols to rapidly connect youth and families to their local MRSS team. The launch of the new data system will allow MRSS providers to seamlessly connect with the call center, ensure quality services for youth and families, and monitor program fidelity. Provider Data System trainings have been recorded and will be posted shortly on our website. MRSS is currently available in about half of Ohio’s counties. Callers from counties which do not currently have MRSS will be assisted in securing appropriate non-mobile services within their area. To learn more about MRSS, visit the OhioMHAS MRSS webpage or email ohiomrss@mha.ohio.gov.

>>> Service and Support Administrators and Case Managers in the IDD System Webinar – July 26

OhioMHAS in partnership with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities will hold the next presentation in our series of our lunch time MI/IDD trainings on July 26 from noon-1:00 p.m. Service and Support Administrators and Case Managers in the IDD System will focus on service and support administrators and case managers in the IDD system. This webinar will review the roles of each and why they are key players in the effective communication and treatment of persons with ID .Click the link for more information and to register.

>>> Statewide Triple P Virtual Training Series Informational Webinar – July 26

The Ohio Children’s Trust Fund (OCTF) in partnership with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is excited to announce the continuation of their Statewide Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) Capacity Building Opportunities for SFY 2023. The goal of these capacity building trainings is to ensure that every family statewide has access to at least one trained Triple P provider. OCTF, in partnership with Triple P America, will be hosting an informational webinar on July 26 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. to take a deeper look into the upcoming training offerings. For more information, please email octf@octf.ohio.gov. Click HERE to learn more about Triple P.

>>> MACC, Inc. to Launch New ‘Cultural Coalition’ – Aug. 23

Multiethnic Advocates for Cultural Competence (MACC) Inc., invites all interested persons to join them for the launch of a new Cultural Coalition on Aug. 23 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. The event will be held in person at the MACC, Inc. offices at 2323 W. Fith Ave., Ste. 160, Columbus, and virtually. The purpose of the Cultural Coalition is to reach out to organizations around the state that represent minority/marginalized communities and invite them to the table as part of an advocacy effort. All organization members can bring to the table issues of their respective constituencies and MACC, Inc., will lead and support in identifying appropriate responses and to whom any requests for redress should be directed. MACC, Inc. will provide an Advocacy Training and Advocacy Tool Kit to all members of the Coalition at no cost. Click HERE to RSVP for the in-person meeting. If you wish to participate virtually, please RSVP to MACCADMIN@maccinc.net and a link will be sent to you.

>>> Keynote Announced: Sixth Annual FASD Forum Hosts Dr. Robin Gurwitch – Sept. 9

Ohio’s Statewide FASD Steering Committee is pleased to announce that Robin Gurwitch, Ph.D., has been selected to provide keynote remarks at the Sixth Annual FASD Forum, “FASD Through a Trauma Lens,” slated for Sept. 9 at the Renaissance Columbus Westerville-Polaris (virtual participation also offered). Dr. Gurwith is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University’s Center for Child and Family Health. Click the link for more information and to register.

>>> Luke Russell Named Executive Director at NAMI Ohio

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ohio (NAMI Ohio) this week announced the appointment of Luke Russell as the new executive director. Russell, 52, who has served as NAMI Ohio’s deputy director since June 2020, succeeds Terry Russell as head of the largest non-profit agency in Ohio, representing those with mental illness, their family members and caregivers. “The mission and priorities of NAMI Ohio have not changed, and I hope and pray the passion and vision of the iconic previous executive director continue through each and every one of us,” Russell said in a media release. “I have the responsibility to ensure the “voice” of individuals and families is heard clearly and often. My goals are to keep our time, effort, energy, resources and focus on the vision and mission.” According to the release, Russell’s goals for NAMI Ohio this year include focusing on “person-centered mental health,” an approach that aims to create comprehensive, statewide support services that provides individuals and their families options beyond community-based treatment. NAMI will work with state officials and providers to help bring the program to fruition in the next state budget cycle. Housing for those with mental illness will also be an area of increased focus, with attention to new regional rehabilitation centers and permanent housing through the Ohio Adult Care Facilities Association.

In the News

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7.20.22 | WOSU 89.7 All Sides with Ann Fisher – Wellness Wednesday: The new 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (segment begins at 14:30)

7.20.22 | SpectrumNews1 National Opioid Settlement helps Ohio communities combat opioid epidemic

7.20.22 | WEWS-TV Behavioral health urgent care centers coming soon to Cuyahoga County

7.20.22 | WKRC-TV Report: Mental health disorders now leading cause of disability

7.20.22 | WLIO-TV SAFY Lima Behavioral Health collecting school supplies

7.20.22 | NPR U.S. death toll from drug overdoses rising fast among Black, Indigenous people

7.19.22 | WEWS-TV Equine therapy program expands as more address mental health

7.19.22 | WFMJ-TV New coffeehouse with a mental health mission opens in Niles

7.19.22 | The New York Times Soaring overdose rates in the pandemic reflected widening racial disparities

7.19.22 | WTOV-TV Beating the stigma: ‘It takes a community to help fix someone who has an addiction’

7.19.22 | Springfield News-Sun Clark State’s third bachelor’s degree to focus on addiction, treatment

7.15.22 | Norwalk Reflector You are not alone: ‘We grow stronger together’