Lessons from Other States:
Innovative Strategies for Finding and Engaging the Hardest to Reach MassHealth Members
A MassHealth DSRIP TA Program SWI Pop Up
Friday, September 13, 2019
10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Roxbury Innovation Center, Roxbury, MA
The MassHealth DSRIP TA Program’s inaugural SWI Pop Up was on Friday, September 13, 2019 and featured an in-depth conversation with representatives of Contra Costa Health (CA), Ely Clinic/Essentia Health (MN), and Staten Island Performing Provider System (NY). These leaders shared their successful strategies and innovative approaches to finding and engaging those Medicaid beneficiaries who are the most disconnected from healthcare and often the hardest to reach. Participants left the session with key insights they could implement or explore further in the context of their own programs.
10:00 – 10:10 – Welcome – Tara Murphy, MassHealth DSRIP Statewide Investments
Panelists and Moderator
- Moderator – Sarah Qin, Delivery System Investment Policy and Evaluation, MassHealth
- Panelist(s) #1 – Joe Conte, Executive Director and Bill Myhre, Senior Director Workforce Transformation, Staten Island Performing Provider System (NY)
- Panelist #2 – Steve McNutt, Substance Abuse Program Manager Contra Costa Health Services (CA)
- Panelist(s) #3 – Heidi Favet, Community Care Team Leader and Pat Conway, Senior Research Scientist Essentia Health-Ely Clinic (MN)
Resources From the Event
Susan Dargon-Hart, LICSW
Susan Dargon-Hart, LICSW, VP, Clinical Health Affairs at the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. The Mass League is a non-profit, statewide association representing and serving the needs of the state’s 50 community health center organizations with more than 300 total access sites. Ms. Dargon-Hart oversees the agency’s clinical health affairs department, managing innovative clinical collaborations that target health equality and improve patient health; offers resources and continuous support and training for quality improvement. The department includes primary care, behavioral health, oral health, vision services and emergency preparedness. For over 25 years she has been deeply committed to addressing substance use, mental health, trauma, and healthcare related issues in communities around Massachusetts. She brings a breadth of experience in behavioral health including leadership, collaborations, program development and oversight, clinical supervision, and direct counseling experience. Ms. Dargon-Hart has been the recipient of many local, state and federal grants, focusing on the expansion, enhancement, and integration of behavioral health and primary care for individuals and families at risk. Ms. Dargon-Hart has conducted training on substance use/co-occurring disorders, Motivational Interviewing, and engaging families and individuals struggling with substance use both locally and nationally.
Sarah Qin, M.B.A.
Sarah Qin is the Senior Manager of Delivery System Investment (DSI), Policy and Evaluation at MassHealth. In this role, she is focused on policy and evaluation related to the Massachusetts Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program. Ms. Qin received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University in Social and Cognitive Neuroscience with a minor in Health Policy, and completed her MBA at the Questrom School of Business at Boston University. Prior to joining MassHealth, she managed the work of the Autism Friendly Initiative at Boston Medical Center (BMC) to improve care for patients with autism. She was involved in multiple studies and publications that deepened BMC’s engagement in this field and launched several innovative interventions to support patients. Ms. Qin’s background includes a diverse set of experiences in health economics and outcomes research, higher education financial aid, and education.
Stephen McNutt, M.P.A.
Stephen McNutt, M.P.A., is a Substance Abuse Program Manager and Director of Case Management Services for Contra Costa County Health Services in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. In this role, Mr. McNutt oversees daily operations of case management services for over 12,500 patients enrolled in the county’s Medicaid 1115 Waiver pilot program, Whole Person Care. The primary program objective is to reduce utilization among Medicaid high utilizers by addressing the social determinants of health.
For over 12 years, Mr. McNutt has held various management roles in Contra Costa County across the departments of Public Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs, and Health, Housing and Homeless Services. In each of these roles he has developed pathways to collaboration across siloed divisions, supported individual patient journeys to recovery, and remains an advocate for underserved populations to access social services.
Heidi Haney Favet, CHW, B.S.
Heidi Haney Favet, CHW, B.S., facilitates and manages the Community Care Team (CCT), is the Project Director for Ely Behavioral Health Network, and is the Hub Director of Pathways to Wellness for Minnesota’s NE Iron Range Communities. Ms. Favet has spearheaded the CCT since its inception in 2011. The Community Care Team is a cross sector, interagency collaboration of 19 area organizations committed to continuity of comprehensive care for shared clients. The CCT has been recognized by St. Louis County and Minnesota Department of Health for contributions to public health and leadership. The Ely Behavioral Health Network is a subgroup of the CCT dedicated to reducing stigma and increasing access to behavioral health services since 2014. Pathways to Wellness, the direct service arm of the Community Care Team and Behavioral Health Network, was developed to fill gaps in care through a community health worker model. It has grown to employ 6 care facilitators in 4 community settings. Pathways to Wellness facilitators partner with individuals to assess and meet their behavioral health and social determinants of health goals. Ms. Favet is employed by Essentia Health-Ely Clinic and assists in developing and delivering practices that fit within the culture of the clinic setting. Her past work has centered around providing and supporting services that maximize the limited resources available in the remote rural area of NE Minnesota.
Pat Conway, Ph.D., M.S.W.
Pat Conway, Ph.D., M.S.W., is the Senior Research Scientist at the Essentia Institute of Rural Health where she conducts research and program evaluation with health and behavioral health programs, including: the Ely Community Care Team and Behavioral Health Network; the Upper Midwest Rural Opioid Response Project; energy-based therapy programs; the Cankdeska Cikana Community College ICE-TI project; the University of Minnesota Native Americans into Medicine Project; and the Increasing Capacity and Enhancing Tribal Innovation Project. Dr. Conway has published articles and books and presented in the areas of health, including behavioral health; disabilities; violence prevention; rural health; interdisciplinary teaming; social work education; and orphan train riders. She has worked as a social worker in the fields of child welfare, family violence, mental health, AIDS, health, gerontology, loss and grief, and disabilities. She was a social work educator between 1983 and 2006. Dr. Conway has a B.A. in Social Work and a Master of Social Work from the University of Oklahoma and a Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin.
Bill Myhre is currently the Senior Director for Workforce Transformation and HR for the Staten Island Performing Provider System(PPS). In his role, he and his colleagues have incorporated new skills training for more than 10,000 health care staff on Staten Island, comprising more than 30,000 hours of training over the past 24 months serving more than 70 local partners. In addition, the Staten Island PPS has worked with the College of Staten Island (CSI) to develop certificate training programs with credit and non-credit components for emerging job titles such as Community Health Worker, Care Managers, and Peer Recovery Advocates – with more than 75 graduates.
The most recent progressive idea incorporated by the PPS is the design and implementation of a Federally approved Registered Apprentice program between the PPS, CSI, two large Nursing Home employers and 1199, Training and Education fund for Certified Nursing Assistants. Federal funding helps pay the cost of the classroom learning and the PPS supplements the remainder. This approach has created a career ladder for a number of home health aides.
He preceded his current role with more than 25 years of human resource leadership in both for profit and nonprofit healthcare facilities. Mr. Myhre received his Masters in Public Administration from The American University.
Joseph Conte, CPHQ, Ph.D.
Joseph Conte, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Staten Island Performing Provider System (SI PPS).
SI PPS was created to implement the state’s Medicaid redesign program. The PPS focuses on creating a network of Medicaid providers covering the full continuum of care in collaboration with community-based organizations.
Dr. Conte is fully engaged in the drive towards integrative care and the fight against substance use disorder. Under his leadership, innovative programs operating 24/7 – such as peer recovery coaches in emergency rooms, the partnership with law enforcement known as the HOPE program, resource and recovery centers, and behavioral health diversion program – have been implemented. A national collaboration with behavioral health providers in five states has been established to address opioid misuse. Tackling asthma, obesity, and other chronic disease prevalent in the community are PPS priorities. Preventable emergency room use for medical and behavioral health has declined over 50 percent in four years and the engagement of individuals for substance abuse treatment soared by 300 percent.
Prior to his position as Executive Director of SI PPS, Dr. Conte served as the Senior Vice President for Administration at Richmond University Medical Center. Other former positions include Executive Vice President of the Catholic Health Services of Long Island, and Senior VP for Quality at Northwell Health.
He completed his doctoral dissertation at the Seton Hall University School of Health and Medical Sciences, analyzing the effects of meaningful use of electronic health records on cost, quality, and safety outcomes. Dr. Conte has international experience as well and was recently invited to speak at the World Health Congress in the United Kingdom to discuss healthcare innovation. He has published several peer review articles and authored a chapter in the bestselling Health Informatics an Executive Primer. He lives on Staten Island with his wife Tracy and has four grown children, all healthcare professionals.