This has been one of the longest summers in recent memory! Okay, I admit it – I hate summer. Fall and winter are my seasons. However, the long hot summer has brought with it a whole new, although familiar to me, areas of commitments and contracts so this is where I should start:
On June 30th our Brain Injury Partner (BIP) program ended. The State of New Mexico has chosen to no longer fund this much needed and requested program which supported individuals living with brain injury to navigate the system of healthcare, legal, housing, social supports, etc. The NMBIA feels strongly that this program should continue and we are seeking funding sources to make that happen. The end result is that we can no longer provide one on one peer supports. Susan Erickson, Bryan Patterson, and Marilynn Holtsoi were excellent BIPs but are no longer with us. Matt Nañez is still our intake and referral person and Alicia Sisneros-Schobel returned as a temporary employee to assist with other contract deliverables. Their service & work was and is greatly appreciated!
Most recently, the NMBIA was not awarded the Information and Referral Contract with the State of New Mexico. We will be handing over the “reigns” to the selected contractor sometime in September. Please know that WE ARE STILL IN BUSINESS as the lead Brain Injury Advocacy organization in New Mexico. We will be reinventing ourselves so that we can continue to be available for supports. We will still be here doing what we do best, just a little bit differently.
On a more positive and exciting note, the State of New Mexico’s Children Youth and Families Division (CYFD) has awarded us a contract to provide Families — Advocacy, Support, Access Project (F-ASAP). This program will provide advocacy and support services and educational opportunities for families with children and youth with neurobiological (mental illness), emotional or behavioral differences, and/or brain injury. This will include advocacy in the schools, hospitals, juvenile justice, child welfare and through whatever door a child and their family enter through. We will be using the wraparound approach to care. The NMBIA is very enthusiastic in this program as a vast number of children living with these illnesses have gone un-served or are underserved. Eventually these individuals reach adulthood and life only gets rockier.
We are also in the talking stages with OptumHealth regarding the System of Care Federal Grant transitioning to NMBIA. The System of Care grant is located in three NM sites — the Highland High School cluster in Albuquerque, the communities of Silver City and Santa Clara Pueblo. The grant brings with it a Statewide Family Coordinator and three local site coordinators. “A system of care is defined as a coordinated network of community-based services and supports that is organized to meet the challenges of children and youth with serious mental health needs and their families. Families and youth work in partnership with public and private organizations so services and supports are effective, built on the strengths of individuals, and address each person’s cultural and linguistic needs. A system of care helps children, youth and families function better at home, in school, in the community, and throughout life.”
With change comes the need to move in to larger office space and we HAVE MOVED to 3232 Candelaria NE. The NMBIA is now located ONE BUILDING west of our old location, sharing our same parking lot. Signs will be posted for directions. Once everyone is hired and settled in, we will be hosting an Open House.