MARICOPA HEALTH & WELLNESS ASSOCIATION’S
TENTH BI-ANNUAL TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS KICK BALL
Spring 2014 Kickball Team
This spring’s 10th
Bi-Annual Kickball Tournament was among the most action packed and exciting ever!
Once again, teams from all over the Valley’s behavioral health landscape came together on March 14, 2014 at Kiwanis Park in Tempe for a day full of fun, food, and intense competition.
It was truly awesome to witness each team put forth their very best effort while demonstrating teamwork, resilience and a positive attitude whether in victory or defeat. The spirit of recovery and celebration ruled the day. Whether a game was won or lost, an atmosphere of community remained the focal point. It was precisely this wide-spread aura of collective camaraderie and good sportsmanship that made every single participant a true winner!
The food was excellent, supplied once again by STAR. We had many wonderful donations that were raffled. The most exciting were two brand new bikes that were kindly donated by the East Valley Fire Fighter Charities. A young man from RIAZ and young woman from JFCS were the lucky winners. A huge thank you to all who made donations! We would like to thank NextCare for providing first aid and Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care for water and fruit. Last, but not least, a very big thank you goes out to our awesome umpires: Anne Ronan, Ted Williams, Paul Galdys, Chris Van Dyke, Faron Jack, John Moore, Mary Jo Whitefield, Bill Kennard, Kelli Donley, Paul Fabiano, Steve Hilger, Tomas Leon, and Paul Ware.
Awards were given to individuals who have contributed a great deal to all of us: the Peer & Family Advocate award went to Kathy Bashor, the System Advocacy for Behavioral Health award went to Anne Ronan, and Ted Williams was awarded Leadership in Community Behavioral Health.
For the first time in the tournament’s history, Marc Community Resources took home the 1st
place trophy, successfully battling through five straight games in order to face-off against past champion, Partners In Recovery. Then, in the closely contested championship game, Marc edged out a highly competitive and well-coached PIR team by a score of one to zero.
Lots of great team performances unfolded throughout the tournament, culminating in the Visions of Hope team winning 3rd
place, and Spirit Awards going to CHEERS, Choices, RIAZ, People of Color Network, Jewish Family and Children Services and STAR. Amazingly, the entire STAR team collectively won the Best Blooper Trophy, which is actually quite a praiseworthy accomplishment in itself! There were also a great many laudable individual performances. Two particularly impressive solo performances were displayed by Tanner from PIR, whose booming foot won the Best Kick Award, while fielding ace, Frankie from STAR, garnered the Best Catch Award.
This event, more than anything else, effectively demonstrates the power of recovery in action by offering wonderful opportunities for people to continue developing perseverance, dedication and resiliency. Many people said they can barely wait for the fall tournament. Bring it on!!
Capital Campaign for New Freestone Facility
Justin Ogburn, Marc board member; Mike Reina, Thunderbird Charities board member; Randy Gray, Marc CEO; Tom King, Thunderbird Big Chief, Chairman of the board
Major Donors for New Facility
Marc would like to thank our generous donors, the Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority (IDA), Salt River Project Maricopa Indian Community (SRP MIC), and Thunderbird Charities, for their help in furthering our capital campaign for the new community day activity and senior center at the Freestone campus. These donations have been used to offset a majority of the building costs for the facility, and Marc will seek donations from the community for the remaining portion. We appreciate the support of the Maricopa IDA, SRP MIC and Thunderbird Charities to help Marc to continue to further our mission to let those we serve determine where they live, learn, work and play, no matter their age or ability.
Early in 2014, Marc embarked on a capital campaign drive for the construction of a community day activity and senior center at the Freestone Center campus in East Mesa. The $7.4 million 7,400 square foot facility has been constructed, and Marc has secured several significant donations from the Maricopa County IDA, SRP MIC and Thunderbird Charities, and has the programmatic funds necessary to offset the operational costs. However, funds are still needed for the payment of the building and furnishings. We would appreciate your donation to help us finish our capital campaign. To donate, click the button below, or visit our homepage
, scroll down and press "Make a donation". You can also mail your check to 924 N. Country Club Drive, Mesa, AZ 85201 and note the campaign on your check.
Today, Marc serves more senior aged individuals with severe disabilities than any time in the past. Parents are now growing too elderly to care for their children and are no longer able to provide them with the meaningful age appropriate activities, personal relationships, and opportunities to experience activities in their community as they desire. Furthermore, advanced medical technology now allows people with severe disabilities to outlive their parents, resulting in challenges for many families who have not planned for the aging of their adult children, relative to guardianship, benefits, resources and care.
Marc’s project introduces an innovative national program model that coincides with state and federal best practices to address these issues for the aging population. This state-of-the-art project will serve 150 aging individuals with developmental disabilities on a daily basis with a focus on their transition to retirement opportunities. Emphasis will also be placed on family development of living trusts for their disabled children, keeping in mind that if a person desires to retire they must have adequate resources to preserve quality of life. Marc looks forward to continue to provide services tailored to the unique needs and life stages of our individuals with the help of generous donors and community partners.
Marc leadership worked hard throughout the year to increase funding and services from state and county government agencies. Many meetings took place with the outgoing Regional Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) of Maricopa County, Magellan, during its tenure. Marc now has key positions on committees of the current RBHA, Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care.
This positive collaboration is already benefiting individuals with mental illness. Marc leadership also played a large role in the rate setting of services for those with developmental disabilities. Rate re-basing occurs every five years for services that include day treatment, residential, professional, employment, specialty habilitation and transportation. Marc played a collaborative role in this process and met with the DES contracted consultants to advocate the importance of appropriate rates for these services. Letters were written and many hours were spent in the Arizona House and Senate supporting or fighting initiatives to preserve and enhance services for our most vulnerable citizens.
While Marc and all of our community service providers state-wide have experienced a reduction in critical middle management positions, Marc has employed a part-time lobbyist to assist Marc’s leadership to advance the passage of critical legislative bills and to promote supplemental appropriation increases. We celebrate the passage of several bills that favorably impact upon the people we serve. Most significantly, all of our individuals who reside in group homes will now be able to retain 30% of their SSI check, rather than 18%. This will allow our residents to invest more in their health care, to purchase personal care items and clothing, and to have available funds for recreational, social and leisure outings.
An appropriation increase that was not in the governor’s budget was approved by the state legislature with a 2% increase. This increase will help us to sustain our program structure. We thank all legislators, Marc’s leadership, its lobbyist and family members who were engaged in this advocacy effort.
Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
In April 2014, Marc was accredited by CARF International for a period of three years for 10 of our services and programs.
The following services and programs were accredited:
- Community Employment Services: Employment Supports
- Community Employment Services: Job Development
- Community Housing
- Community Integration
- Employee Development Services
- Community Housing: Mental Health (Adults)
- Community Integration: Psychosocial Rehabilitation (Adults)
- Outpatient Treatment: Mental Health (Adults)
- Supported Living: Mental Health (Adults)
This accreditation will extend through May 2017. As noted by the president/CEO of CARF, Brian J. Boon, PhD, this achievement is an indication of Marc's dedication and commitment to improving the quality of the lives of the persons served.
US Department of Health & Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Camille Ruiz, Marc's Benefits Program Coordinator, was asked to be on a conference call with President Obama this year, put on by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Last year, Camille was also on the call and was able to speak with Vice President Joe Biden. Congratulations Camille!
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA)
The National Evaluation of SAMHSA'S Homeless Programs recognized Marc Community Resources for their partnership with Arizona Behavioral Health Corporation (ABC) in developing the Hope Network program. Through the Hope Network, individuals who have a mental illness and are chronically homeless are provided permanent supportive housing from ABC and services from Marc such as case management, benefits assistance, transportation, and assistance with daily living skills. Those who are enrolled in the program are also able to benefit from Marc's extensive array of services including apartment furnishings, psychosocial day programs, and health and wellness services. SAMHSA reported, “The partnership between the two organizations allows each to do what it does best-housing for ABC and service provision for Marc-and to maintain separation of housing and services per the PSH [permanent supportive housing] model.” Marc is proud to be recognized by SAMHSA for the quality services we strive to provide every day.
As our world is becoming more and more connected by technology, so are the state’s behavioral health care providers. This year Marc Community Resources was a part of a team of behavioral agencies in Maricopa County to develop a new behavioral health information exchange (HIE) that shares clients’ health data between each other.
A HIE is a central repository of data that is used by multiple entities to share medical information.
This new HIE, called Behavioral Health Information Network of Arizona, or BHINAZ, will be able to share information such as an individual’s demographics, diagnoses, allergies, lab results, prescriptions, and treatment plans with all of their health care providers, including labs and pharmaceuticals, much like a typical HIE. However, BHINAZ will also be able to connect behavioral health providers, such as psychiatrists, case managers, peer support specialists and counselors, while still following the strict controls in place to protect confidential data that is being shared. This will significantly improve the coordination of care an individual receives by ensuring every provider has access to the same information. For example, this can prevent multiple doctors from ordering the same lab test, alert multiple clinic staff members that an individualized has been hospitalized, and prevent doctors from prescribing medications that could negatively interact with medications the individual is already taking.
BHINAZ follows an opt-in model, meaning that no information is shared on the HIE unless an individual signs paperwork agreeing to have their information shared on the exchange. Once an individual opts-in, they can opt-out at any time, and each year at their annual review they are asked to renew their opt-in if they would still like to be a part of the HIE.
As an investor in BHINAZ, Marc has a lot to be proud of for being on the leading edge of medical technology. BHINAZ has been featured several times for its’ innovative work, including in the Behavioral Healthcare Magazine, and Open Minds, a human service market intelligence and management support firm. While HIE’s have been in place for several years, companies have avoided developing a behavioral health HIE because of concerns regarding the strict confidentiality requirements. Now with BHINAZ, Marc will able to serve individuals even better, and it is hoped that other health professionals and behavioral health agencies will recognize its benefits and start to use BHINAZ as part of their healthcare model as well.
For more information and an illustration on the benefits of an HIE, please visit BHINAZ’s website and watch the “Meet Carlos” video.
In the Community
We are always pleasantly surprised when Shelley Keller notifies Marc that she has yet another cancellation for Maricopa County’s Chase Stadium Suite for a Diamondbacks game. Clients enjoy a beautiful day at the park and smiles don’t disappear from the moment the first ball is thrown until long past the end of the ninth inning. Over the 2014 season, nearly 32 individuals got the chance to watch a game.
A heartfelt thank you to Shelley Keller and Daren Frank from the Maricopa County Stadium District and Stephen Chucri from the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors office for their generosity.
Phoenix Mercury Basketball
Thank you to Vicki Bartlett of Security Title Agency for her generous donation of Phoenix Mercury Basketball game tickets. Our individuals thoroughly enjoyed cheering the Mercury on to victory!
Employment Related Services' Daily Grind Coffee Cart
In October 2013, Bill McAllister, Business Development Director, and Paula Fernandez, Director of Employment Related Services (ERS), held a Business Services Forum at Marc. Bill, Paula and the rest of the ERS team worked hard to invite various employers from across the Valley whom they thought might be interested in working with Marc and their individuals. Two of those who attended were Heather Wolf, the Mesa Library Director and Main Library Branch Coordinator, Kathy Little. Heather and Kathy were looking for an opportunity for someone to start a food cart at their Main Library; they had patrons regularly asking about being able to purchase coffee at the library and they thought Marc would be a great fit.
After lots of planning, generating interest with ERS individuals, and purchasing the equipment, the food cart was up and running! Today, the food cart, known as The Daily Grind,operates out of the Main Library and has been providing coffee, bottled water, juice and other packaged snacks to library patrons for almost a year. During the week, the cart is run by a Marc staff member and 1-2 ERS individuals, where they can learn valuable customer service skills and basic food handling skills. The Daily Grind has come to have usual customers and our individuals look forward to seeing their friendly faces each week.
Anyone is welcome to visit The Daily Grind at the Mesa Main Library. The Daily Grind's hours are Monday-Thursday 10am-2pm & Friday 10am-1pm.
Stories of Recovery
Employment Related Services
Written by an individual receiving services
My name is “the shredder” I am known by this name because I love to shred paper. I attend a day program through Marc Community Resources in Mesa, AZ. When I started with the day program I had some fairly severe aggressive behaviors towards myself, others and property.
These behaviors made it hard for me to make friends, stay safe in the community, work with others, participate in activities, and have the freedom that I so desired.
In order to keep myself and others safe I was assigned a 1 to 1 ratio; this means just me and the one staff assigned to me. Most of my peers had a 1 to 4 ratio, 1 staff to 4 of my peers. I did not really understand why I was not in a group with my peers initially but over time with the help of my ISP (Individualized Support Plan) team I realized that my consistent aggressive behaviors were keeping me from obtaining the ability to do what they were doing. I continued to work hard at improving my behavior, focusing on the positive, using appropriate coping skills and shredding waste paper. I am proud to tell you now that I have “graduated” from a 1 to 1 ratio to a 1 to 2 ratio and I am well on my way to achieving a 1 to 4 ratio if I keep up with all of my hard work!
Health & Wellness
Submitted by a Health and Wellness Coach
Over the past month or so we've had a member, Robert Feld, who would suffer seizures with any moderate to difficult exercise. As a coach this obviously concerned me, as I never want to put anyone in a harmful situation that could make their recovery more difficult. I want to report that through his resiliency and hard work, the staff at the MarcRidge Wellness Center can report that this individual is having less frequent seizures and has been working harder than ever before. He attends the gym at least four times per week and does an hour of cardiovascular exercise along with resistance training every other day. We are so proud of Robbie! His progress encourages all of us to keep fighting for our health and resiliency.
Written by an individual who previously received services
I began coming to the East Village as a member mid summer of 2013. Before that, I moved to AZ in 1985 and was in special classes during my school years. I wanted to get a new life in AZ and get out of the “stigma” that mental illness carries. I wanted to swallow my pride, get better, and improve my self-esteem.
During my time at the Village, I did begin my road to recovery and made some good friends with other members and staff. As staff saw my improvement, they encouraged me to go to Peer Support Training. I thought that it would be a waste of my time, but East Village staff kept on encouraging me to go. I found that I liked the class very well, and that sometimes in life it is good to be pushed. I felt very proud of myself for having graduated the training program.
After a short period of time, I got a job at Marc Center! Everyday that I have gone to work, I feel good about who I am inside of myself now. I didn’t see before how to look beyond disability, but now I do. I feel good about how I have grown and myself. What a big change before I started coming to the East Village about a year ago!
I give a lot of credit to the members and staff at the East Village. Reading the many different quotes on the Quote Wall inspires me to be positive with myself and others. Recovery is a lifelong journey, in whatever you do. As I continue my recovery journey, I hope to inspire and encourage others also.
Community Day Services
Submitted by a mother who's adult child was receiving services
[My son] and I had our "breakfast" at Denny's on Sunday Morning plus the visit and his "buying spree" at the dollar store and I cannot say enough about the change in him. He projects happiness, friendliness, good thought process and confidence. Again, I want to express my appreciation for all that the day program staff did to make this last move possible. . . he has returned to us once again and I am so thankful. Take pride in what your group has accomplished as there is no comparison to [my son] that I brought to you in year 2011. I just had to share this with you.
In-Home Support Services
Submitted by In-Home Support Staff
Ruth Sweda came to Marc’s In-Home Support Services program because she needed help maintaining her home and to break away from her collecting habits. Ruth is not only accomplishing her goals, but she is doing it with a giving heart. One thing Ruth loved to collect was teddy bears, but she knew that she had too many. Ruth happened to stumble upon a bear drive that was going on to support the Arizona Highway Patrol Association’s Comfort Bear Collection. The “Comfort Bears” are usually kept in the trunks of law enforcement vehicles and shared with affected children for immediate use after a traumatic situation. Additionally, the effort serves as a reminder to these children that law enforcement will always be there to help.
Ruth made a bold decision and called them up to inform them that she had over eight hundred bears to give away. For her large donation, the Arizona Highway Patrol, Papa Murphy's and the Channel Five news came to her home and Ruth was recognized on the local morning show. Ruth states that even though she will probably never met the children whose lives are touched by the bears, she knows that she has made a difference in their life.