We are living through a strange and stressful time. The word unprecedented, although completely accurate, has been a bit overused. Our usual lives seem far away. Like so many, Bree Collaborative staff are thinking about the huge need for behavioral health services that exists in our community and that has only increased due to this pandemic.

Our staff continue to work from home and are looking forward to next week’s timely webinar on addiction and dependence. Join us to hear Lisa Pepperdine, MSN, ARNP, Vice President of Medical Services for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands talk; Jennifer Wyatt, LMHC, MAC, SUDP, Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Coordinator, and  Amy Decker, MSW, LICSW, of King County Department of Community and Human Services, Behavioral Health and Recovery Division talk about successes and challenges in implementing and maintaining screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment. Register for our webinar here.

We have also made the decision to switch from an in-person Behavioral Health Implementation Summit to a virtual summit in June. This will take place over two half days – I know I could not attend an eight-hour virtual event happily. Look for those invitations as well as our detailed agendas soon.

I also wanted to ask for your suggestions for our future work. Every year we take stock of our past and current work and think about topics for our next year. We had an opportunity in January to take a good look at the success of our various topics – I will point you to the summary from the retreat here and the comment that our most successful topics have been the bundled payment models, behavioral health, and opioid prescribing especially the metrics. I also really hear the comment that we work best when we are aligned with community interest – and we need to hear from our community to meet this goal. What are the failures in our health care system that have impacted you? Let us know. We will be discussing future topics at our virtual meeting May 20th.

Our process must include what we have learned from our large body of work – and be as easy as possible. To make this process easier – we have developed a range of tools and processes to gather feedback. See the topics that we have previously considered and those that we have selected here. I encourage you to review and use the topic decision matrix here and to note the differentiation between the must have and nice to have categories. To be successful, a potential topic must (1) have unwarranted variation, and/or have a patient safety issue and/or cost issue, and/or an equity issue; AND 2) a proven mechanism for impact or change within the health care system; AND 3) the Bree Collaborative must have a unique and value-add role; AND 4) data to show impact must be available and accessible. You can send feedback directly to us at bree@qualityhealth.org or fill out the online survey here or you can call into the May 20th meeting and voice your thoughts.

As always, stay in touch and stay well.

Ginny Weir, MPH
Director, Bree Collaborative