Wheeler: 2016 Year in Review
2016 was a year of innovative care and positive change for
Wheeler and those we serve. We worked collaboratively with organizations and
systems across Connecticut to enhance and deliver high-quality programs and services
that support whole-person health.
Delivering Integrated, Whole-Person Care
- To meet the primary care, behavioral health and oral health needs of individuals in Bristol, Hartford, New Britain and surrounding communities, Wheeler expanded the scope of its Federally Qualified Health Centers.
- Wheeler earned Behavioral Health Care reaccreditation from The Joint Commission and new certification as a Behavioral Health Home.
Addressing the Opioid Addiction Crisis
- Wheeler responded to the ongoing crisis by offering medication-assisted treatment for addiction at four locations throughout Central Connecticut, as well as life-saving Narcan to consumers, friends and families.
- Two packed forums in Bristol and Southington, sponsored in part by Wheeler, helped local residents to share, learn about and discuss the impact of the crisis on our state’s communities.
Innovative Partnerships That Serve Connecticut
- The Bristol Public Schools partnered with Wheeler to establish school-based behavioral health clinics and expand access to services for students at Greene-Hills and West Bristol schools.
- With the New Britain YWCA, the Learning Enhancement Attachment-based Pre-school (LEAP) program launched to meet the behavioral health needs of young children who have experienced significant abuse or neglect.
- In partnership with Susan G. Komen® Southern New England and Bristol Hospital’s Beekley Center for Breast Health and Wellness, Wheeler launched a Breast Health Patient Navigation program to significantly increase breast health outreach to residents in the Greater Bristol and New Britain regions.
- The Mott Corporation and Wheeler formed an innovative collaboration to promote community health and wellness, and engage underserved individuals and families in Bristol and New Britain to access primary and behavioral health care information and services.
- The Southington Health Outreach Project, funded through a grant from the Bradley Henry Barnes & Leila Upson Barnes Memorial Trust at the Main Street Community Foundation, published a new, free Southington Behavioral Health Resource Directory to help residents find and utilize local mental health and outreach services.
Growing to Meet Community Needs
- More families in the Greater Manchester region are offered services, community supports and treatment as Wheeler’s Intensive Family Preservation (IFP) and Multisystemic Therapy - Building Stronger Families (MST-BSF) programs expanded.
- Three of Wheeler’s community justice programs grew to serve the needs of even more individuals and families in Connecticut. The Alternative in the Community (AIC) and Family Violence Education Program (FVEP) expanded to the Greater Enfield area, and the Explore program expanded to the Greater Middletown area.
- Families who are enrolled in Medicaid can now receive autism evaluation services for youth ages three and up through Wheeler.
A Highly Skilled Workforce
- For the fourth consecutive year, Wheeler was recognized as a Hartford Courant Top Workplace. The organization also received special recognition for training and professional development.
- Melissa Mendez, LCSW, IMH-E, director of early childhood programs, presented at the White House at a My Brother’s Keeper “What Works Showcase” event.
- Melissa Martinez, a clinician in Wheeler’s Multisystemic Therapy (MST) program, was recognized by MST model developers and received the Sustained Excellence Award.
- Wheeler’s MDFT teams were among the nation’s Top Ten performers in clinical outcomes and the state’s Top Five in data outcomes.
- Susan Walkama, LCSW, Wheeler’s president and chief executive officer, participated in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI) National Expert Panel.
- Elisabeth Cannata, Ph.D., vice president, Wheeler Community-Based Family Services and Practice Innovation, presented at the Judge Baker Children’s Center’s Child Mental Health Forum.
- In recognition of his work in advancing the integration of primary and behavioral health, Miller was invited in May to present “ACCESS-Mental Health CT: Connecticut’s Experience Connecting Primary Care with Psychiatry” to the Joint Conference of the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Maine Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Transformational Gifts and a Legacy of Support for Wheeler’s Mission
- Mrs. Doris Nims, formerly of Cheshire, Connecticut, left a significant legacy gift of approximately $1.9 million to Wheeler to advance programs and services that support children and adolescents.
- Peter and Mary Fran Libassi made a commitment to bestow a $500,000 legacy gift to Wheeler to establish the Libassi Endowment Fund for Innovation, advancing innovative approaches to care and service delivery as well as other initiatives across the agency.
- Wheeler’s 31st Annual Golf Classic raised $56,000, bringing the amount raised since the event’s inception to more than $1 million.