Improving Care of the Serious Mental Illness (SMI) Population - NAMI Florida All Together Now Series

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Florida will host virtual conversations about Improving Care for the Serious Mental Illness (SMI) Population.

Online PR News – 16-December-2020 – Tallahassee, FL – The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Florida will host the fourth installment of the All Together Now Virtual Speaker Series, on January 9, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The free event will focus on topics related to “Improving Care for the Serious Mental Illness (SMI) Population,” embracing the state alliance’s mission of providing education, advocacy and support for people with mental illness and their loved ones. The January program will host four in-depth panel discussions on supportive housing initiatives, successes of behavioral health homes, the role of telepsychiatry in patient care, and reducing potentially preventable events (PPEs).

“Improving care for the serious mental illness population means coordinated, recovery-focused efforts that meet the needs of individuals,” says Karen Koch, Executive Director for the Florida Supportive Housing Coalition (FSHC) and guest speaker for the Housing as Healthcare panel. “Through my role with the FSHC, I have learned how important stable and safe housing is to recovery. Access to housing and supportive housing should be a matter of basic human dignity and solidarity. My panel for NAMI Florida’s next All Together Now Series will discuss these topics, with the main focus that housing is healthcare.”

The January All Together Now Series program will be moderated by Dr. Janet Taylor, a community psychiatrist in Sarasota, Florida, nationally known for her work in diversity and race issues. She will be joined by guest speakers including Carole Matyas, Vice President of SMI Operations for Wellcare; Karen Koch, Executive Director for the Florida Supportive Housing Coalition; Dr. Jay Reeve, President and CEO of the Apalachee Center; Julie Osmanski-Harmon, Senior Director of Operations for Behavioral Health Wellcare; and Dr. Marc Rivo, Chief Medical Officer for Quality Medical Consultants (QMC) Cares Hospital Group.

The program will be divided into four panel discussions:

• Housing as Healthcare: Supportive Housing Initiatives in the State of Florida: Hear from panelists, Carole Matyas and Karen Koch, as they discuss supportive housing initiatives in the state of Florida. Supportive housing advocates remind us that development of housing for various special needs populations, including: the elderly, veterans, young people aging out of the foster care system, persons with a disability, persons with mental illness, those experiencing or at risk of homelessness, ex-offenders and others, can improve healthcare.

• Behavioral Health Homes and Improving Medical Care for the SMI Population Using Quality Metrics: Panelist, Dr. Jay Reeve of the Apalachee Center, will discuss quality metrics obtained from his agency resulting from implanting the Behavioral Health Home model. Behavioral Health Home refers to a care model that integrates primary care, acute, behavioral health and social services and support for adults with mental health conditions. It is an innovative, recovery-oriented, person and family centered model that promises better patient experiences, improved quality of life and re-education in healthcare costs, as better outcomes than those achieved from the standard care.

• The Role of Telepsychiatry in Patient Care: Julie Osmanski-Harrmon will discuss the impact of telepsychiatry on healthcare outcomes in the State of Florida. Telepsychiatry uses a telecommunications device to provide psychiatric services to people who are physically separated from their healthcare provider. This practice may offer several benefits, including convenience and better accessibility.

• Initiatives in the State of Florida to Reduce Potentially Preventable Events (PPEs): Hospital Admissions, Readmissions and Emergency Room Visits: Speaker, Dr. Marc Rivo, will review how healthcare providers are collaborating to reduce PPEs in Florida and will share his personal, family journey of maneuvering through the state mental health system. The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) oversees the provision of healthcare for about four million children, low-income adults, seniors and individuals with disabilities. Since 2014, the Agency has contracted for the provision of medical services to these individuals through the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) program who have the responsibility to promote disease management and report quality metrics.

The future and final All Together Now Virtual Speaker Series program is scheduled as follows:

• Saturday, February 13 – Ask the Expert, Panel Discussions: How to Decide if a Clinical Trial is Right for You; The Latest News on Transmagnetic Stimulation (TMS); New Pharmacotherapies for the Treatment of Depression and Psychosis; Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) as a Treatment for Traumatic Experiences; The Role of Long-Acting Injectables in the Treatment of Mental Illnesses

The virtual series replaces the traditional in-person 2020 NAMI Florida Annual Meeting & Conference.

Registration for NAMI Florida’s All Together Now Virtual Speaker Series is FREE and includes all program dates. Register for the All Together Now Virtual Speaker Series at

About the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Florida
NAMI Florida is the state affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, with its headquarters based in Tallahassee, Florida. Their mission is to improve the quality of life of individuals and their families affected by mental illness through education, support and advocacy. NAMI Florida includes four divisions that reflect this mission: Education and Support, Community Outreach, Advocacy and Public Awareness.