JPHSA Doctors Shine in Statewide Health Education Campaign
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness features JPHSA expertise in its current Conquer COVID-19 Together campaign. Dr. Thomas Hauth, JPHSA Medical Director, and Dr. Brandon Hider, JeffCare Assistant Medical Director for Primary Care, discuss COVID-19 vaccines and Jefferson Parish’s unique behavioral and primary healthcare challenges.
JeffCare Offers COVID-19 Vaccines in West Jefferson
Rodney Lyons, State Representative of District 87 cosponsored the distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations at JeffCare Community Health Center in Marrero. This collaboration aimed to increase vaccination awareness and access amongst residents of West Jefferson.
Special Recognition for Human Resources
JPHSA’s Board of Directors recognized the Human Resources (HR) department for passing its annual State Civil Service Compliance Audit with 100% compliance. Board Chair Shawnta Gardener-Taylor, MS, LPC, presented HR with a letter of appreciation and special recognition to department head Melanie Williams-Sylvester for her team’s accomplishments.
JeffCare Administers 102 Vaccinations on Saturday
JeffCare’s COVID-19 Vaccination Saturday event drew a large group of community members eager to help end the pandemic by getting vaccinated. JeffCare’s original goal for Saturday was 100 shots in arms, but this goal was exceeded.
New U.S. Health and Human Services Awards Funding to Help JeffCare Battle Hypertension With Smart Technology
The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced a funding award for JPHSA’s JeffCare.
This HRSA funding is designated to help improve health outcomes of people with high blood pressure. JeffCare’s hypertension initiative focuses on supporting engagement with prevention and treatment, including the use of self-measured blood pressure monitoring devices supplied at no cost to those who qualify. Remote monitoring technology for these devices will also be incorporated into the electronic health system. This new initiative keeps JeffCare at the forefront of utilizing health tech to help the citizens of Jefferson Parish.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
JPHSA’s Developmental Disabilities Community Services division passed its annual accountability review with flying colors. The Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities (OCDD) conducted the review to monitor how service delivery met assigned expectations. JPHSA impressed the review panel and received no recommendations or corrective action. Most notably, DDCS exceeded expectations for 28 of 29 performance indicators and met 100% of standards for the Waiver and the Flexible Family Fund programs. Nicole Sullivan-Green, DDCS Division Director, credited the successful review to her staff.
“This accomplishment highlights our team’s hard work and their dedication to JPHSA’s mission,” Sullivan-Green said. “As a result, we have received positive feedback from the state office and our peers. I am proud of the impact we make in the lives of the people we support.”
JeffCare Earns National Recognition for Patient-Centered Care
The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) announced that Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority (JPHSA)’s JeffCare East Jefferson Health Center and West Jefferson Health Center will each continue to be recognized as a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) for primary care. This PCMH designation recognizes practices for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long‐term, participative relationships.
“We’re happy to continue to be nationally recognized as a provider of high quality care,” said Julie Shaw, Division Director of JeffCare. “I’d like to give a special thanks to both the group who worked so hard to secure this year’s recognition and all the clinical staff who make top notch care a reality every day.”
JPHSA Announces New Board Chair and Vice-Chair
Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority welcomes Shawnta Gardener-Taylor, MS, LPC, as the new Chairperson for the JPHSA Board of Directors. Gardener-Taylor, a resident of Harvey, has over a decade of experience in social services for youth and adolescents. She is currently employed as an Early Intervention School Counselor with the Jefferson Parish Public School System and runs her own private practice. She has served in the Mental Health Professional position since February of 2019 and as a Vice Chair.
“JPHSA continues to be a leader in the community regarding healthcare, support and resources,” Gardener-Taylor said. “I am humbled by this role and look forward to continuing being a representative for the people of Jefferson Parish.”
R. Bruce Galbraith, M.Ed., DAPA, CCFC, is the new Vice Chair for JPHSA Board of Directors. Galbraith, a resident of Metairie, has served in the Mental Health Advocate position since May of 2017. He is a member of the American Psychotherapy Association and the former President of the Louisiana Counseling Association and the Louisiana Association of Addiction and Offender Counseling.
JeffCare Zaps COVID-19 In Its Tracks
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, disinfection has never been more vital to healthcare providers. JeffCare has found an innovative solution to safely and simply continue providing services: the UVDI-360 Room Sanitizer.
Harnessing the power of light, the UVDI-360 radiates germicidal UV-C rays to kill more than 35 pathogens, including coronavirus. This sleek, mobile tower beams a pillar of bright blue light to disinfect entire rooms—including floors, beds, counters, cabinets, toilets and other high-touch surfaces—in just 5-10 minutes.
“We’ve been wanting to move towards UV light disinfection for a while now to augment our cleaning regimen,” said Julie Shaw, JeffCare Division Director. “With COVID-19 concerns, there’s no better time than the present to move into the future.”
JeffCare Kicks Off COVID-19 Testing
JeffCare launched its COVID-19 testing in August thanks to the efforts of many hard-working staff members. JeffCare will continue to provide this essential service to Jefferson Parish residents through October. All community members one year and older are welcome—first come, first served (while supplies last) with no appointment necessary.
“We want everyone to have access to COVID-19 testing, regardless of their income or health insurance coverage,” said Julie Shaw, JeffCare Division Director. “We’ve got the tests and the tent. We’ve got the dedicated and compassionate staff. Now we just need to yell it from the rooftops so people know we’re here!”
Work Continues on JeffCare Expansion at JPHSA Metairie Facility
The renovation of the second floor of JPHSA’s Metairie facility is humming along. When the demolition going got tough, the Facility Asset & Risk Management construction team recently got a surprise assist from Julie Shaw. The progress is exciting, and JeffCare staff members are looking forward to the new Call Logistics Center and office space.
JPHSA Welcomes New Board Member
Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority welcomes Robin P. Brooks, D.B.H., L.M.S.W., to its Board of Directors. Dr. Brooks, a resident of Gretna, has decades of experience as a social worker and behavioral health specialist. She is currently employed as a social worker at Children’s Hospital.
With a special interest and expertise in children’s behavioral health, Dr. Brooks will make a great addition to JPHSA’s Board. She is looking forward to joining other passionate professionals in serving the Jefferson Parish community.
JPHSA Welcomes New Board Member
Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority welcomes Alan B. Carroll, CPA, CFE, to its Board of Directors. He will serve in the Developmental Disabilities, Advocacy position. Carroll, a resident of Metairie, has decades of experience in accounting. He is currently employed as a controller with Crystal Clear Imaging in Harahan.
Carroll is looking forward to serving on JPHSA’s Board. His passion for advocacy for persons with developmental disabilities grew following Hurricane Katrina. Though his adult son with autism now lives in Metairie, for a time following Katrina, his son was a resident of the Hammond Developmental Center. That was when Carroll noted many individuals who didn’t have families coming to visit them on a regular basis and the importance of advocacy.
“I felt like these people needed somebody to be their voice, speak up for them, look out for them,” Carroll reflected. “So when this opportunity came up, I thought this would be a good avenue to do that and get more involved in the community.”
NACHC Celebrates Men’s Health Month With JeffCare Nurse Profile
JeffCare Opioid Detox & Recovery nurse, Mervin Guillory, shares his thoughts on leading with care for Men’s Health Month with the National Association of Community Health Centers. Guillory’s perspective is featured in “The Road to Recovery: Understanding Patients Mind, Body, and Soul.”
Catch JeffCare in Jefferson Parish Parks
JeffCare Division Director Julie Shaw shows off banner at the Lakeshore gym.
In an effort to spread the word about JeffCare services to families across the parish, JeffCare is now a proud sponsor of the Jefferson Parish Parks & Recreation Department. This sponsorship not only supports JeffCare’s mission by endorsing healthy, active lifestyles for children and families, it also helps JeffCare reach community members who could benefit from the health centers. Make sure to look out for JeffCare’s banner when you visit any of the following parks: Pontiff, Miley, Lakeshore, Girard, and Little Farms on the East Bank and Kings Grant, Oakdale, PARD, Terrytown, and Woodmere on the West Bank.
JPHSA’s 30th Anniversary Time Capsule Goes Underground
As part of its 30th anniversary, JPHSA has buried a time capsule containing JPHSA artifacts and staff memories to commemorate the agency’s many accomplishments. The time capsule is scheduled to be unearthed by future JPHSA staff in 20 years and is buried in the lawn of JPHSA’s Elmwood facility.
JPHSA Rolls Out Med Drop Boxes to Keep Jefferson Parish Safe
Rosanna Dichiro, BHCS Division Director, joined Harahan Police Chief Tim Walker at the Harahan City Council meeting on Thursday, Sept. 19 to spotlight the medication disposal drop box located in the Harahan Police Department. It’s one of three new drop boxes JPHSA installed throughout the parish. Chief Walker touted the Harahan drop box’s 24/7 availability and urged all residents to take advantage of the unit. Dichiro discussed the goal of the initiative with the crowd. The drop boxes were made possible with grants from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), support from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO), and the cooperation of many community partners. Read more information.
JPHSA Helps Families Prepare for Back-to-School Season
Pictured from left to right are Keiasha Gipson (DDCS), Rhonda Wilson (DDCS), Andrea Thames (BHCS), Karyan Hollingshed (DDCS), and Jill Estes (BHCS).
In an effort to find inventive ways to help children and families in Jefferson Parish, JPHSA has launched a new back-to-school initiative. With this project, all recipients of the Flexible Family Fund program served by Developmental Disabilities Community Services (DDCS) and Behavioral Health Community Services (BHCS) are receiving backpacks filled with essential school supplies. Over 300 backpacks are on their way to families.
While providing financial assistance is at the core of the Flexible Family Fund program, DDCS Division Director Nicole Sullivan-Green is most excited about helping to reduce the stress many families experience during the onset of a new school year.
“Doing this project is helping families not only financially, but we have also given them time back because we have done some of the work for them,” Sullivan-Green said. “Now families have more time to devote to other priorities.”
The hard work of staff members from BHCS, DDCS, Facility Asset & Risk Management (FARM), and Finance Operations helped make this project a success. By providing items such as new backpacks, highlighters, crayons and notebooks, JPHSA is lightening the back-to-school burden and helping children and their families have a brighter school year.
Staff and members of JPHSA’s Board of Directors were on hand to help commemorate JPHSA’s three decades of service to the Jefferson Parish community at a recent all-staff meeting. In 1989, the original legislation creating JPHSA was enacted and the first Board of Directors was appointed. Since then, JPHSA has been driven by a mission to help individuals and families in Jefferson Parish affected by mental illness, addictive disorders, and developmental disabilities to live full, healthy, independent and productive lives to the greatest extent possible for available resources. In recent years, JPHSA has also integrated primary care into clinical services through a Federally Qualified Health Center with sites in East and West Jefferson.
JPHSA Makes Adaptive Bike Dreams a Reality for Children With Special Needs
JPHSA recently partnered with the McClindon Family Foundation to donate custom adaptive bikes to children with special needs. JPHSA’s Developmental Disabilities Community Services Division funded bikes for six DD eligible children living in Jefferson Parish.
Strength, confidence, and inclusion are a few of the goals the foundation and JPHSA hope to help children achieve with these bicycles. Though cycling is beneficial to children’s physical and social needs, adaptive bikes can be prohibitively expensive since they have to be tailor-made for each child’s specific strengths and weaknesses. When children get to take their own adaptive bikes home, opportunities for exercise and building muscle strength continue long after formal physical therapy ends. Parents of bike recipients have noted that the bikes increased their children’s coordination and confidence as well as improved their social skills and sleep routines.
Since the McClindon Family Foundation donated its first adaptive bike to a boy with hydrocephalus in 2008, the group has given away over 200 bikes in 27 states. The bikes donated in partnership with JPHSA were sturdy tricycles with a wide wheelbase and low center of gravity to improve stability and safety. Behind the seat, the bikes sported an extra steering column outfitted with a handbrake so caregivers can walk behind the bike and help a child navigate. Pedals were also a custom affair, featuring toe clips and, at times, pedal blocks to help the children ride more easily.
Centralized Care Coordination at JPHSA Continues to Make Strides With Strategic Grant in Health
In October 2016, Baptist Community Ministries (BCM) announced funding for JPHSA to improve and further develop a Centralized Care Coordination (CCC) model. Since that time, JPHSA has been busy putting those resources to work. Review a detailed update on this project’s great progress in the BCM 2017 Annual Report.
Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority Receives Funds from U.S. Dept. of Justice to Increase Access to Mental Health Services
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs recently awarded Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority (JPHSA) $298,851 in funding through its Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP). JMHCP supports innovative cross-system collaboration for individuals with mental illnesses or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders who come into contact with the justice system.
JPHSA intends to use this funding for its Mental Health Services for Arrestees Project to collaborate with Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO) and the 24th Judicial District Court to reduce the number of people with mental health and/or mental health-substance abuse disorders in the prison system, reduce the number of people with these problems recidivating back to Jefferson Parish Correctional Center, and increase the capability to evaluate the system.
“It’s a repeating cycle,” said Dr. Rosanna DiChiro, Director of Behavioral Health Community Services at JPHSA. “If you don’t try to intervene somewhere, people with mental health problems don’t get the treatment they need. This leads to rearrests, and the situation just gets worse.”
JMHCP seeks to increase public safety by facilitating collaboration among the criminal justice and mental health and substance abuse treatment systems to increase access to mental health and other treatment services for individuals with mental illnesses or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders. The program encourages early intervention for these multisystem-involved individuals; maximizes diversion opportunities for multisystem-involved individuals with mental illnesses or co-occurring mental and substance abuse disorders; promotes training for justice and treatment professionals; and facilitates communication, collaboration, and the delivery of support services among justice professionals, treatment and related service providers, and governmental partners.
JPHSA Earns National Recognition for Patient-Centered Care
The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) announced that JPHSA has received NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition for primary care at its JeffCare Health Centers in East Jefferson and West Jefferson. This distinction recognizes JPHSA for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term, participative relationships. Only one in six primary care physicians in America practices in an NCQA-recognized practice, placing JPHSA among an elite group that has demonstrated its commitment to advancing quality in health care.
NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations, and the NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of primary care that combines teamwork and information technology to improve care, improve patients’ experience of care, and reduce costs. Medical homes foster ongoing partnerships between patients and their personal clinicians. Each patient’s care is overseen by clinician-led care teams that coordinate treatment across the health care system.
To earn recognition, JPHSA demonstrated the ability to meet the program’s key elements, embodying characteristics of the medical home. NCQA standards align with the joint principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home established with the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Osteopathic Association.
Memorial Magnolia Planted in Honor of Cynthia “Cindy” Scalia
On October 31, a memorial tree was planted to honor Cynthia “Cindy” Scalia during a ceremony sponsored by the Jefferson Parish Developmental Disabilities Regional Advisory Committee (DDRAC) and hosted by JPHSA’s Developmental Disabilities Community Services (DDCS). Scalia was a member of DDRAC, which provides input on issues impacting developmental disabilities services and supports, aids in public outreach, and participates in the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities State Advisory Committee. Cindy, an active member of the JPHSA and Jefferson Parish community, was also a 23-time medal winning Special Olympics athlete, musician, and advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Staff members of DDCS and Maintenance and Facilities worked together to make this living tribute a success. The Japanese magnolia can be viewed growing outside the JPHSA Elmwood building at 1500 River Oaks Road West.