Annual Report

ANNUAL REPORT 2017

This has been a year of thoughtful preparation, planning, and transformation orchestrated by strong leadership. One might never correlate strong leadership with a great musical performance. If you have ever watched a maestro conduct a symphonic orchestra, then you have, in fact witnessed leadership in motion. An orchestra is made up of different individuals from different cultures and backgrounds. They know their instruments and they’ve practiced their skill; it’s up to the maestro to bring all those different pieces together in a way that resonates in the heart of the listener. It is truly a magical experience watching a maestro direct the string section forward as if they were the stars; then in the next minute, they are playing in the background, replaced by the brass as they play on to sing their story. The focus is on the music, not the individuals. The incorporation of instruments creates countless interpretations by all who listen. Both music and leadership have the ability to influence others. If the performance is well done, then the audience’s emotions are moved to another place and the orchestra and audience becomes one, united by purpose and intent.

Through the efforts and leadership of so many individuals over many years, this organization has made the bold move of purchasing a property that will allow us to better serve our patients and our communities. Our orchestra has included board members past and present, our staff, executive directors, as well as patients and their families. In transforming this building into a well-designed medical facility, we will better position ourselves as the leader in delivering high quality integrated care to those with mental illness. We are united in our purpose and committed to our mission of creating healthy minds and healthy communities.

There is no better time for us to take this bold and exciting step. People living with mental illness who participate at work, with family and in communities are valuable resources. Paying for jails, prisons, shelters and acute care hospitals is important but we must also support those recovering from mental illness; they deserve to live their lives with dignity, with family and friends, in their communities. Community care is better care and we must be ready to respond to the increasing and very complex needs of our patients.

While inpatient psychiatric beds decreased substantially over the years, a commensurate increase in accessible and quality community mental health services did not. Some attribute the growth of shelters and street homelessness and the high prevalence of mental illness in jails and prisons with the failure to deliver on past efforts.

We owe people with mental illness, including substance use disorders, “patient-centered” care — not as a slogan but as a standard of practice. People in crisis or leaving acute care need immediate access to services, same day appointments or home visits, instead of waiting for days or weeks for an appointment. Patients and families must be active participants in treatment and have access to long-term community supports for what is often a long journey towards recovery.

A more integrated approach is needed when providing health care to patients; where primary care physicians work in tandem with mental health professionals to provide care to the whole patient. Years ahead of his time, Dr. Pete Harris was a visionary for us, offering both primary care and mental health services to his patients. That was more than fifty years ago.

The future of this organization rests on the shoulders of our past, current and future leaders. We must enlist the help of the community. The responsibility of reducing stigma and improving patient outcomes lies on the system to promote a supportive community through education, skills training and skill development.

Staying the course and achieving these goals, like a symphony well-performed, would be something to be really proud of. We ask for your support of these endeavors.

Click here to view our 2017 Annual Report!