Nacogdoches County Taking Mental Health Steps · On the Road with THI ·
Live Smart Texas Tackles Obesity Epidemic · Mental Health Transformation Focused Forum Report ·
Nacogdoches County Taking Mental Health Steps
If your hospital emergency rooms, hospital inpatient beds and jails and are filling with people in mental health crisis mode,
it’s time to rally the troops and find better solutions. That’s just what is happening in Nacogdoches County.
“I’m glad we’re there for people, but we’re generally not the right place for those experiencing a mental health crisis,” says Tim Hayward,
Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital Administrator and THI Community Collaborative member.
“They’re tying up hospital beds and it doesn’t get those in crisis the help they deserve with their issues.”
On February 5th, Nacogdoches County Commissioners agreed to help fund part of the project led by the Burke Center in Lufkin
to serve 12 East Texas counties, alleviating expensive and time-consuming burdens on law enforcement and hospitals not equipped
to respond to mental health emergencies. The proposed facility will provide dedicated services for families, walk-in patients,
law-enforcement and referred patients as well as capacity for 9 patient assessment areas and a 14-bed voluntary crisis residential program.
Susan Rushing, CEO of the Burke Center, says funding will be contributed by those entities currently providing services,
including thirteen area hospitals, county funds, individual donations and through grant contributions.
The project will seek a Department of State Health Services grant to initiate the program, which could begin as early as
June of this year in temporary locations. “The State has 25 million dollars in competitive grant funds available and we believe
there is strong evidence to support funding the rural mental health needs of our twelve counties,” said Rushing.
Annual operating costs of the program will exceed $2.2 million with grant funds potentially funding up to 75% of the project.
The remaining 25% of funds will be raised at the local level. Tim Hayward says the sustainability of the new center lies in
the ability of area providers and communities to underwrite the ongoing operational costs. “This is a problem we can address
by working together as one large community.” Visit www.burke-center.org
to learn more about the Burke Center’s work or click here
to view the project fact sheet.
On the Road with THI
Health Policy in Your Hands - A Conference of Texas Faith Leaders
Camille Miller, THI President, unveiled the organization’s new Raising the Bar on Health Care Solutions policy brochure at the Impact
Texas conference at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in Austin on February 10th. The new brochure, generously
underwritten by Methodist Healthcare Ministries, sheds light on four of the most pressing health care issues in Texas: The Uninsured,
Obesity & Diabetes, Mental Health and Healthcare Workforce Shortages. The policy solution brochure will be available for distribution
in March and may be downloaded in .pdf format from http://www.texashealthinstitute.org
The conference recognized religious leaders as strong and compelling voices for change and was an effort to equip them with concise
policy information and theological reflection on health care and health care reform. Among the presenters were Dr. Eduardo Sanchez -
Director, Institute for Health Policy, University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston, Reverend Linda Walling -
Executive Director of Faithful Reform in Health Care, Gordon Atkinson – Pastor, Covenant Baptist Church in San Antonio,
Beaman Floyd – Lobbyist and Bee Moorhead – Executive Director of Texas Impact.
For more information on this conference and related topics, please visit
Live Smart Texas Tackles Obesity Epidemic
Health Policy in Your Hands - A Conference of Texas Faith Leaders
So, how is that New Year’s weight loss resolution working for you? Thousands of Texans struggle with overweight and obesity issues
and now Live Smart Texas is working to reframe how we approach healthier living. By developing leadership, policy, programs,
intervention research and communications strategies, Live Smart Texas hopes to impact not just weight loss but the many chronic
diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease which often result from obesity.
Dr. David Lakey, Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner convened the February 8th Live Smart Texas Collaborative
Meeting and was joined by Dr. Deanna Hoelscher of the University of Texas-Houston School of Public Health and Dr. Diane M. Dowdy,
deputy director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Active for Life National Program Office at The Texas A&M; Health Science Center
School of Rural Public Health. Dr. Hoelscher, Brian Castrucci, Director of Family Health Research and Program (DSHS).
Chair of Partnership for a Healthy Texas gave an update of the Partnership’s latest work and Camille Miller, CEO of Texas Health
Institute co-chaired the collaborative.
For more information on the work of Live Smart Texas, please visit
Mental Health Transformation Focused Forum Report
At the THI Focused Forum on February 19, roundtable discussion reviewed eleven community challenges to mental health transformation,
community successes and solutions. The program featured Sam Shore, Texas Department of State Health Services; Susan Garnett,
MHMR of Tarrant County; Sherwin Daryani, City of Fort Worth Public Health Department; Valarie Garza, Texas Health Institute,
Camille D. Miller, President of Texas Health Institute and roundtable discussion from over 100 participants.
The eleven focus areas include:
- Housing & Employment
- Consumer Voice
- School-based Mental Health
- Integration of Mental and Physical Health & Prevention
- Criminal Justice
- Crisis Intervention
- Aging and Mental Health
- Information Technology
Special thanks to our roundtable facilitators and reporters: Bob Stewart, Dallas County Project Transform;
Erin Ferris, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs; Mike Halligan, Mental Health Consumers; Linda Meigs,
Child Advocate; Wendy Andreades, Texas Department of State Health Services; Judy Willgren, Texas Health and Human Services
Commission; Vicki Coffee-Fletcher, Hogg Foundation; Donette Castle, MHMR Center; Mimi McKay, Department of State Health Services;
Lynn Lasky Clark, Mental Health America of Texas; Dee Wilson, Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments;
Jon Weizenbaum, Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services; Blair Carter, Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services;
Steve Eichner, Department of State Health Services; Annie Burwell, Williamson County Mental Health Task Force; Valarie Garza,
Texas Health Institute; David Sherman, Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services; and Robin Peyson, National
Alliance on Mental Health of Texas.
THI will utilize the input from this focused forum to develop a report for use as a guide in realizing further accomplishments in
the transformation of mental health in Texas.
Please see the following handouts and presentation pieces from the meeting:
Consumer Family and Youth Voice Handout
Consumer Voice Accomplishments
Tarrant County Mental Health Connection presentation
Texas Health Institute presentation
Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by 5 U79 SM57485-02 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderator do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices or organizations imply endorsement by the US Government.