Projects & Impact

AHP has built its business on applying best practices, many of which we have helped to shape, and real-world, hands-on knowledge to improving systems and business practices for our clients.

In all of the work that we do, we are guided by our mission to improve health and human services systems of care and business operations to help organizations and individuals reach their full potential.

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Benchmarks for an Optimal Compensation Strategy

A state department of mental health has engaged AHP to deliver research and consulting services to improve business operations and impact systems of care through recruiting and retaining a high performance professional services workforce. AHP will provide guidelines for an optimal compensation and workforce development strategy to enable contracted provider agencies to effectively recruit and retain highly qualified behavioral health professionals to provide psychiatric services at inpatient and outpatient facilities statewide. Services include those provided to patients and clients by psychiatrists, other physicians, psychologists, and additional professional staff including “doctors on call” to ensure that a psychiatrist is onsite 24 hours per day, seven days per week, 365 days per year at every inpatient site.

AHP will deliver compensation guidelines to include salary ranges, benefit packages, brief job descriptions, and workload estimates for contracted staff. AHP will utilize proprietary salary, benchmarking, and workforce planning data spanning 100 health care organizations in 38 states to develop selected data to benchmark salaries, benefits, brief job descriptions, and patient workload for psychiatrists and psychologists in a number of peer states.

Evaluation of the Moms Do Care Project, Expanding Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Pregnant Women with Opioid Use Disorder

AHP is the evaluator for a Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) grant to expand medical and behavioral health service systems capacity to engage and retain pregnant and postpartum women in integrated medication assisted treatment (MAT) and health care, and addiction and recovery support services. Funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) targeted capacity expansion portfolio, The Moms Do Care Project is being implemented in two communities (one rural and one urban) and focuses on the specific needs of pregnant women with opioid use disorders. Its overarching objective is to provide recovering mothers with increased access to MAT and with individualized services that support sustained recovery, choices about continuing medication, and efforts to maintain custody or contact with their children.

Expected outcomes include increased access and engagement in MAT concurrent with pre-and post-natal care; reduced illicit drug use; and improved health, recovery, and functioning status at the individual level. Systems level outcomes include an increased number of waivered buprenorphine prescribers; increased workforce understanding of opioid dependency in women specific to the needs of pregnant women; reduced negative attitudes of this population among medical providers; and improved integration of primary care and behavioral health services. AHP will assess outcomes through client interviews at three points in time, administrative treatment data, surveys of medical providers, and onsite visits with a range of key informants.

Heartland Health Outreach Research Technical Assistance Project

AHP worked with Heartland Health Outreach (HHO), a community-based organization that provides medical, dental, behavioral health care and housing to vulnerable populations, to identify organizational research strengths and program evaluation needs. AHP conducted key stakeholder interviews with HHO administrators, reviewed HHO research implementation strategies, and recommended health care reform-related performance measurements. AHP also worked with HHO leadership to disseminate its research-related projects at a national level.
 
Related resources and publications:
 
  • Pickett, S.A. & Batia, K. (2015). Integrated Health Care for People with Psychiatric Disabilities: Introduction to the special issue. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 18(1), 1-4. Retrieved from www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15487768.2015.1001689.
  • Pickett, S.A., Luther, S., Stellon, E., & Batia, K. (2015). Making Integrated Care a Reality: Lessons Learned From Heartland Health Outreach's Integration Implementation. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 18(1), 87-104. Retrieved from www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15487768.2015.1001698

HIV Capacity Building Initiative: Project Aspire

AHP serves as the evaluator for a Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) HIV Capacity Building Initiative (HIV CBI), Project Aspire. The goal of the grant is to prevent and reduce the onset of substance misuse and transmission of HIV/AIDS among at-risk racial/ethnic minority youth and young adults.

Equinox, a multiservice nonprofit organization, will provide evidence-based substance use disorder (SUD) and HIV/Viral Hepatitis (VH) prevention programming, onsite HIV/VH testing, and substance misuse assessment and counseling services to at-risk minority youth in Albany, NY, through its Youth Outreach Center. Peer Youth Leaders will promote engagement and co-facilitate prevention activities including the Say It Straight intervention. AHP will conduct a community needs assessment and assess program performance by documenting and measuring client outcomes and conducting a process evaluation. The needs assessment will include a review of epidemiological data, including prevalence rates, service gaps and disparities, community readiness to change, and capacity to provide SUD, HIV, and VH prevention and treatment services.

Increasing Community Participation Among Adults with Psychiatric Disabilities through Intentional Peer Support (IPS Study)

For the National Institute for Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (HHS), under Grant 90IF0098-01-00, AHP will conduct a study examining the comparative effectiveness of Intentional Peer Support (IPS) in improving community living and participation for adults with psychiatric disabilities. IPS is a peer-developed, theoretically based, manualized approach that is unique in conceptualizing peer support as a relationship-based learning process in the context of personal growth and community-building. The study will compare the outcomes of IPS with those of standard peer support services on dimensions including self-esteem, self-discrimination, social connectedness, community participation, and quality of life.

Integrated Health Care for African Americans with Mental Illness who are Homeless

AHP is collaborating with the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) to develop, implement and pilot-test an integrated behavioral health and primary care intervention for homeless African Americans with mental illness. Funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, in this project, peer navigators—African Americans with lived experience of homelessness and behavioral health problems—connect homeless African Americans with mental illness to medical and mental health care, helping them “navigate” these complicated health systems. AHP and IIT are conducting a randomized controlled clinical trial examining the effectiveness of peer navigators in improving health outcomes for this vulnerable population.
 
Related resources and publications:
 
  • Corrigan, P.W., Pickett, S., Kraus, D., Burks, R., & Schmidt, A. (2015). Community-based participatory research examining the health care needs of African Americans who are homeless with mental illness. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 26(1), 119-133. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25702732.
  • Corrigan, P.W., Pickett, S.A., Batia, K., & Michaels, P.J. (2014). Peer navigators and integrated care to address ethnic health disparities. Social Work in Public Health, 29, 581-593. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25144699

Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery Cross-Site Evaluation

For this project funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), AHP designed and implemented a six-year process and outcome evaluation of 13 grantees, mounting innovative, multilevel state and pilot programs that provided trauma-informed services and supports to veterans involved in the criminal justice system. The goal of the evaluation was to document the implementation of state and local pilot activities by grantees and understand the impact of the pilot program services on client outcomes, in particular behavioral health and recidivism. The key sources of data for the process evaluation include the bi-annual collection of standardized semi-structured reports and two face-to-face site visits. The key sources of data for the client outcomes evaluation include longitudinal in-person interviews and data collected through secondary sources on arrests and services at all 13 sites.

Related resources and publications:
 

  • Stainbrook, K., Hartwell, S., & James, A. (2015). Female Veterans in Jail Diversion Programs: Differences From and Similarities to Their Male Peers. Psychiatric Services. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201400442.
  • Stainbrook, K., Penney, D., & Elwyn, L. (2015). The Opportunities and Challenges of Multi-Site Evaluations: Lessons from the Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery National Cross-Site Evaluation. Evaluation and Program Planning, 50, 26-35. Retrieved from www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149718915000075.

Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Aftercare Study

AHP has been awarded a grant by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to conduct a study of the treatment and aftercare services provided under the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Program. The goal of the RSAT Study is to provide NIJ with programmatic knowledge about BJA RSAT-funded treatment and aftercare services. Using a mixed methods design, the study will focus on describing the range and types of substance use treatment, re-entry/release planning activities, and related aftercare services that are provided to offenders through the BJA RSAT program. In particular, the evaluation seeks to identify the application and penetration of evidence-based principles and practices in facilities (jail, prison, juvenile detention) and post-facility with RSAT funds.  

Rosecrance Patient Outcomes Project

Rosecrance Health Networks, a private, not-for-profit behavioral health organization, contracted AHP to analyze its residential treatment data in order to help Rosecrance highlight how its services help adolescents and adults struggling with substance use disorders recover and reclaim their lives. Working with Rosecrance leadership, AHP identified the most compelling information on patient recovery and program success, and made recommendations on how Rosecrance might use those results in marketing its services. As part of this process, AHP examined how Rosecrance meets national and state quality indicators of effective substance use treatment.

The Intersection of Violence Against Women and HIV/AIDS: A Cross-Training Guide for Service Providers Office of Women’s Health

AHP received a grant from the Office of Women’s Health (OWH) to research, revise, and then implement a pilot cross-training program for community domestic violence and HIV/AIDS agencies in four cities across the United States to enhance their services to vulnerable, abused women who were either infected or at risk for HIV/AIDS. By educating each agency on the subject matter of the other agency and encouraging collaboration between them, AHP’s goal was to ensure that no matter how the woman entered the system for services, whether through the domestic violence or HIV/AIDS door, both issues would be addressed. After recruiting the requisite service agencies in cities in four states, revising the five-part curriculum and developing presentations, AHP conducted web-based and onsite trainings, including joint sessions with both agencies. The project included a final report that will empower OWH to roll out a national training program.

Uniform Data Systems for Health Centers

AHP, in partnership with John Snow, Inc. (JSI), supports the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) in the continual development and improvement of processes, documentation, and technical assistance supporting the annual collection of BPHC and BHPr (Bureau of Health Professionals) Uniform Data System (UDS) program performance data from grantees.

The UDS is a core set of information used for reviewing the operation and performance of the approximately 1,300 health centers (Section 330 Federally-qualified Health Centers [FQHCs]), FQHC Look-Alikes (LALs) and Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) Primary Care Clinics) nationwide, which tracks information about patient demographics, services provided, staffing, clinical indicators, utilization rates, and financial measures.

Project goals include ensuring the reliability and validity of UDS data by providing training, technical support and UDS reviewer expertise; collaborating with HRSA Electronic Handbook (EHB) system developers to enhance reporting tools and develop various standardized reports; and conducting analyses and developing reports useful to health centers (for program management and performance improvement), project officers (for monitoring and technical assistance), and to HRSA for analyzing the individual and collective impact of health centers in providing primary health care services to the nation’s underserved populations.

Related resources and publications: