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.

Search Projects by Category

Select items in one or more of four categories to find relevant project types:

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Access to Recovery (ATR) [Commonwealth of Massachusetts, DPH/BSAS]

ATR is an innovative program that helps people in Massachusetts who are in early recovery from opioid use disorder (OUD) gain wider access to community services. ATR is making a difference, shown by a four-fold increase in employment among participants after they complete the program compared to when they enrolled. ATR graduates are better able to sustain recovery, find jobs, and maintain stable housing. 
 

ATR participants are also far less likely to fatally overdose while enrolled in the program, with rates at less than 1%.   

 

AHP has been running this federal grant from SAMHSA since 2010. Clients choose recovery support services that they think will help them most in their recovery.  
 

Examples of services include care coordination, basic critical needs support (clothing, IDs), public transportation passes, health and mental health supports, and employment training. ATR gives participants the dignity of self-sufficiency and the hope for a future in recovery.  

 

This project is being implemented in four Massachusetts cities: Springfield, Boston, Worcester, and New Bedford.  

  

For the relatively low cost of an average of $1,865 per participant for the 6-month program, ATR saves the Commonwealth money and saves lives. During one grant year alone, $4 million went back into the local economy by paying providers for the services provided to participants and by paying participants a work-study benefit when they attended job-training programs. 

 

The focus on employment through job readiness training, job search assistance, and occupational training is key to the program’s success. Job training is provided to participants with a recognition that they have complex needs and benefit from customized approaches to employment training. The ATR employment program, the Career Building Initiative (CBI), is a national model for successful job readiness and occupational training for people in early recovery from substance use disorders. 
 

About 90% of ATR participants have some criminal justice system involvement and often face barriers to securing employment. To accommodate this population, CBI includes training in jobs that employ people with a criminal justice background, including culinary/food services, commercial cleaning, construction, hotel/hospitality, truck driving, and office work. 

 

ATR coordinators are continuously trained on recovery planning, motivational interviewing, and engagement techniques, resulting in successful engagement with the participants throughout their time in the program. 

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.

BHbusiness Plus

BHbusiness Plus is funded through a contract with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It offers customized, virtual technical assistance and training to behavioral health executives at no cost to participants. The goal is to help behavioral health providers identify and implement customized change projects that expand their service capacity, harness new payer sources, and thrive in the changing health care environment. The program empowers participating organizations to actually make quantifiable changes, rather than just learning how to do so. It links participants into specific learning networks that focus on a specific topic of interest and provides opportunities for networking and peer support. Everyone in a learning network receives hands-on expertise and guidance to initiate, continue, and complete business operations changes.
 
Participants benefit from the following supports:
 
  • focused technical assistance that meets each organization’s business needs;
  • guidance from a dedicated coach that helps participants develop a customized change project;
  • access to a peer group of like-minded providers that empowers organizations to learn from combined experiences to grow their businesses;
  • consultation from leading subject matter experts in the field; and
  • resources designed to be meaningful to learners, providing practical action steps to meet individual challenges.
 
Related resources and publications:
 

SAMHSA’s Homeless and Housing Resource Network

SAMHSA contracted with AHP to provide training and technical assistance (TA) on housing and homelessness to SAMHSA Homeless Program Branch (HPB) grantees and other homelessness housing and service providers operating across the United States and U.S. territories. Housing and service programs are united by a vision of ending homelessness by supporting individuals through a process of change as they improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. 

The goals of this project include the following: 
 

  • Promoting the adoption of best practices for serving people who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless and have chronic mental illness or co-occurring disorders; 

  • Increasing workforce capacity through TA and training;
  • Disseminating information to the homelessness services field in support of SAMHSA’s strategic initiatives;
  • Collaborating with other agencies and organizations to improve the coordination of SAMHSA activities focused on addressing homelessness and building effective partnerships; and
  • Measuring meaningful change.

The HHRN TA team is led by AHP and includes partners HomeBase, Policy Research Associates (PRA), JBS International, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), and Abt Associates.  

Through AHP's team, HHRN provides assistance to the public and to HPB grantees, which includes PATH, Cooperative Agreements to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI), and Grants for the Benefit of Homeless Individuals (GBHI) grantees that touch people in every state and territory. HHRN serves as the TA and training resource for SAMHSA. 


Examples of work included updating, enhancing, and field testing two evidence-based practices KITs focused on people experiencing homelessness—the Permanent Supportive Housing KIT and the Integrated Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders KIT. In addition, HHRN has conducted multifaceted, interagency policy academies on chronic homelessness in collaboration with other federal agencies, such as a policy academy on youth homelessness and a policy academy on  outreach and engagement to people experiencing unsheltered homelessness.  
 

Related resources and publications: 

Technical Assistance and Training on Women and Families Impacted by Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders (also known as: Women, Children, and Families)

The WCF project supported SAMHSA’s advancement of state-of-the-art knowledge around substance use and mental health needs of women and families through supporting leaders, workforce development efforts, product development, and expert consultation. The project utilized a multipronged approach to increase the field’s capability for meeting the needs of women, adolescent girls, and families across the nation, which included working with policy makers, providers, and leaders committed to improving women’s services throughout the nation.

AHP also provided expert consultation on gender-responsive prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery support services for adolescent girls, pregnant women, and families with children.

AHP provided training and technical assistance through the WCF project from 2008 to 2018. AHP provided subject matter expertise and consultation to SAMHSA, NASADAD, states and community groups on effective interventions, treatment and recovery support for women and families. 

 
Key project components included: 

  • National conferences
  • Webinars, trainings, and online courses
  • Research; internal and external reports
  • Expert panels
  • Support for the National Association of State Alcohol/Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD)/Women’s Services Network 

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