From the Field
PROS in Western New York
It has been nearly six years since the first Personal Recovery Oriented Services (PROS) program opened in Western New York (WNY). Since that time, we have grown to 18 providers with the newest PROS program being not yet six months old. There have been many changes over the years. Our early providers advocated for regulatory changes to respond to the needs of their recipients. These changes occurred in September of 2012 with the first revision to Part 512. OMH offered training through the Center for Practice Innovations (CPI) at Columbia Psychiatry and through the Family Institute for Education, Practice & Research. Both of these organizations have enhanced their training opportunities for our PROS programs to now offer 39 Focus on Integrated Treatment (FIT) modules including Tobacco Dependence Treatment, Wellness Self-Management Plus (WSM+) to address co-occurring disorders, Individual Placement and Support (IPS) modules, and modules specific to Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams. WNY PROS programs have actively participated in the many webinars, individual consultations and teleconferences made available by CPI and The Family Institute. We are proud to report that in the WNY Region 176 counselors from OMH-licensed programs and 53 counselors from OASAS-licensed programs have received The Integrated Mental Health/Addictions Treatment Training Certificate (IMHATT). In a continued effort to improve PROS, our providers are now able to review the data from the CAIRS system and use this data to target specific areas where services may need to be enhanced.
One of the biggest hurdles the PROS programs faced as they transitioned from Community Day Treatment (CDT) and/or Intensive Psychiatric Rehabilitative Treatment (IPRT) models was the culture change for both recipients and providers. Just as the PROS staff has been teaching recipients that networking and reaching out to their communities is an essential ingredient of recovery, the PROS Teams too are recognizing that growth and improvement in their service delivery can come with the same process.
In an effort to keep up with the many learning opportunities for PROS, providers in our urban areas have initiated smaller networking meetings to problem-solve issues some or all are facing. Recently, a phone conference was held with our rural providers to offer the same opportunity. These networking meetings, whether face to face or across phone lines, are offering opportunities for our newer programs to learn from their older, more experienced programs to brainstorm ways to address common issues. The WNYFO is hoping to bring all of the WNY PROS programs together at least once a year to share experiences and ideas for continuing improvement. The best is yet to come with PROS as we will see many more recipients achieve recovery goals they never thought possible.