January 31, 2019

0i2i’s first year – building change

The i2i Center for Integrative Health hit the one year mark on January 1, 2019, and what a year of building and growth it has been for the organization! In 12 short months, i2i staff have met with leaders representing all segments of the public service system, as well as private sector organizations involved in the system to introduce the new organization, focusing on i2i’s mission to convene stakeholders, strategize solutions, and activate change.

When asked about these early efforts, Mary Hooper, i2i Executive Director, said, “Our Year 1 goals were pretty simple: First: to get out there and re-present ourselves and our organization so that there is no question that i2i is what we say it is: a neutral convener organization with a goal to bring together folks with common concerns about behavioral health and I-DD together to improve the system and whole person care; and second: to create a foundation that is sustainable for the foreseeable future. And honestly, I think we’ve made more progress on both fronts than even I had expected in this relatively short amount of time. We were fortunate to have garnered early support from a number of large Champion and Partner donors as well as i2i Friend sponsors in 2018, too. I have to say that our Champions and Partners are organizations that made investments primarily in the concept of i2i in that transitional year, and I cannot thank them enough for their support. Without that, we would not be where we are today!”

Overview of i2i’s 2018 Activities:
• I’m IN: Community Inclusion: A project to support adults with mental illness aimed at developing policies, programs, and practices to support individuals with mental illness to participate more fully in everyday community life by focusing on the creation of meaningful local inclusion projects. In 2019, I’m IN will work with local community groups to become Pilot Partners who will create and implement their own local innovations.
• Value-Based Planning and Care for Public Safety Net Providers: A grant from the Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net will develop knowledge and training capacity related to value-based service delivery in behavioral and primary healthcare. In 2019, activities will ramp up by bringing in additional stakeholders for information sharing and networking. A data analysis initiative will be conducted to prioritize and offer training for providers that serve both FQHC/CHCs and LME/MCOs to maximize the benefit of the training.
• Cross System Navigation for Individuals with I-DD: This multiple year initiative is reviewing the cross-system navigation components in the Medicaid Transformation plan to make recommendations to improve system usage/service navigation for individuals with I/DD and their families in the evolving Medicaid environment.


Trainings, Convenings, and Collaborations:
• Nuts & Bolts of Behavioral Health and I-DD for Legislators convened 25 new and seasoned legislators to provide basic information in preparation for decisions facing them as they approached the opening of the legislative session.
• Value-Based Contracting Collaborative is developing a state pilot proposal to implement value based payments for a current service. To date, outcome metrics have been drafted, and a plan of action for the pilot program is in development.
• The June Collaborating for Change Spring Conference brought together a diverse group of 450 system leaders for a day and a half of meetings, trainings, and networking on topics such as Care Management, Medicaid Transformation, Value Based Care and much more.
• Almost 1,000 Leaders convened in Pinehurst, NC for the December Visionary Voices Conference. This conference is one of the largest gatherings of MH/IDD/SUD leadership for training in the state. Conference handouts and resources are still available on our website.


In addition to the continuation of many of the initiatives described above, in early 2019, i2i has already added 2 projects:

• In an effort to keep those serving children and families in the BH/IDD Medicaid system informed on the numerous challenges and changes taking place in our system, i2i will conduct training for System of Care (SOC) Coordinators and Lead Family Partners on Medicaid Transformation; Social Service and Child Welfare Restructuring; Raise the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction; and, the federal First in Families Act on March 28, 2019.
• To strengthen advocacy for children and youth in our system, i2i will be working with the NC Collaborative for Children, Youth and Families to facilitate their work with legislators by tracking legislation and working with their Policy Advisory Committee to identify and develop strategies related to key legislative issues.

“As these recent additions point out, i2i is just getting started for 2019,” Hooper says. “i2i has gained traction, and as we receive requests to take on new projects, we’re being very diligent to ensure that our work aligns with our mission. We will identify priorities and projects based on our mission and vision — as a convener of stakeholders, to improve the quality of care and life for North Carolinians thru strategic partnerships, education, information, etc. If we stay with that, I’m pretty confident we’ll find success.”