July 2, 2019

Spring Conference Opening and Closing Messages Strike a Chord with Attendees

Opening Plenary Speaker Judith Gethner, Executive Director, Illinois Partners for Human Services

With a turnout of 450 health, behavioral and I-DD stakeholders including leaders from Providers, LME/MCOs, Standard Plan Managers, Public Health, NC Department of Health and Human Services leadership, Advocates, Consumers and Family Members, and a variety of vendor organizations, the i2i Pathways 2 Progress opening and closing plenary topics were timely and thought provoking, covering different aspects of how to succeed in our changing system.  

The opening session The Power of Words:  Reframing Human Services to Leverage Support was an important examination of how we communicate about our services. 

The presentation by Judith Gethner, Executive Director, Illinois Partners for Human Service focused on how health and human service organizations must reframe how we talk about our services so that we move from a “charity” mindset to discussing our work as a vehicle that helps everyone reach their full potential. 

Gethner said, “The human services sector has been communicating in much the same way since its origin in the 18th century.  More importantly, the words that we are using are deeply embedded in negative societal views, which continue to impact our sector’s problem with perception.  When we reframe our language, we avoid those highly unproductive perceptions and focus on the collective well-being, on why and how services affect and benefit everyone.  The key is to have our messaging resonate with the general public to demonstrate that it takes all of us to fix the problem and that there is a solution that benefits everyone.”

Gethner’s message had an immediate effect with several attendees from varying organizations commenting that based on this presentation, they would be  going back to their offices to review their brochures, handbooks, social media, etc. 

Monica Oss, CEO OPEN MINDS, Closing Plenary Speaker

The closing plenary featured nationally known expert and influencer Monica Oss, CEO of OPEN MINDS to discuss Succeeding in a Value Based Health and Human Service Landscape:  Keys to Balancing Performance, Measurement, Talent and Capital.

Oss’s two hour presentation offered attendees a full and robust look at the trends and movements in behavioral health and human services with the focus on how to remain competitive in the future.  She covered areas such as the importance of consumerism, the role of technology in services and management, trends in care, how to optimize value, improving performance management, changes in brain science, market disrupters, workforce and management issues, evolving service delivery, performance based management and much more. 

“This is time of great change – but also tremendous opportunity – in North Carolina,” said Ms. Oss.  “The executive teams with a solid strategy for sustainability and a nimble management team to implement that strategy will see great success in the years ahead.”

Attendees were given plenty of “food for thought” as they left the conference as well as instructions on where to focus their time and energy moving forward.