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DBHDD Employee Newsletter October 23, 2009

First Four
We've almost completed our first four months of operations as a new department and we've already accomplished a lot. Of course, the biggest achievement was launching a new agency without a gap in services, for which the Governor gave us a special award. We've also started a new public-sector partnership with the Medical College of Georgia to provide clinical services at East Central Georgia Regional Hospital in Augusta and Gracewood, began bringing in a team of experts to provide much-needed expertise at our hospitals (see accompanying article), cleared up delayed payments to providers of services for people with developmental disabilities, trained service providers and policy makers around the state on the recovery model for addictive diseases, spearheaded the electronic medical records initiative, built relationships with advocates, increased hiring of staff, and finally ended institutionalization of children and adolescents. Many of these accomplishments had been in process before DBHDD came along, but it's nice to see them come to fruition. 

Team of Experts
DBHDD recently announced that we're bringing in a team of specialists to help boost the expertise at our hospitals. Who are these folks and what will they be doing? They're primarily clinicians, experts, and trainers whose main task will be to help review our policies and procedures and make sure we're using the best methods. They'll start with some of the key safety areas: choking and aspiration, suicide risk assessment and prevention, prevention of patient-on-patient assaults, and implementation of emergency medical codes. Over time they'll also help us with discharge planning, treatment, and behavioral crisis prevention, among other areas. Ultimately, the goal is to put in place all the elements to improve safety, security, and the quality of care and to fulfill the CRIPA settlement.

Meet...the DBHDD Board
The DBHDD Board's next meeting is November 9 at 1:00 PM in room 29-250 at Two Peachtree St. in Atlanta. Here we introduce the members who've already been appointed by Governor Perdue. DBHDD Board Chair Dr. Mary BurnsPictured here is DBHDD Board Chair Mary Burns, M.D. Dr. Burns is engaged in private practice and serves as a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Emory University.

Happy Halloween
Everyone in DBHDD whose job duties allow them to do so are invited to come to work on Friday Oct. 30 in their Halloween costumes or other holiday-themed attire. The ghosts and ghoulies at 2 Peachtree will be having a costume contest with prizes and reverse-trick-or-treating. Our colleagues at regional offices and hospitals are invited to participate by photo and we'll announce the overall winner on November 3rd. Look for more info by email soon!

You Oughta Know...

...The campaign to get everyone in DBHDD involved in the State Charitable Contributions Program will be starting in November. Look for a message from Commissioner Shelp towards the end of October.

...Open Enrollment is on! Choose your benefits by November 10th at 4:30 PM.

...We have a new jobs website! is the place to go to find out about new opportunities and to begin the application process.

...Red Ribbon Week (Substance Abuse Prevention) is Friday Oct. 23 through Saturday Oct. 31.


Thanks to everyone who sent in milestones for our eNewsletter. You can view the milestones here.

DBHDD In the News

Ga. psych hospitals to get help from experts (WALB-TV News)
October 20, 2009

Substance abuse awareness campaign kicks off today (Rome News-Tribune)
October 20, 2009

Unit at Central State closes (Baldwin Bulletin)
October 15, 2009

Medical students try to find, treat mental illnesses (Augusta Chronicle)
October 13, 2009

Dr. Manning, former state mental health director, joins MCG faculty (Media Newswire)
October 12, 2009

Invisible no more (Augusta Chronicle)
October 10, 2009

MCG Partners with East Central Georgia Regional Hospital (WJBF-TV News)
October 9, 2009

MCG to take over struggling psychiatric hospital (WALB-TV News)
October 9, 2009

Partnership to save 1,600 jobs (Augusta Chronicle)
October 9, 2009

MCG partnership will help save local mental health hospitals WRDW-TV News)
October 8, 2009

Era of state mental treatment for youths nearing end (Macon Telegraph)
October 6, 2009

Southwestern State Hospital to Remain Open (WCTV-TV, Thomasville)
September 16, 2009

Hospital to remain open (The Moultrie Observer)
September 16, 2009

Perdue makes executive appointments (Behavioral Health Coordinating Council) (The Daily Citizen)
September 16, 2009

Drug court receives new federal grant (Athens Banner-Herald)
September 10, 2009

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