Last year, MACo’s Winter Conference attendees gladly paid tribute to longtime Baltimore City Council Member Rochelle “Rikki” Spector, who was concluding a historic term in local office. She appeared before our crowd with visible injuries from a recent carjacking incident, and spoke about the matter as part of her reflections on public service.
This week, the Baltimore Sun followed up on that story, and explained how Rikki Spector had become an advocate and mentor for the teenage perpetrators, and was actively helping them to get their lives back on track:
What’s less well known is this: Instead of seeking vengeance, Spector quietly decided to become the boys’ advocate.
She and a team of nonprofit workers, mentors, cooks and coaches, a group Spector has dubbed the “Good Samaritans,” have been working with the boys for months — during and after their time on house arrest — and say their grades, school attendance and attitude have shown marked improvements.
Though the boys are still works in progress, their supporters say, the teens are now emerging as leaders in the neighborhood, trying to teach others to stay out of trouble.
Every seat in the James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center conference room was filled for the Opioid Operational Command Center’s Opioid Intervention Team (OIT) Promising Practices Swap & Share held on Thursday, December 14, 2017.
Attendees from OIT teams from across the state were eager to learn from their peers and to share their own promising practices for tackling the opioid epidemic. Here are some highlights:
Baltimore City’s LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) Program
This pilot program is a partnership between law enforcement and behavioral health providers to divert low-level drug offenders into treatment and support services instead of prosecution and jail. Officers bring low-level offenders a LEAD case manager to connect them with services instead of arresting them and taking them to jail.
Wicomico County’s COAT (Community Outreach Addiction Team) Program
The COAT program uses peer support specialists to identify individuals in need of education and outreach and to serve as a bridge to treatment services. Designated as a Promising Practice from NACCHO (National Association of City and County Health Officers) COAT has a $1:$6.66 return on investment.
Anne Arundel County’s Safe Stations and Mobile Crisis Teams
This initiative provides individuals suffering from addiction a means to get 24/7 walk-in assistance at police and fire stations across the county. Since the inception of the Safe Station program on April 20, 2017, through November 30, 2017, there have been 373 assessments and a 62% success rate of individuals completing treatment.
St. Mary’s County and Cumberland City’s Emergency Petitions
These two jurisdictions have programs in which law enforcement officers can file a petition for emergency
evaluation for possible involuntary hospitalization after reviving an individual from an overdose. They have worked closely with their attorneys to overcome legal concerns, and continue to work to address challenges with hospital data and protocols.
Bon Secours’ Hospital Emergency Department Overdose Services
Their services include a process for screening and scoring individuals admitted to the emergency room for withdrawal symptoms. These individuals can be referred to peer coaches and recommended to doctors as a good candidate for suboxone. The initial dose can be prescribed in the emergency room to help the patient until they can be connected with treatment services the next day.
Howard County’s Correctional Facility Treatment and Transition from Incarceration
To meet the challenges of addressing opioid addiction Howard County is using SBIRT in their jails. The process and services have been tailored to meet the needs of a population of individuals who are difficult to treat because of the short time periods they spend in jail — 30% leave within one day and 70% within thirty days.
Washington County’s Day Reporting Center
The first of its kind in Maryland, the center was five years in the making and came to fruition with the help of the Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force and funding through GOCCP. There are currently looking to expand the program to include in house mental health services and the pre-trial population.
Baltimore City’s Needle Exchange Program and Overdose and Rapid Detection Efforts
The City’s needle exchange program was the first in the state. The program seeks to reduce the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C by providing clean syringes. Individuals are also linked to treatment services and provided with overdose response training. Through the City’s overdose and rapid detection effort people can receive email and text alerts about regions where responders are seeing particularly lethal batches of drugs to help them avoid those bad batches. The regions are broad so that it can’t be used as a tool for finding dealers.
OD map was launched a year ago with Anne Arundel County being one of the first in the nation to get on board. The map is now live in 23 states and is a vital tool for cross jurisdictional sharing of overdose and nonfatal overdose information (including location, drug types, and victim demographics).
Kent County’s LDAAC and Whitsitt Center Crisis Stabilization, Detox, and Case Management
The county’s Local Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council (LDAAC) has focused its efforts on the gaps of services to the family of those suffering from addiction. Peer specialists take a unique proactive approach of going out to the individual and their family rather than waiting for them to reach out for help.
Carroll County’s Integrated Behavioral Health, Substance Use Treatment, Resource Support, and Case Management Program
This unique partnership of public and private health services was first established in 2005. They now offer fully integrated care (primary care, behavioral health, dental) all under one roof and follow a strong no wrong door policy.
Talbot County’s Project Purple Campaign
In September Talbot went purple to take a stand against drug abuse. During that month there were 122 speaking engagements, 7,000 people spoken to, and 27 news paper articles written covering prevention, recovery and everything in between.
Harford County’s H.O.P.E. House
This mobile trailer of a mock bed and bathroom contains 50 hidden items of drugs and paraphernalia. Small groups of parents walk through trying to find the items and learning about signs to look for in the process. The trailer has been to 26 events since the ribbon was cut in September, including the 2017 the MACo Winter Conference.
Maryland’s Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC) hosted an Opioid Intervention Team (OIT) Promising Practices Swap & Share providing an important platform for OIT teams from counties across the state to share best practices and lessons learned in the fight against the opioid crisis.
OIT teams are multi-agency bodies established in each county and led by the county’s emergency manager and health officer to coordinate local opioid response efforts and integrate with statewide efforts.
“It’s at the local level – in neighborhoods, in schools, in places of worship – where we all are making the biggest impact in fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic,” he said. “Individually, you are changing your communities, but by working together even more and by replicating what you learn today in your own neighborhoods, just think about how we can change our state and its future.”
The Lieutenant Governor’s remarks were followed by Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman, Maryland Department of Health Secretary Dennis R. Schrader, Maryland Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Russell J. Strickland, and Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Associate Director Natasha Mehu.
Clay Stamp, Executive Director of the OOCC, and Birch Barron, Deputy Director of the OOCC, served as M.C.’s for the day.
“Every day, we are making progress by eliminating stigma in our communities. We’re talking more so that those who need help can come forward and ask for it. We’re encouraging safe disposal of unused medications through drug takeback programs, and we’re seeing treatment expand,” said Clay Stamp, executive director, Opioid Operational Command Center. “While we have to acknowledge the devastating effects of this crisis, we cannot forget that we are seeing momentum build all across the state.”
Before delving into a jammed pack agenda of promising practices, attendees heard from Jillian Beach who shared her story as a family member impacted by the opioid crisis.
The presentations covered a broad range of practices from a diverse set of jurisdictions. Some highlighted programs that were spearheaded by public safety agencies and others by public health. But all harped on the importance of collaboration, information sharing, and bringing key partners together to achieve success and overcome challenges. Audience members left with much information they could take back to their jurisdictions.
The event was held Thursday, December 14, 2017 at the James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center in Howard County. MACo was a sponsors of the event.
At the 2017 MACo Winter Conference general session “We’ve Got Your Back: Counties Collaborate” attendees learned about how counties are leveraging intergovernmental and private sector partnerships to achieve the best results for county residents.
The panelists discussed a range of challenges counties grapple with — responding to natural disasters, ensuring public safety, maximizing purchasing power and investments — and the ways counties can use partnerships to overcome those challenges.
Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman kicked off the panel with a presentation on the recovery efforts after the 2016 Ellicott City flood. He noted that neighboring counties, state agencies, and responders from across the country were crucial in the successful response and recovery to the flood. Partners sent people to help with operational support, including an Incident Management Team from Pennsylvania as Maryland did not have such a team. They also sent equipment such as VAT trucks from Anne Arundel County, SHA trucks, and a helicopter. County Executive Kittleman stressed the importance of a united front while working together and of patience throughout the long-term process of recovery. He concluded sharing that 96% percent of business are back up and running 16 months after the flood — exceeding SBA’s estimate that only 20-30% of businesses would return.
Jim Alfree, Assistant Chief in Queen Anne’s County’s Department of Emergency Services presented on a 911 call overflow partnership between Dorchester, Talbot, Caroline, Queen Anne’s, and Kent counties. Prior to the partnership if you called 911 and the line was busy, you would get a busy signal until the line opened. He likened it to “playing Russian Roulette until you can get through to 911”. To fix this they developed a call flow. When one county 911 center is being inundated by calls, instead of receiving a busy signal the call will be sent to one of the neighboring county call centers. The counties developed a PSA and their public information officers helped with the campaign to get the message out.
Debbie Groat, Regional Purchasing Coordinator for the Baltimore Metropolitan Council presented on the benefits of aggregating county purchases to generate better prices and better services. Generally the greater the volume of purchases the greater the benefits. She noted that 60% of contracts that counties use are the same and that cooperative purchasing can save counties 3-15%. Groat explained the Baltimore Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee’s lead buyer model which helps member counties piggy back on lead buyers contract. And how the committee provides a platform for sharing information on standard cooperative language and best practices that counties can use.
Chris Dellinger, Public Sector Solutions Energy & Sustainability Services for Schneider Electric, spoke about a public-private-partnership between Schneider Electric and Montgomery County to develop a microgrid to protect critical departments in the face of environmental disasters power outages. This partnership arose from a snow storm that hit Montgomery County and significantly knocked out power across the jurisdiction. The microgrids help ensure the county can continue to provide critical services in the face of such storms. The microgrid can power important systems and maintain functionality of a building while the electric grid is down and being worked on. Currently the Montgomery County Correctional Facility and Public Safety Headquarters now have microgrids.
Last but not least, Joseph Mason, Senior Vice President for Davenport & Company gave an overview of the MACo Pooled OPEB Investment Trust Fund. The OPEB trust helps local governments invest current funds toward future obligations for retiree health insurance. By pooling money together counties can reduce overhead and legal costs, as well as gain access to better investments.
This session was moderated by Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and held on Thursday, December 7. The MACo Winter Conference was held December 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. This year the conference’s theme was “The Power of Partnership.”
At 2017 MACo Winter Conference session “No Jail is an Island” audience members learned about the partnerships local jails have generated to provide comprehensive and successful programs behind the walls and within the communities inmates will return to.
George Kaloroumakis, Director of the Wicomico County Department of Corrections put it best that local jails were like “a community within a community, with the same structure as a small municipality.” Kaloroumakis set the stage by providing an overview of the array of services and programs local jails offer in collaboration with state, local, and community entities for the roughly 9,138 inmates in the county jails. He noted that about 60% of that population are known to mental health providers and over 85% have a substance abuse issue.
Guy Merritt, Chief of Community Corrections for the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections discussed the importance of understanding where people are going for help and how they are receiving it before reaching out to potential partners to address gaps in services. Merritt presented specifically about how Prince George’s County is creating a service umbrella by working through MOUs to better share info with other county agencies that provide public safety, health, housing, human services. The jail’s biggest collaborators include the department of social services and the local health department.
Russell Wright, Ordinance Road Correctional Center Education Liaison and Anne Arundel Community College Corrections Education Coordinator, spoke about the Success Through Education Program (STEP). STEP is a collaboration between Anne Arundel Community College and Anne Arundel County Department of Detention Facilities to provide inmates with academics, workforce development, life-skills, and computer literacy to help inmates return to their communities as productive members of society. Participants receive one day off their sentence for every day successfully spent in class. This intense (teachers spend 90% of their time with 90% of the students) and fast-paced program (5 week sessions) has generated 924 GEDs.
This session moderated by Talbot County Council President Jennifer Williams and held on Wednesday, December 7. The MACo Winter Conference was held December 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. This year the conference’s theme was “The Power of Partnership.”
At the 2017 MACo Winter Conference session, Breaking the Mold: Foster Care Collaborations That Work!, attendees learned how counties are forming innovative partnerships to deliver the best programs for children in foster care.
The session began with a presentation by Shalita O’Neale, Foster Care Ombudsman for the Maryland Department of Human Services. Shalita discussed the importance of using the youth engagement model to engage the voices of foster kids and alumni of the foster care system into the development of programs that are intended to assist or serve them. She advocated for boosting their social capital and helping to connect them to the networks needed for them to succeed once they age out of the system.
Dina Daly, Director of the Caroline County Department of Social Services, Linda Webb, Director of the Talbot County Department of Social Services, and Deborah Harburger, Clinical Instructor for The Institute for Innovation & Implementation at the University of Maryland School of Social Work jointly presented on a partnership between the mid-shore counties (Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot) for the Thrive@25 program.
The goal of the Thrive@25 program is to end and prevent homelessness among youth and young adults currently or previously involved in the foster care system. The mid-shore counties were one of 18 grantees nationwide to receive a planning grant and only one of six to receive the 3-year, $2 million implementation grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children and Families, Children’s Bureau for the program.
The presenters discussed how they decided to take a rural look at youth homelessness and worked with community organizations to reach out to foster youth in their early 20s. They found that while the state did not discharge youths into homelessness, their transition plans were deficient. Using a youth engagement model to work from the inside out, they worked to develop a program to help transition these youths into sustainable adult hood. Accomplishments included Achieve My Plan, Thrive House, and expanding a summer employment program into a year-long program for some positions.
The panel stressed communication as a key to collaboration. While they discussed some of the bumps they encountered along the way, the also provided some tips and lessons learned for successfully working together to implement a program.
This session was held on Thursday, December 7, 2017. The MACo Winter Conference was held December 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. This year the conference’s theme was “The Power of Partnership.”
At the 2017 MACo Winter Conference attendees learned about how counties are working to administer limited resources and leverage public and private partnerships in order to improve care coordination and achieve better outcomes for their senior residents.
Joanne Williams, Director of Aging for Baltimore County, started her presentation by noting that “necessity is the mother of all invention” and how a change in the funding climate over the years, paired with a growth in the number of seniors to serve, has taxed the limited resources and forced them to look towards inventive solutions.
She then launched into a discussion about how Baltimore County is working outside of the box partnering with internal, departmental, and external stakeholders to provide innovative services to their residents. Joanne also presented on the county’s Hospital to Home program as an example of one of a successful partnership.
Linda Willis and Morgan Deweese, Director and Resource manager for the Cecil County Department of Aging respectively, jointly presented on the importance of partnerships in applying for grants and deep-dived into a case study of Cecil’s Hospital to Home program.
Linda stressed that forming and solidifying relationships with local stakeholders is essential before grant opportunities or unexpected complications in the field arise. She then highlighted a community crisis that brought the Department of Aging and Emergency Management together to generate and execute a solution.
Morgan continued the discussion by focusing on the county’s Hospital to Home program. She walked through how the partnerships were formed and how the stakeholders worked together in a short amount of time to apply for and execute the grants noting the key steps along the way required for shaping the program, targeting the participants, and tracking the outcomes.
A note on the Hospital to Home grant program: while many counties took advantage of the state administered grant opportunity each did so in a way that would work best with their residents.
Joanne shared that in Baltimore County the program helps target frequent flyers for hospital service and includes a coordinator on site at Northwest Hospital to meet with each patient to determine their service needs following discharge back to his or her community. The hope is that once the state grant funding ends the hospital will find the program beneficial enough to continue though a funding partnership with the county.
Morgan shared that in Cecil County the Hospital to Home partnership was formed with Union Hospital and targets the Medicaid and dually-eligible populations. There are staff members co-located at the hospital three days a week to provide hands on help with the individual and warm hand-offs to community services.
This session was moderated by Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes. The MACo Winter Conference was held December 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. This year the conference’s theme was “The Power of Partnership.”
I bet you know that every dollar a county spends on property damage, work related injuries, liability claims, automobile claims, accidents, insurance premiums and the like, is a dollar not spent on providing county services. But do you know how to manage those risks?
Risk management is an important tool for local governments. At “The Basics of Risk Management” 2017 MACo winter conference session, presenters Lawrence J. Bohlen, Director of Field Services, and Jeffrey Perkins, Loss Control Consultant, from the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT) taught attendees the importance and benefits of managing risk, the ways of identifying and analysizing loss exposure, risk financing, and other aspects of the risk management process. Using case studies and role play, attendees applied the principles they learned hands on.
Additionally, attendees of the session that are participates in the Academy Fellows certificate program received credit for the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance. The Academy for Excellence in Local Governance is a volunteer certificate program for elected and appointed county and municipal officials. The program provides a strong background of necessary skills and knowledge for local government leaders. It was founded by MACo and MML, is facilitated by the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, and is sponsored by the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT).
This session was moderated by President of the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County Randy Guy and held on Wednesday, December 6 at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge Maryland.
The Maryland County Officials Diversity Caucus invites you to attend their reception at the 2017 MACo Winter Conference. The reception will be held Thursday, December 7, 2017 from 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge Maryland.
The Diversity Caucus provides an organizational structure for county elected officials of minority descent to empower, represent, and respond to issues affecting the most vulnerable communities and constituencies; to promote legislation and policies beneficial to the people they represent; and to serve as a central point for information and participation within the Maryland Association of Counties.
The mission of the Diversity Caucus is to foster current and future leaders from within the community of elected officials of minority descent and in Maryland county government, and to provide resources and support for Diversity Caucus members and those who share its goals. Visit the MACo website to learn more about the Maryland County Officials Diversity Caucus.
The MACo Winter Conference will be held December 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. The conference’s theme is “The Power of Partnership.”
“Stayin’ Alive” – Learn to Save a Life with Naloxone Training for Opioid Overdoses and Hands-Only CPR Training
Description: Participants will receive in-person, hands-on training and certification in recognizing and responding to opioid overdose with Naloxone. This prescription medication can safely and effectively reverse an opioid (heroin and prescription pain reliever) overdose. Upon completion of the training, participants will receive a certificate and a kit containing educational materials and the medication.
Participants will also receive training in hands-only CPR. Bystander CPR can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival. Get certified today – and find out how the classic disco song “Stayin’ Alive” can actually help you keep someone alive.
Trainer: Gregory Branch, Baltimore County Health Officer
Wednesday, December 6, 2017; 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm
Thursday, December 7, 2017; 12:45 pm – 1:45 pm
The MACo Winter Conference will be held December 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. The conference’s theme is “The Power of Partnership.”