CONNECT at Butte Health Fair

Is your agency interested in CONNECT?

Come visit us at the Health Fair!  Sign up for trainings and get your questions answered.

Tuesday, April 16th
8:00 am to 2:00 pm
Butte Plaza Mall

For questions, contact:

Shannon Hopewell
CONNECT Health Specialist
The City-County of Butte-Silver Bow Health Department
25 W. Front St.
Butte, MT 59701
(406) 497-5079
shopewell@bsb.mt.gov

CONNECT Montana at DPHHS – update

In January 2019, the management of the CONNECT system moved from the local level (at Lewis and Clark Public Health) to the state level, now housed within the Department of Public Health and Human Service’s Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Bureau. This transition was facilitated via upper managerial support, with a series of grants to provide a foundation of monetary support. The statewide model provides increased capacity and solid infrastructure for achieving the long-term goals of CONNECT.

The Bureau recently hired Alex Long as the new Statewide CONNECT Coordinator, who started her work on February 4. Long’s role is partnership development and support, system coordination and management. Additional staff will support Long in her new role, including former Lewis & Clark Public Health CONNECT Coordinator Megan Grotzke, who now works at DPHHS as a project manager.

This update will answer some lingering questions and outline which items require further planning and attention. It is important to note that this is a high-level perspective of current CONNECT activities. More in-depth information will be shared via blog post as details are established.

This has been a massive undertaking, and our attention has been focused on the immediate, critical items in the early stages of the transition. We want to be transparent and keep valued partners in the loop as this work moves forward. All important communications will be channeled through this platform until further notice, so please subscribe to this blog and share with partners who may want updates.

System Updates

Noble Software Group is the software development company that is responsible for the management, maintenance and upgrades of the CONNECT system. This partnership is essential for the operation of the system. Currently, the Bureau is in the process of completing a series of important tasks to ensure a smooth transition to the Department and statewide expansion of the system.

First, it is critical that there is a contract in place between the State and Noble. This has been a major focus for CONNECT staff, and we are nearing completion of contract development. The state-level contract will eliminate the need for each participating county or region in Montana to hold an individual contract with Noble, as was the case in previous years. The Bureau is actively negotiating costs associated with services, primarily “user fees,” as part of the contract with Noble.

Also, Noble is in the process of developing a requested enhancement package including significant improvements for users (more logical, efficient functionalities, improved user capabilities, electronic signatures, etc.) and administrators (more intuitive onboarding and agency maintenance, automatic tracking of MOU expiration and annual agency updates, etc.). CONNECT program staff are working closely with Noble to ensure that these upgrades are completed in a timely fashion. Noble currently estimates a 3-4 month timeframe for completion of all requested system enhancements. If anything changes, this will be communicated immediately.

Statewide Expansion

The CONNECT system is transitioning from siloed county systems to an interconnected statewide referral network. As an organized effort, the Bureau plans to implement the statewide roll-out in 2 phases, based on the 13-region map found on our Statewide Expansion page (this will be updated during the strategic planning process). As a part of this expansion, each region will be required to have a coordinator to support the implementation and growth of CONNECT and work closely with other regional partners.

As part of the enhancement package that is currently in development, the system is being updated to include closed-loop capabilities throughout the entire statewide network, with built-in safeguards to ensure that referrals are only going to appropriate service providers. Currently, service providers (called agencies in CONNECT) are only able to accept and receive referrals from other agencies in their respective systems. This new statewide referral network will allow Montanans to get services they need, no matter where they are in the state.

Coordinators

For those currently serving in a CONNECT Coordinator role, the program has identified a series of supports and methods of communication. We plan to schedule a check-in, introductory call for the second week in March. Please be on the lookout for an email describing this call and try your best to attend. In addition to the check-in call, we will be planning for a monthly group call for all coordinators as well as an annual in-person statewide meeting.

During this transition, it has become apparent that the role and duties of the statewide coordinator versus the regional coordinator and system administrator needs to be defined. This will be communicated as part of this ongoing orientation process. The program staff cannot overstate the importance of planning, and will be working with all the current and prospective regions on developing an individualized long-term sustainability plan.

Survey: Planning & Partnerships

Statewide partnerships and collaboration will make the CONNECT expansion successful. The collaborative work includes everything from staff support and system promotion to financial contributions for system upgrades and maintenance. There are entities from a variety of disciplines interested in utilizing CONNECT, as it is caters to such a wide audience. To prepare an inclusive CONNECT project plan, we created two surveys for current and prospective regional and statewide partners.

Regional Readiness Survey
(to identify what we need to do to support each region individually):

https://mdphhs.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cGP9q5qh6MxjQmF

Statewide Partner Survey
(to identify State of Montana or other statewide partners interested in CONNECT):

https://mdphhs.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0MMy0VFn2PdJhuR

If you’re interested in completing the survey, please include all the details you would like the team to know regarding your interest in CONNECT and share with any partner organizations who may be interested in providing input. Your participation is appreciated!

Once the survey has closed, the results will be compiled and synthesized for evaluation. The results will be utilized at a Bureau strategic planning meeting to identify key partners, begin the referral mapping process to establish a baseline that will allow us to track growth over time, and create a detailed work plan. The strategic planning meeting is scheduled for the end of March; updates will be communicated through this blog.


Please subscribe to this blog to receive email notifications as updates are available. Thank you for your patience during this transition – it is an exciting time for Montana. Let’s get CONNECTED!

Region 3 Referral Coordinator Position Open Now

The REGION 3 CONNECT REFERRAL COORDINATOR position is now open. 
Click here for posting.

This is a full-time position with Lewis & Clark Public Health, open until December 30.  Region 3 includes Lewis & Clark, Broadwater, Jefferson, and Meagher counties.

Please share with anyone who may be interested! 



CONNECT Job Opportunity

Hi, everyone!  I recently accepted a position with DPHHS and my last day as the CONNECT Referral Coordinator will be December 12.  I sincerely enjoyed my time here at Lewis & Clark Public Health, and am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this innovative endeavor.  I want to thank all of our partners across the state who have contributed to the success of the referral system – I look forward to seeing the continued growth and expansion of CONNECT in the future!

  • In my absence, Noble Software Group will be fielding technical support questions for Lewis & Clark County.

Email Support
Email our support center directly, we will be in touch with you in no time.
support@noblesg.com

Call Support
Give us a call! We will gladly walk you through whatever the issue may be.
(530) 214-0001

  • For other CONNECT inquiries, please contact:

Jacqueline Isaly
Community Health Promotion Division Administrator
Lewis & Clark Public Health
1930 9th Ave, Helena, MT 59601
JISALY@lccountymt.gov
406-457-8958 office
406-457-8990 fax

If you or someone you know may be interested in the Statewide CONNECT Program Manager position, it’s open until December 9th (link here). The Regional CONNECT Coordinator position will be posted soon, so check back on our L&C County employment page if you’re interested! 

Sincerely,

Megan Grotzke
Referral Coordinator
Lewis & Clark Public Health
406-457-8979 | 1930 9th Ave

Catch us at the Cover Montana Summit

Megan Grotzke, Referral Coordinator at Lewis & Clark Public Health, will be presenting with Connie Winner, Clinical Services Division Administrator at Montana Department of Corrections, on October 17 from 10:15-11:30 at Fairmont.  The presentation is part of the 2-day Cover Montana Summit: Outreach and E3 – Enrollment, Engagement, & Enabling Services.

The presentation comes on the heels of a decision to pilot CONNECT at the Montana men’s prison.  More information about the pilot will be available in the coming months – stay tuned for updates on our blog.


What is Cover Montana?
A project of the Montana Primary Care Association, Cover Montana is a network of organizations committed to increasing access to affordable insurance. Cover Montana is dedicated to growing and strengthening outreach, enrollment, and patient engagement efforts throughout the state.
Who should attend?
Stakeholders who are interested in connecting Montanans to new affordable health insurance options.
+  Those who want to network with enrollment assisters and stakeholders from across Montana.
+  Those who are interested in skill building that can benefit enrollment assistance and other care coordination roles.

What is the cost to attend?
Free! We work closely with our sponsors to ensure there is no fee to attend the Summit. Attendees are responsible for their own lodging and transportation.

For more information, visit the Cover Montana Summit website.

CONNECT Partner: The REAL Community Project

CONNECT is partnering with Youth Connections on a new Helena-based project designed to give local faith leaders access to our electronic referral system and get more people connected to necessary services.

The REAL Community Project, or simply REAL, (Referrals, Education, Action, Love) is an initiative to engage faith communities in the Helena area to prevent substance abuse and make the Helena area safer and healthier for kids and families. This will be accomplished through referrals for services, an educational conference providing resources to faith leaders, and a volunteer fair to inform the public about opportunities where they can provide service to the community.

Faith leaders are often trusted and respected by those in their community. They tend to be one of the first places people turn in times of need. By equipping these faith leaders with knowledge about the issues surrounding drugs and alcohol in the community and tangible ways to help prevent substance abuse, Helena can become a safer place for everyone.

To learn more about REAL, visit their website or email Rachel Dober at Rachel@youthconnectionscoalition.org.

Statewide Expansion Information

This is just a quick note regarding the statewide expansion of the CONNECT Electronic Referral System.  Things are moving forward and a lot of great conversations are taking place regarding the future of CONNECT in Montana.

Over the next few weeks, our site will be populated with numerous tools and resources to assist individuals and communities as they prepare for local implementation or regional expansion of CONNECT.  Our site now has a new page dedicated to information about the expansion, found here.  Soon it will contain detailed information about the 2-phase expansion timeline, upcoming system enhancements, various outreach and marketing materials, and other items that will support CONNECT administrators and advocates.  Be sure to sign up to follow our blog via email to receive the most up-to-date news, straight to your inbox.

A huge thank you goes out to those who have helped us gather momentum as we approach this massive endeavor!  Your commitment has an impact.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about how you can become a part of this statewide referral network, contact Megan Grotzke here.

CONNECT logo 20180808

Free Online HIPAA Training

TA Coalition Webinar: Myths and Reality: The HIPAA Privacy Rule

Description:  HIPAA is a privacy rule intended to safeguard private health information, but is often misinterpreted and misapplied. With better understanding of flexibility within HIPAA, mental health stakeholders can promote both individuals’ privacy rights and appropriate inclusion of families/partners and providers.

This webinar will feature various scenarios that illustrate both commonly-held misperceptions about HIPAA, as well as more complex issues.  It will address such topics as communications among health providers, disclosures to caregivers, rights of people to access information about their own treatment, special rules pertaining to mental health and substance use information, and other important topics.     

Follow this link to access the free training! https://www.nasmhpd.org/content/ta-coalition-webinar-myths-and-reality-hipaa-privacy-rule

The link is also available on our Training Resources page.

New Lewis & Clark County CONNECT Agency

Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) is now a user of CONNECT!  The agency is set up and able to accept referrals.

Curious about MLSA?  Here’s what you need to know:

Montana Legal Services Association is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that empowers low income people by providing legal information, advice, and other services free of charge. MLSA works to help people escape abuse and domestic violence, keep their housing, preserve their public benefits, protect their finances, and more.

Contact Melissa Magnuson with questions about MLSA by email or at 406-442-9830.

Visit mtlsa.org to learn more!

New Lewis & Clark County CONNECT Agencies

Please join me in welcoming Bridges and Helena Area Habitat for Humanity to the L&C County CONNECT Referral System!

Bridges is an enrichment and educational program of Helena Community Connections, Inc., that engages community organizations in offering presentations and workshops that explore challenges and opportunities associated with the aging process.  The target audience is “next generation of dependent adults” who seek to make decisions now that result in optimal independence, health and purpose as they experience the aging process.  Some programs offering meals invite $5 donation to match AARP catered meal grants.

Current Programs:

Bridges Buffet – a monthly noontime catered lunch program that engages participants with a variety of speakers who explore challenges and opportunities in eight wellness areas including physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, social, occupational (how we spend our time), environmental (connections to community), and intellectual.

CareMpower – a monthly volunteer caregivers catered meal program that promotes socialization among volunteer caregivers and engages subject matter experts who promote caregivers self-care, specialized caregiver skills as well as inspire and encourage those who offer care to others.

Cranium Café – a monthly noontime brain health workshop led by Nanette Holmes, Life Enrichment Director – Touchmark, that engages participants in learning and practicing brain health exercises, learning how the brain changes over time how to keep it healthy, and discussion.

My Destiny –  a quarterly financial  and estate planning workshop led by Marsha Goetting PhD of Montana State University Extension Services who engages participants in a fun and educational exploration of the importance of financial and estate planning and tips for getting started.

Gentle Ways – a weekly morning workshop that engages participants of all ages and abilities in gentle strengthening, balancing and flexibility exercises led by experienced practitioners.

Big Sky Caregivers Connect – a monthly noontime volunteer caregivers support group conducted at Touchmark by trained and experienced facilitators that offers opportunities for volunteer caregivers to share their experiences, learn from others, and find support and information to enhance their lives and those receiving their care.

Contact Rick Hulbert with questions about Bridges via email or at 431-7085. Visit bridgeshcc.org to learn more!


Helena Area Habitat for Humanity serves individuals and families who earn between 30 and 80% AMI (area median income). We are currently offering two programs: the Homeownership Program and the Critical Home Repair Program. We are looking for clients who are interested in working with us to build their own home. Eligibility for this program is based on income and credit history. We are happy to provide financial coaching to families who are serious about becoming homeowners.

Our Critical Home Repair program is geared towards current homeowners who need assistance with a repair, for example, a leaking roof, plumbing or electrical issues, and other issues that may compromise the structure and safety of the home. Habitat asses each client on the following: need, willingness to partner, and ability to pay. We provide these homeowners with an interest free loan to perform the repair and the necessary technical assistance. Through donors, sponsors and volunteers, we are able to subsidize each project to meet our client’s income.

Contact Sophia Webb with questions via email or at 406-449-4663, ext. 102.  Visit www.helenahabitat.org to learn more!


Interested in learning more about CONNECT?  Contact Megan Grotzke (mgrotzke@lccountymt.gov) at 406-547-8979.