CONNECT Road Show!

Megan Grotzke and Kara Hughes are hitting the road to promote CONNECT and provide training and technical assistance to CONNECT team members across Montana.

If you are interested in learning more or would like to set up a meeting during one of their stops, please email Megan or Kara!

CONNECT Road Show Schedule

Fall 2019

October 15 – Missoula (3/4 day)

October 16 – 17 : MPCA Conference (Helena)

October 21 – Miles City (3/4 day)

October 22 – Sidney (full day)

October 23 – Havre (1/4 day)

October 24 – Havre (1/2 day)

October 25 – Choteau (3/4 day)

October 27 – 29: PacificSource CHE Grantee Presentation (Bend, OR)

October 30 – Helena (full day)

November 1 – Great Falls (1/2 day)

November 6 – Butte (3/4 day)

November 7 – 8: Maternal Mental Health Conference (Butte)

November 12 – Kalispell (1/2 day)

November 13 – Kalispell (full day)

November 14 – Bozeman/Livingston (1/2 day)

November 15 – Bozeman/Livingston (3/4 day)

CONNECT Go-Live Migration Information & Timeline

This message contains critical information for current users of the CONNECT system. Please see below for a detailed timeline and instructions as we migrate and prepare your agencies for go-live. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local CONNECT team member, or reach out to megan.grotzke@mt.gov.

Thursday 9/19: Access to the CONNECT system will be locked down at the end of the day in order to start running the final migration, combining each of the siloed systems into one statewide database.

Friday 9/20: The CONNECT system will be unavailable during the migration for configuration purposes; CONNECT team members will be working behind the scenes to add each agency’s additional information into the system in order for things to work properly when users log in on Monday.

A copy of the new onboarding form is available here: CONNECT Agency Account Form 20190914 If you have not already provided the information to your team member – please return the form before the end of the day on Friday 9/20.

Current CONNECT users should use a paper Release of Information to capture any necessary referrals on Friday, logging in to send the referrals when the system is back up on Monday. Hard copies can be downloaded from your respective systems through close of business on Thursday, and will be available from your local team member as well as on this website. Please record any referral status updates that happen during the system down time and log them on Monday as well, backdating to reflect the date of the change.

Sat 9/21 – Sun 9/22: System configuration will continue over the weekend, so the system will be unavailable for use.

Monday 9/23: System go-live! All users will have to log in to the new system and sign an MOU as a user, and all agencies will sign a new MOU and review their agency account info that was entered during the system down time; any paper MOUs from Friday should be entered and associated referrals sent out. Referral updates should be entered and backdated to reflect the actual date of status change.

Monday 9/23 – Friday 9/27: User training will be available through a variety of in-person and virtual events – reach out to your local coordinator for details. A quick user guide will be provided on Monday via this blog, so check back for details.

Two virtual training opportunities courtesy of Julie Bir at Lewis & Clark Public Health via Zoom – anyone can click to register for Tuesday, September 24 at 3pm or Thursday, September 26 at 9am.

Watch for another post on Monday morning with further instructions.

 

Montana DPHHS hiring for CONNECT

Montana DPHHS is looking for a full-time CONNECT coordinator to join our team.  Watch for another CONNECT job posting soon!

The CONNECT Electronic Referral System is expanding rapidly, and this job requires exceptional  time management and organizational skills. It’s a fantastic opportunity for someone who is tech-savvy but also loves working with people. Click here to view the job description or to apply now!

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! 



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.

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