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Friday update 3-29-13

Greetings faithful readers - Happy "Quality" Friday to you. If you only read one post from this Update, make it the first one - Promoting quality in health reform - I'm sorry, did you say quality? If you are still foggin' the mirror it should most definitely get your blood boilin'. Speaking of boilin', let's start this edition off with our video tribute to heat with the Lovin' Spoonful. Grab some ice water, watch the video and then enjoy our quality-laden offering of great information posted to the Children's Mental Health Network website this week.

Most important reads for this week

Promoting quality in health reform - I'm sorry, did you say quality? 
Okay folks, take a deep breath and think quality. With the high-pitched buzz about increased access to services with the advent of health care reform, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. The jewel in the crown known as "quality of service" is quietly sitting in the corner of the room. If we are not careful, quality runs a high risk of not getting invited to the decision-making table. Read our Morning Zen piece chock full of stats to back up our assertion that quality is in danger of extinction in the children's mental health arena if we are not careful.

Associated Press adds 'mental illness' entry to AP Stylebook
Big props to the Associated Press (AP) for coming up with guidelines for journalists on how to approach the topic of mental illness; especially after the Newtown tragedy. Read the article by Richard Friedman, MD, on the often-misdiagnosed focus on mental illness immediately following the shootings here. While the recommendations from the AP are focused on adults, there are many similarities to children and youth so take note.

More than just books: Arizona libraries add public health nurses
Now here is a concept we can get behind - Public health nurses in the library. Libraries in Tucson, Arizona are the first in the country to provide public health nurses along with their other free services. The concept is receiving rave reviews from library patrons and makes good public health sense as the nurses provide everything from checkups to case management and social work services. And Network faithful; listen up, because this is the wave of the future - expanding our notion of where services are provided. Read the article and get inspired.

Competition is on for the CMHI TA Center
Over the next few weeks various contractors will be working feverishly to turn in a winning proposal for the CMHI TA Center contract. We thought Network faithful (especially those who are part of any of the CMHI grant programs) would be interested in peeking behind the curtain to see what the tasks are the winning group will be required to do. That way, you can hold their feet to the fire after the award is made (all in the spirit of love of course). So with that in mind we have condensed the application into the cover letter from SAMHSA and the scope of work requirements (basically, the good stuff).

KidsWell unveils Partner Hub
Did you know that KidsWell brings together over 30 state and national children's advocacy organizations that are working together to help ensure children and their families have access to affordable and comprehensive health insurance? Network faithful know that we have a serious crush on Kids Well as they do some really great work. With their new Partner Hub they have really outdone themselves. The Hub has the latest tools and news from the KidsWell Partners around the country.  Check it out to get child health advocacy and organizing resources. And while you are at it, if one of the KidsWell partners is in your state, call them up and get involved. Now, if we could only figure out how to get KidsWell to invite us to the Prom...

Epilepsy Foundation wants to hear from you
The Epilepsy Foundation is conducting a Consumer Needs Assessment survey which will provide them with valuable information about the needs of parents/guardians of minors under the age of 19, providers/caregivers, and persons with epilepsy.  The result of this nationwide survey will help guide them as they develop programs and priorities for people living with epilepsy in communities across the nation. Let's help them out, Network faithful.

Colorado bans discrimination based on sexual orientation
Congratulations to Colorado for stepping it up and joining Oregon and California to explicitly prohibit insurers from discriminating against an individual's sexual orientation. This action by the Colorado Division of Insurance makes it clear that insurers are not allowed to charge higher rates on the basis of an individual's sexual orientation or transgender status, consider sexual orientation or transgender status as a pre-existing condition, or use sexual orientation or transgender status as a basis for rejecting coverage for medically necessary services. You can read the Colorado insurance bulletin here. This is a great example of being proactive before insurers submit bids to sell on the states health insurance exchange. Good modeling Colorado. Equality for all is critical as exchanges move forward.

Hey, don't stop now. We got some sizzlin' hot links below plus a host of newly posted resources. Turn the Lovin' Spoonful 45 over and listen to side b (Butchie's Tune) while enjoying the rest of Friday Update. Serious points coming your way in your next trivia contest. Keep reading!

Hot links

New resource postings to the CMHNetwork website this week

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A big THANK YOU for reading and participating in Friday Update each and every week. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to improve and expand our coverage of pertinent issues for children's mental health advocates, families, policy makers and just plain folk who care about making our communities stronger. So in the spirit of innovation and change what would you do to improve Friday Update for 2013? Send us your ideas. We are grateful for any and all feedback especially for ideas of how we can improve upon what we offer you. Not signed up yet to receive Friday Update every week? Sign up now and get the latest information you need to help you improve services for children and families. Forward a copy of this Update to a colleague and be a part of spreading the love about children's mental health far and wide. Just be sure to give us a wee bit of credit, okay?

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Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO
http://cmhnetwork.org

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