Town Hall recap: From challenge to opportunity

From challenge to opportunity:
Emerging from 2020 with a stronger community safety net


Thank you to everyone who was able to attend our first virtual Town Hall event last Thursday, June 18th. We loved sharing agency updates with you and answering questions people had about our agency during these unique and challenging times. We look forward to using the video conference call platform more frequently to communicate with you all.


We shared updates on:
  • How recent medical, social and economic challenges may affect community members’ behavioral health needs in the future.
  • Why community behavioral health care directly serves individuals who are especially vulnerable and at-risk for COVID-19 complications.
  • Partnerships with local medical providers and first responders to alleviate burdens on local emergency departments, inpatient care settings and law enforcement.
  • Resources to support children and families whose day-to-day lives have been impacted by school closures.
  • The launch of a new mobile telehealth system, the Compass Health Bridge to connect virtually with our clients whenever and wherever they need us.
  • Construction updates on our Broadway Redevelopment Project, designed support and integrate a full continuum of care region-wide.


Special thanks to our speakers:

  • Tom Sebastian, President / CEO, Compass Health
  • Camis Milam, Chief Medical Officer, Compass Health
  • Stacey Alles, Chief Operating Officer, Compass Health
  • Jennifer Piplic, Verdant Health Commission


If you missed the town hall, you can watch it below:


We received some questions ahead of time and some during the event that we weren’t able to get to. You can read the questions and answers below:

Are you offering any peer to peer support or doing any telehealth groups?

In programs where we have Certified Peer Counselors and are utilizing telehealth, those peers are also using the system. We have peer counselors in our Mobile Crisis Outreach Teams, our Wraparound with Intensive Services teams, our PACT teams, our Community Outreach and Recovery Services, and more.

We are in the early stages for resuming groups via telehealth. Our Child Advocacy Program has just gotten started with group therapy again, and we’ve got a terrific partnership with Mari’s Place to provide art classes to kids. We have just put in place the necessary logistics to create “virtual conference rooms” that will allow us to schedule and provide HIPAA-compliant environments for group treatment.

You mention the ability to read body language during a teleconference- medicine video conference, how do you actively manage situation where body language indicates an issue?

Generally speaking, we would manage this the same way we would if having a telephone call with a client or family where something raises concerns about safety or indicates an acuity of symptoms that needs prompt attention; the difference being we might have even better information because of the visual cues. We would work with the client to attempt to de-escalate the situation and develop a plan. This could include a continuum of responses, such as: helping the client to identify specific steps they can take to self-manage the crisis; helping them identify natural supports who can assist them in the moment; performing an outreach to the client’s home (while maintaining social distancing); pursuing an admission to the Triage program for a brief stabilization; scheduling frequent follow-ups and check-ins.

Which Compass Health sites are supervising MFT interns via telehealth? How is Compass Health Supervising MFT interns via telehealth?

We currently have 21 interns across the organization, who are working on a variety of advanced degrees including Marriage and Family Therapy, Mental Health Counseling, and Social Work. Most internship positions are in our outpatient programs although we do have some interns placed in our Wraparound with Intensive Services program (WISe).

Interns continue to receive regular supervision, although that supervision now more often occurs via video sessions rather than in person. They participate in the team video “huddles” where the teams do a quick check in regarding the daily work, and they participate in staff meetings. We are utilizing Microsoft Teams to connect our remote workforce for both scheduled and unscheduled meetings, check-ins and discussions. In addition, our electronic health record makes it possible for the supervisors to review session content and treatment plans and provide timely feedback to our interns.


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