BSAN Minutes, December 1st 2017



Community House


Invocation: County Commissioner Johnnie Carswell

Joe Marks opens the meeting with a special thanks to the United Way for their support.


  • Kim Rhodes from Partners Behavioral Health Management updated the group on Comfort Kids. The Comfort Kids list is available upon request.  If you would like to complete a kit, please make the bag items gender neutral.  Please place items into a dark colored duffle bag 24-32 inches.  If you have any further questions about completing a kit, please email Lisa Schell at


  • Kim James, Executive Director of Burke Recovery updated the group on the Burke County Youth Health Coalition and Vocal Lens.  The Burke Recovery prevention staff organized a search for youth who were passionate about the wellness of our communities in Burke County.  In April 2017, a group of teenagers met at the office of Burke Recovery and the Burke Youth Health Coalition was formed.  The members of the coalition have already proven themselves as successful change agents by making environmental changes and raising awareness in Burke County.  Town councils, the medical system, and other organizations are currently collaborating with the Burke Youth Health Coalition to make Burke County a healthier community.  Earlier this year, these students came up with the idea to hold a contest that would display positive images in the community and reveal challenges to the community.  They called it “Vocal Lens” and it was a success.  Several students across the county went out to take photographs that promoted the wellness of Burke County and photographs that revealed challenges as well.  A rewards banquet was held at Carolinas Healthcare System in Morganton.  They hope this will become an annual event and continue to grow in the years to come.


  • Julie Causby updated the group on As of November 1st, AccessCare has officially become a part of CCNC.  Instead of operating as a separate company, AccessCare will continue to provide Care Management services in our area.


  • Dorraine Hernandez updated the group regarding foster kids in DSS. As of November, DSS has over 270 kids and only 80 foster families are on board.  We are in desperate need of foster families to join.  A high percentage of these kids come from families with substance use issues.


  • Christy Gupton, President of Custom Business Solutions updated the group on an upcoming community forum. “On January 16, 2018 we will hold a forum similar to the other 2 opioid forums that were held at the Foothills Higher Education Center this year.  This upcoming forum will focus on the role that the employer community should play in the solution.  We will specifically look at how certain types of health plans cover prescriptions for opiates and how to manage that so the current and future abuse can be curtailed.  A variety of industry experts will be speaking at this forum and a “save the date” flyer is forthcoming. Attendees will leave with a “playbook” on how to reform their health plan without running up against the employer “alphabet soup” such as ERISA, HIPAA, ADA, GINA, etc.  We will explore the nature of how much money is changing hands in most health insurance plans, especially those tied to large PBMs (pharmacy benefit managers).  Any CFO will leave with their eyes opened regarding the large amounts of money that can be saved with just a few adjustments and HR professionals will learn how to identify employees in need of some help who may be struggling to cope with dependence of prescriptions drugs and how to get them that help without hindering their privacy. We will also touch on the proper terminology that is needed in disability and life insurance employee benefits to make sure employees have the right coverage when dealing with opiate addiction”.




Julie Walker, CEO at Cognitive Connections shared some challenges facing Behavioral Health and substance use disorder providers.  There is an Increased need for SUD services due to Opioid Epidemic and NC has a shortage of SUD licensed professionals, Funds and transportation.  She gave an overview of SUD services within Burke County through SUD collaborative Partners like Burke Recovery, Insights, Archway and ACA.  Through collaboration, SUD Providers have a better opportunity to expand/sustain a variety of SUD services for local area within a partnering modality.  Ms. Walker referenced Catawba County SUD Services as well with an overview of Catawba County SUD services.   Integrated Care within the local area through partnerships are in place–eg.  BSAN, Peer Support ED Services, Hospital Discharge/Timely Follow-up Services, BIH, The Cog/ICGH, DSS and Behavioral Healthcare Providers, etc.  Ms. Walker went on to say that a duplication of services between providers can damage sustainability efforts with Provider Network overall.   She feels through collaboration, increasing/sustaining services–community wellness and public safety are instilled within a local care.


Corey Richardson, DHSc, MBA, briefly reviewed his qualifications and gave a summary of how his family-owned medical practice transitioned to a behavioral health agency delivering medical, behavioral health, and laboratory services. He highlighted the partnership with the Cognitive Connection, and thanked the community for its welcome of his agency at

its newest location at BIH.



Friday, January 26th  2017


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