Response to API 2000: Time to Reconsider
by Loren Jones, CMH/API 2000 Project Director


I read your article on the web site entitled "API 2000:  Time to

Reconsider?" and wanted to respond.  I am the CMH/API 2000 Project Director
and was probably the person you noted in your article that spoke at the last
AMHB meeting.

First to correct on factual error:  there was one proposal submitted for the
SPE in response to our RFP.  This was a submission from Providence Hospital
with a subcontract with Southcentral Counseling (SCC).  This solicitation
was cancelled due to the proposal not being able to offer the service by
April 1, 2000.  This was a technical issue that caused the cancellation of
the solicitation.

You then state "...when an essential component of the plan is not coming
into place..." we should reconsider the "wisdom" of the plan.  I want you to
understand that we have a plan and as we implement this plan there will be
challenges.  We will have times when things will not happen as we had
envisioned.  This does not mean we should abandon the plan.  It does mean
that need to determine how to adapt and move forward.  The Policy Team that
I work for is doing just that and we have met several times to work through
these issues and to give us direction.

It is true that the SPE will not be in place April 1, 2000 as planned.  This
does not mean that there will not be a SPE prior to API moving from its
current location to a new site (at best in the fall of 2002).  We continue
to work on the issue of the SPE as well as all the other community services
that are part of the plan:  DET, enhanced crisis respite, enhanced
detoxification and residential dual diagnosis treatment.  We will be looking
at the essential functions of the SPE and what we can do to assure that this
service is provided.

API itself has been making changes and has operated an admitting unit for
the past year.  For the last three months of 1999 API had an average daily
census below 60.  While January is expected to be higher, we have seen some
impact on length of stay, average daily census even with higher total number
of admissions.  API is working with us to understand what the community
services need to provide to reduce the utilization at API.  This has been a
very positive outcome and one that we are learning from as we move forward.

The other very positive outcome of this effort has resulted in 6 persons,
who had been at API for 2 to 18 years, being discharged and moved into a
community placement.  This is direct result of a partnership between Assets
and API staff and the CMH/API Project.
I want to also share your concern that to downsize API without the community
services in place would be a major mistake.  It is the task of all of us to
assure that these services are in place.  By all of us I mean those of us
who are charged with developing the services and securing the funding but
also those agencies that can and should provide the service.  We are asking
these providers to provide the necessary servcies in the community.   This
may mean changes to their current operations and/or additional services.  I
am committed to assuring that the community services are in place, have been
working well and have had the impact of assuring that all persons in crisis
are appropriately assessed and referred to servcies that best meets their

At the March meeting of the AMHB I will be there to make a presentation on
the CMH/API 2000 project.  I understand that Walter is looking at setting
aside a 2 hour block of time during the Planning Committee meeting on March
16, 2000.  I hope that I will be able to answer your questions in more
detail at that time.

I hope to see you in March.

Loren Jones