April 9, 2019
RHA Health Services is happy to announce the acquisition of Prolex Medical Services, a provider of Intellectual Disabilities and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) services in Chattanooga, TN. Prolex joined RHA in March 2019.
Betty White, RN, past President/CEO of ProLex, says, “As my retirement drew closer, I couldn’t have chosen a better company to acquire the clientele and employees of my company. I’ve been associated with the RHA leadership through consultation, both professionally and personally, since their inception to Tennessee services in 2001. I highly support the merger and look forward to RHA’s ongoing success, dedication and care of the I/DD individuals we have served for the past 20 years.”
RHA began offering services in East Tennessee in 2001. Since then, our I/DD services have expanded to include ICF, Waiver, ECF Choices, Vocational Supports, and will soon offer mental health and substance abuse services throughout the state. RHA currently services the following areas in Tennessee: Chattanooga, Knoxville, Kingsport, Memphis, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Springfield, and Trenton.
RHA’s goal is to ensure that persons-supported are not impacted by this change. To ensure this continuity of care, more than 120 employees were welcomed to RHA as part of this transition.
“I am pleased to welcome the Prolex team to the RHA family,” said Nick Sulaiman, President & CFO of RHA Health Services. “Prolex is a very reputable provider in Tennessee, and we look forward to continue working with persons-supported, families and guardians, local leadership, employees, as well as state and community partners to ensure a smooth transition.”
Nick Sulaiman, President & CFO | 404-364-2939 | [email protected]
At RHA Health Services, the people we serve and support in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee are at the very center of everything we do.
We are a growing company, with the goal of growing operations in our current communities, as well as the greater Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States. RHA provides a broad range of person-centered, integrated, and high-quality supports. RHA focuses on mental health, substance abuse, and intellectual & developmental disability (I/DD) services.
RHA is accredited by the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) International. RHA has an organizational commitment to the dignity, independence, and equitable treatment of people, as well as their full inclusion into the communities around them. We provide a holistic, person-centered approach to care guided by a system of values that puts the needs of the people we support at the center of every decision.
Founded in 1989, RHA began as a small collection of group homes in North Carolina developed to offer support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Over the years, RHA has expanded to include supported living, vocational and day programs, periodic respite, personal care services, targeted case management, residential ICF/IDD for infants and children up to age 15 who have acute or chronic health challenges requiring 24/7 therapeutic intervention and skilled nursing care, and much more.
In 2006, RHA began offering behavioral health services and is now the leading provider of high-quality supports and services for people with all kinds of mental health and substance use needs. By meeting the behavioral health needs of our consumers and communities, we can greatly reduce or eliminate the fragmentation of services that leaves some individuals without total, holistic, and truly person-centered care.
Our Changing Role In Integrated Care
Robin Correll, Vice President of Nursing at RHA Health Services and Alena Davis, Corporate Director of Nursing recently presented “The Changing Role of the IDD Nurse in Integrated Care” at the North Carolina Provider’s Council Conference, held in Greensboro, NC.
“It was a privilege to partner with the NC Provider’s Council to help fulfill the mission of the Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association (DDNA) to foster the growth of nursing knowledge through support, education, and advocacy for Intellectual and Development Disabilities (IDD) nurses throughout the state,” said Correll.
“RHA nurses are trained to perform integrated care with our Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF), but many other providers and states don’t have on-site 24/7 nursing staffs. This can become a challenge because the IDD nurse needs to serve as a gatekeeper and educator with the local physicians, hospital networks, and communities.
There is also a challenge nationwide in even training young nurses to serve people with IDD. Most nursing schools in the United States don’t have specific tracks dedicated to the IDD field so it becomes essential that those of us trained in IDD nursing help these young nurses. It is important that we serve as a visiting professor to our local universities and community college nursing programs and participate in local and national forums, conferences and teaching webcasts. RHA Health Services also currently provides specific training and mentoring supports to our nurses when they join the RHA team.
A third very real challenge is the national nursing shortage which we expect to go well into the 2030’s. Nurses in the IDD field don’t always get paid like other fields due to the state’s reimbursement model making training our direct support medical technicians even more important.
“Anytime you get the opportunity to promote the excellence of our profession and share the RHA culture of care and compassion… it allows us to improve the quality of services for those we support,” said Davis. “All while continuously building upon and growing our network of support through other people, providers, and leaders.”
For More information about RHA Nursing Jobs go to RHA Careers.
RHA Behavioral Health is home to a nationally recognized program of behavioral health services for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. This year alone we have provided consultation to the states of Georgia, Wisconsin, and Minnesota on service delivery and program development for services to this population. The RHA Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) program is presenting at BreakOut, the only national Mental Health and Deafness conference in the nation, later this year.
The RHA DHH Program began with a Coastal Care contract in the Wilmington area in 2010. Smoky Mountain Center (SMC) soon followed suit, contracting with RHA to serve the western part of the state in 2011. OPC (Orange, Person and Chatham Area Program contract) was added to the SMC contract in 2012. Alliance contracted with RHA in 2013, making the DHH program statewide.
RHA Health Services was granted a contract with the State Division of Mental Health to administer the DHH program. Initially, the contract was for $1.4 million. The contract grew to $1.6 million in the fiscal year 2018 and additional staff positions were added throughout the year.
There are a total of nineteen positions within the RHA DHH program; ten licensed clinical therapists, including two licensed psychologists, six outreach consultant coordinators, one business manager, one administrative support person and one director. All are fluent in both English and American Sign Language. Most of the team is Deaf or hard of hearing. DHH staff is located in offices or can be available to see consumers in Asheville, Lenoir, Charlotte, High Point, Burlington, Raleigh, Lumberton, Fayetteville, Wilson, New Bern and Wilmington. In addition, polycom services are available throughout the state with Deaf and hard of hearing consumers connecting with clinicians from the location nearest to them through polycom.
RHA Behavioral Health’s DHH Services include comprehensive clinical assessment, case coordination and consultation, mental health and substance abuse counseling and therapy, outreach, as well as education and referral services. During this fiscal year, Peer Support Services have been added at three locations. Additionally, a statewide online video NA meeting for the deaf has been launched.
Regardless of the type of behavioral health services needed by someone who is Deaf or hard of hearing, DHH staff can provide assistance with determining communication needs, finding resources related to hearing loss, and assessing the cultural impact of deafness on treatment. No matter the type of program you work in or services you provide, if you are serving someone with hearing loss, the DHH program can serve you! Contact us with any question or concerns you might have.
Remember, anyone can contact the DHH program to refer consumers or request information or consultation – and we encourage you to do so!
Watch our Brief Video overview about the DHH program
Wilmington, NC – In September, Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina with enough wind speed to uproot trees and cause widespread power outages throughout the Carolinas. It also caused flooding along a long stretch of the North Carolina coast, from New Bern to Wilmington. Most major roads and highways in the area experienced some flooding, with large stretches of I-40, I-95, and US Route 70 remaining impassable for days after the storm had passed. The city of Wilmington was cut off entirely from the rest of the mainland by floodwaters. That’s where Operation BBQ Relief comes in.
During the aftermath, John Gibbons, RHA Director of Case Management-CAP (Community Alternative Program Services) donated a day to working with Operation BBQ Relief and The American Red Cross. They delivered meals to the hard-hit city of Wilmington, NC. Most of the food was donated by Smithfield’s Foods who provided a dozen 18-wheelers on site.
John left his home near Raleigh at 4 AM and arrived in Wilmington at 6 AM. He helped with all aspects including loading the cooker with meat, seasoning/saucing the meat, and packaging containers to send off with delivery runners to the community. They served 14,400 plates on this day but had serviced over 266,000 plates that week! John said, “It was an incredible experience to serve that community.” And his work did not go unnoticed.
“The employees in our company were blown away by your willingness to give of your time and talent for our hurting city. You never cease to amaze us! Thanks for all you do!”
Personal Product Advisor Wilmington Medical Supply
“Good afternoon everyone! I just wanted to give a HUGE SHOUT OUT to John Gibbons, Director of Case management for RHA Health Services. He is with a group of volunteers cooking and serving thousands of hot lunches and dinners today in Wilmington! His group has been waiting for two weeks to come and serve our community. It is inspiring to see a member of an agency that we serve, come and give his time to give back to our city in this time of distress. Thanks John for all that you and your group are doing! We truly appreciate it!”
-Tom J. Grazioso
Director of Inside Sales, Incontinence Division/Wilmington
Operation BBQ Relief was founded in May 2011 in response to a need for relief efforts in tornado-stricken Joplin, Missouri. Volunteers from competition BBQ teams from eight states answered the need to help feed displaced families, police, fire, National Guard and emergency personnel. Operation BBQ Relief continues to respond to natural disasters.
Read more to learn about Operation BBQ Relief and RHA’s Giving Back >>>
Expressing Emotions Through Art Helps in Recovery
At RHA Behavioral Health in High Point, NC, facilitators in the REC Center’s Creative Arts Group assisted participants with expressing emotions through art. They learned to connect their emotions and thoughts to colors, patterns, textures, and images. Some of the artwork created in the recovery class is personal and others have a theme. Most recently, participants were guided through an activity to help them process events in the area such as the devastation of hurricanes Matthew and Florence. They also discussed the aftermath of 9/11-how they were personally affected, and how their communities responded.
Darkness Turns to Light
Through art, they were given the opportunity to show what they all concluded: Darkness Turns to Light. In the panels on the left, participants chose color palettes and patterns to reflect what their storms (“Darkness”) look and feel like. They demonstrate turmoil, hate, destruction, chaos, devastation, loss, battles, hurricanes, tornados, and anything else that a storm can bring. The results of these storms can be physical, mental, financial, and emotional. They are painful.
The Light That Comes After the Darkness is Healing
In the panels on the right, participants chose color palettes and patterns to reflect what the aftermath of their storms (“Light”) looks and feels like. Specifically, they wanted to show the light that can come from darkness. These panels represent unity, peace, community, love, rebuilding, rising from the destruction, support, serenity, and gratitude. Surviving life’s storms can renew a person, a family, and a community. The light that comes after the storm is healing.
The contrasting colors and styles of design display the contrasting emotions and thoughts the participants experienced during and after recent storms, literally and metaphorically. By focusing on the light that comes after the darkness, participants have re-defined what it means to be survivors.
Written by Marissa Salvitti, NCCPSS
Recovery Education Center Class Facilitator
High Point Walk-In and Wellness Center
The RHA Recovery Education Center (REC) offers information, treatment and empowerment to people with mental health and substance use challenges. It provides an educational environment built around five key recovery concepts: hope, personal responsibility, self management education, and self-advocacy support.
Learn more about our Outpatient Based Services below:
There has been a sea change in the way police interact with people experiencing mental illness.
In his four decades in law enforcement Kirk Puckett, Director of Community Relations for the Alamance County, North Carolina Sheriff’s Department, has seen a sea change in the way that police interact with people who have mental illnesses in the criminal justice system. “It used to be that police had two options, either arrest that person and take them to jail or send them to the emergency department if they didn’t violate the law,” he said. “Many times we may not even have recognized the person had a mental illness.”
“Every time that a law enforcement officer brings someone in and helps them get connected to services instead of taking them to jail, we’ve done a good thing”, says Sara Huffman, Clinical Director for RHA Health Services which is the county’s crisis service contractor.
Using funding from a JMHCP grant, Alamance County was able to expand the reach of its Stepping Up initiative to include increasing the number of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)-trained police officers as well as providing mental health first-aid training to detention and court staff, expanding a co-responder pilot program, and establishing a 24-hour diversion center. “We’re not treating people short term, we’re treating them for the long term,” says Puckett.
Since starting the Alamance County Stepping Up, more than 200 police officers have been CIT trained and more than 300 officers have received mental health first-aid training. information sharing has increased across behavioral health and criminal justice agencies, strengthening the collaboration between law enforcement and behavioral health.
Teens mitigate underage alcohol sales by calling-out alcopops.
On September 22nd at Eblen Short Stop in Fairview, NC, RHA Prevention Youth staff, Hannah Bruce and Ada Holt, planned and participated in Project Alcopop Sticker Shock! as part of the North Carolina Preventing Underage Drinking Initiative. At this event teens placed warning “stop sign” stickers on the lids and cases of alcopops. Alcopops are fruity, malt flavored alcoholic beverages, which are popular among youth. Alcopops often taste and resemble soda, juice and energy drinks, and aren’t bitter like beer or wine. Examples include Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Hard Ciders.
Because of their sweet flavor and low cost, alcopops are marketed to youth.
The warning stickers placed on the alcopops remind adults to check IDs, not sell alcohol to minors and not purchase alcohol for minors. This project gives youth the opportunity to take responsibility and hold adults responsible.
Ada and Hannah’s prevention efforts got national attention. Online news site, The Take Out, wrote an article on the event titled “NC: Teens tag North Carolina stores’ ‘alcopops’ with red warning stickers.” This article was then shared by the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association.
This article makes one thing very clear: youth are powerful and their message is being heard.
The NABCA is asking RHA youth to back down. The article states “…if [this project] turns into a statewide or national movement, [alcohol] companies might step in to politely request these kids save their stickers for their trapper keepers.” As a way to prevent negative press, alcohol companies are intimidating youth. The NACBA sees youth-led public health campaigns as a threat.
RHA Prevention youth staff are not anti-alcohol, we are anti-underage drinking. This project isn’t about drawing attention to the alcohol industry. This project is to educate adults in our community. Youth want it known that ninety percent of people before the age of 21 are drinking alcohol; furthermore, youth who start drinking before age 15 are 4x’s more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21. Youth know their responsibility and are reminding adults of theirs.
This article was written by Hannah Bruce, Youth Prevention Specialist & Heather Daniels, Prevention Specialist 1
https://www.nabca.org/sites/default/files/assets/files/2018DNU/DNU_SEPT_25_018.pdf to read the original article covered by the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association.
RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Congratulations to Jerry Wease on his appointment by Governor Roy Cooper to the N.C. Commission for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services. Jerry has been with the RHA ACT Team in Rutherford County for 4 years. Two years ago he was promoted to Team Leader and has done an excellent job leading his staff in the service of the people they support.
Wease is a NAMI member and has earned certification as a LPC, LCAS, CSI, and NCC. After graduating at the top of his class from Gardner-Webb University with his MA/Ed.S in Mental Health Counseling, Jerry has provided clinical services and advocacy in many roles across the state from enhanced treatment services, clinical supervision, community advocacy, and teaching at the university level.
Jerry has worked with adolescents and adults with mental health and substance use disorders and primarily endorses a cognitive behavioral approach. Jerry believes that recovery is possible for individuals, families, and communities.
In his spare time Jerry enjoys volunteering, singing, animals, and sitting on the porch with a good book and a cup of coffee.
Thanks for your service not only to our community, but also to our state.
RHA Health Services is proud to be a community sponsor of the second annual Blue Ridge Recovery Rally. The event is Saturday May 19th in Downtown Marion NC from 5 to 9pm. All are welcome to this free family friendly atmosphere. Activities include a walk and a 5K run, music and art, and guest speakers and recovery stories.
Communities across the country are struggling with addiction to substances such as alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and opioids. The Blue Ridge Recovery Rally will celebrate, educate, and initiate positive change as we work together to build healthier communities. Our goal at RHA Health Services is to help each person we support to understand their addictive disease and to establish a commitment to recovery.
Other community partners for the Blue Ridge Recovery Rally include, Vaya Health, the McDowell Chamber of Commerce, the City of Marion PD, A Caring Alternatives, The McDowell County Sheriffs Department, Freedom Life, Celebrate Recovery, Mission Hospital, and US Cellular.
For more information about the rally call 828-559-2224 or email [email protected]