There is a science to moving any organization to a different place. Implementation and transformation are not single events. Like evolution, there are many steps over time with unknown adjustments and shifts. It is impossible to anticipate all the twists and turns. Sometimes, patience runs thin, resources start to diminish, and focus becomes fuzzy. This is where a consultant, dedicated to the process and product, provides a steading and supportive presence. An outside person with experience, steadfast focus, and time to access related information and models is indispensable. There is a science to implementation. It is much more than a great idea, a few assigned folks, and a short timeframe. To get the results of any evidence-based transformation, to realize the desired effectiveness and efficiencies, resources, time, and patience are key factors. Some of the complex issues, some of the complications of culture change and moving individuals and groups toward a shared vision and action are daunting but not impossible. There is a science to implementation. My experience in the trenches as a practitioner, a Clinical Director, an Executive Director, and CEO with responsibilities for client outcomes, business practices, budgets, and personnel issues have provided me with common language and lived world experience to combine with my investigation of the literature and science. My opportunities to walk with many agencies as a consultant in implementing their desired practice seeking increased outcomes is central to my consulting and implementation contracting. If you are looking to achieve a mature transformation with internal quality assurance and fidelity, consider using a consultant over an extended period. Consider me. For me it is more than simply executing a plan. It is a process of exploration, adjustment, engagement, evolution, and ongoing empathic dialogue. There is the science. Change is hard, transformation exceptional, and few are the organizations that reach the pinnacle of self-supporting cultural change. Implementation Science and Technology Transfer principles teamed with a consistent, focused consultant is a worthwhile expense and welcomed addition to the leadership team.
Examples of consulting opportunities I’ve had and done!
State of Alaska Mental Health and Substance Abuse departments Dual Diagnosis Integration Project (4 years)
State of Alaska Trauma Informed Care Initiative, Statewide in Alaska (three years)
State of Alaska Juvenile Justice Transformation to Trauma Informed Care (seven years)
State of Alaska Behavioral Health Children’s Program ‘Bring the Kids Home’ (six years)
Copper River Native Corporation Fetal and Disability Integration Project (four years)
Interim Director and Mentor for Galena Mental Health, Galena Alaska (two years)
Tanana Chiefs Behavioral Health Integration Project, Fairbanks Alaska (three years)
North Slope Borough Behavioral Health Integration and Children and Youth projects, Barrow AK. (10 years)
Mat Su Health Evidence Based Practice TIP project, Wasilla Alaska (three and half years)
Mat Su Health Traumatic Brain Injury project, Wasilla Alaska (three years)
Central Peninsula Hospital’s Behavioral Health Community Connection Project, Kenai Alaska (two years)
Carlsbrook School Trauma Informed transition, South Boston, Virginia (two years)
Juneau Mental Health Co-Occurring Disorders Project, Juneau Alaska (three years)
Maniilaq Native Corporation Behavioral Health Mental Health Development Projects, Kotzebue Alaska (two and half years)
Feedback Informed Treatment initiative for Providence Community Services, San Diego (three years)
Feedback Informed Treatment Change project Community College Services, Kern County California (three years)
Feedback Informed Treatment Initiative, Orange County Providence Services, Orange County California
Juvenile Justice Transformation
Justice, especially with adolescents, is essential to creating productive adults and establishing peace in our communities. I have had a consistent connection with DJJ systems since I engaged in human services. What I found, on the most general basis, was that those youth that I served in residential treatment and private practice were the same young people who hadn't been caught or were deemed early in their process of criminalization. In 2004, I became as a consulting psychologist for the maximum security state Juvenile Corrections facility in Anchorage Alaska. I had the opportunity to see first hand a great system striving for excellence as well as the blind spots every system contains. I provided testing, assessment for theh youth and consultation to the staff and leadership. What was clear was that most of the youth were injured by trauma and adverse childhood experiences. Building on my clinical work, I was asked to join the leadershp on the state level to help move from the restorative justice model and strength-based structure to include trauma and trauma informed care. Over seven and half years, with good resources, leadership commitment, and general intent to help more youth succeed, I provided routine, consistent, and intensive consultation and training. We expanded mental health services, changed processes, and impacted staff attitudes and behaviors. The results are coming in.
From this concentrated experience, I have provided consultation to other county systems around trauma informed care. This confirmational time has honed my focus and interest. Using Implementation Science and adult learning strategies, I believe that DJJ transformation using Trauma Informed Care principles can enhance our outcomes, decrease the iatrogenic harms, and save public dollars and worry.