News And Events
Upcoming UBCSS Events
16th Annual Golf Outing, Tuesday, May 8th, 2018
Winner of this year’s 21st “Expressions of Healing” Signature Piece selection pictured below.
Elkton, MD — Early in 2014, Upper Bay Counseling & Support Services, Inc., as part of its ongoing commitment to quality, began an across the board initiative to show that it meets the highest standards of community mental health services. Those standards are developed and monitored by CARF, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.
Then, on October 30, CARF International announced that Upper Bay Counseling and Support Services, Inc. (UBCSS) has become accredited for its behavioral and mental health services and community programs offered in Cecil and Harford counties in Maryland.
“UBCSS has always aspired to deliver the highest quality of service to our clients,” notes Sandie Shannon, Chief Operating Officer for UBCSS, “and becoming CARF certified showed that we are meeting the most rigorous standards.”
“To attain CARF accreditation was a long process,” she adds. “We needed to do a program-by-program self assessment, which included a review of every aspect of our service delivery and how it aligned with our mission, strategic plan and ultimately the treatment of ‘persons served.’ While there are many benefits in becoming a CARF accredited agency, such as a review of the agency infrastructure and workflow and the adoption of best practice standards, the single most important benefit is the pride and recognition that this stamp of excellence provides to the hardworking and dedicated staff that work to provide service each day to individual clients and families in our community.”
This was the first accreditation awarded to Upper Bay Counseling & Support Services from the international accrediting body of CARF.
In addition, UBCSS received a Three-Year Accreditation decision which represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the organization’s conformance to the CARF standards. An organization receiving a Three-Year Accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process. That means it has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality.
“What I find of specific interest,” says Rich Bayer, Ph.D., CEO of Upper Bay Counseling and Support Services, “is that so many of the things that I take for granted, as just part of our everyday operations, were highlighted by CARF as evidence of organizational strengths. I am very proud of the work our staff has done to make this happen, and very proud that we can document our organizational excellence by CARF certification.”
UBCSS operates as a non-profit organization with offices at 200 Booth Street and 1275-B W. Pulaski Highway in Elkton, and 626 Revolution Street in Havre de Grace. This organization has been providing behavioral and mental health services in Cecil County since 1997 and in Harford County since 2002. CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through an interactive accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of the persons served. The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, established in 1966 and now known as CARF International, establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services. For more information about the accreditation process, please visit the CARF website at www.carf.org.
In October of 2013, representatives from Upper Bay Counseling and Support Services, Inc. (UBCSS) met with Governor O’Malley in Annapolis to discuss ways to improve mental health services within the state.
Ms. Pat Folk, a long-term member of UBCSS Board of Directors, and Chairperson of the Advocacy Committee, arranged the meeting. Joining her were Dr. Rich Bayer, CEO of UBCSS, and Ms. Lori Doyle, Director of Public Policy for the Community Behavioral Health Association of Maryland. The Governor invited Daryl Plevy, Deputy Director of the Mental Hygiene Administration for the state, and Dr. Gayle Jordan-Randolph, Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health and Disabilities for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to attend the meeting as well.
One way to improve mental health services is to ensure adequate funding on a statewide basis. Advocates raised the concern that the mental health component of health care in the state has been falling behind in funding and in focus.
With this in mind, Ms. Folk, Ms. Doyle, and Dr. Bayer presented the Governor with the “FY 2015 budget priority list” of the Community Behavioral Health Association of Maryland. This list focused on funding, by requesting that the Governor include in his FY 2015 budget the 4% Medicaid inflationary rate increase recommended by the Department of Legislative Services Spending Affordability Committee, as well as maintaining the rate increase implemented for psychiatrists in July 2014, and also providing funding for infrastructure improvement that community mental health providers have needed but not been able to afford due to years of flat funding.
While the Governor’s budget development process requires multiple sources of input and challenges, mental health advocates were pleased that the Governor did in fact include most of the requested items in his proposed budget.
According to Ms. Folk: “Governor O’Malley demonstrated his support for mental health services by including these rate increases. I think the governor recognizes the important role that adequate mental health care plays in creating stronger families and better communities, a more effective education system, and a more productive workforce. We are very grateful to the governor for meeting with us and for taking a leadership position in support of community mental health.”