Expert Q & A with Jen Padron and Dr. Nev Jones

Expert Q & A with Dr. Nev Jones, Stanford University

Expert Q & A with Dr. Nev Jones (Stanford University) in work with NASHMPD:

Jen Padron M.ED, ACPS, CPS, CHW, PhD(c)

Jen Padron is a nationally recognized expert on peer support and peer workforce development and is currently the Principal at Padron & Associates, based in Georgia.  The consultancy are subject matter experts in co-locating Behavioral and Physical public health care environments which directly impact the US Peer Workforce (Certified Peer Specialist Certification).  Before moving to Georgia, as Project Manager to The Hope Concept Wellness Center and Director to The HOPE Project her extensive experience as a recovery consultant and evaluation specialist supported Texas and national mental health transformative initiatives.  Recently, Jen has contracted to provide technical assistance and program development on a Latino/a-focused early intervention in psychosis (EIP) peer support development project based in Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Q:  Given your expertise in peer support and peer workforce development, what do you think current priorities should. be for peer inclusion/support in EIP services?

 Jen Padron:  SAMHSA’s naming the Certified Peer Specialist as a Best Practice of Peer Services and Supports, paired with their recent CPS Core Competencies is fab. In order to be considered an EBP and melded into federal wordspeak, it “normalizes” a US Peer Workforce to grow and rolls-out proven Accountable Care Act public health Integration initiatives via various types of Peer Services | Supports deliverables.  It also means that CLAS must be adhered to. In other words, the CPS must ultimately adhere to National Standards for Culturally Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care.  CLAS addresses and preserves multicultural, linguistic and diversity through inclusive accountability for ethnicity, religion, gender, age, geography and socioeconomic status, language and literacy, sexual identity where “orientation” and gender identity cross a binary continuum.

Q:  Not a lot of work in early intervention has focused on cultural sensitivity or culturally-informed intervention.  Why do you think such work needs to be prioritized?

Jen Padron:  Priority #1. In simple terms, the backstory on Recovery, is still that she is the orphan child of the clinically medical based psychiatric and psychological community globally. More than the majority of early interventions center around people identified as living with a schizophrenia affective disorder. There are numerous longitudinal studies having ease in quantifying where something as “new” as the CPS does not. If you want Recovery-based look at time tested work coming out of Boston University, University Pennsylvania, Temple University, Rutgers University, Yale University, the University of Southern California, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, the work of Pat Deegan, Mary Ellen Copeland, Steve Harrington, Sheri Mead and Chris Hansen, Dan Fisher, Peggy Swarbrick, Mark Salzer, John Brekke, Laysha Ostrow, Lauren Tenney, Ron Manderscheid and others. It is interesting to me but makes total sense that most, if not all of innovative and emerging work around Recovery, the CPS, Recovery Coach, Community Health Worker Promotora is being developed by peer-led interest groups who are carefully tucked into national oversight behavioral and health leadership organizations (e.g., ACMHA College for Behavioral Health Leadership’s Peer Leadership Interest Group) and initiated MCO Integration initiatives are rolling out (in ’15-’16) an array of CPS service deliverables that will grow a US Peer workforce exceeding the recognized state’s Medicaid Rehabilitation Option billing model (e.g., Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Medications Management, Case Management).  As well, the national consumer related TACs, funded by SAMHSA are doing excellent work (e.g., BRSS TACS, Peer Link, MHA National, The National Self-Help Consumer Clearinghouse/MHASP).

Q:  How do you see peers in particular contributing to culturally-informed services, including planning and evaluation?

Jen Padron:  The National Consumer Technical Training and Assistance Centers (TACs) are producing quality and worthwhile mentionable Youth and Peer-Led initiatives regionally and nationally.  For example, the SAMHSA ADS Center work around social inclusion and SAMHSA / CMHS’ campaign on whole health and wellness (e.g., 10X10, National Wellness Week, National Wellness Month, Million Hearts) accomplished much to hallmark leadership in the myriad of regionally and nationally centric communities in multiculturalism, cultural linguistic diversity and stigma reductive measures directing social change efforts (e.g., Gitane Williams, Craig Lewis, Tracy Love, Sharon Cretsinger, Tina Minkowitz, Adam Slosberg, Daphne Klein, Diane Engster, Lauren Tenney, Leah Harris, Amy Smith, et al.). The Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association produced outstanding psychiatric multicultural principles under the direction of Lisa Razzano, Peter Ashenden, and Boston University’s Sargent College.  Gender and women’s studies prevailing thought centers on Hope, WRAP(R), IPS (R), eCPR (R), and the CPS core competencies (SAMHSA, 2015) guarantee a culturally-informed, sustainable community and trauma informed recovery oriented system of care.



Healthy Behavior: Literacy and Activation the Gateway to the Future of Health

March 24 – 26, 2015 | Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch, St. Louis, MO

Health care costs for patients enrolled in Medicare who were identified with low health-literacy skills were more than four times as high as costs for patients with high literacy, roughly $13,000 per year compared to $3,000 per year.

Activation scores have been demonstrated as predictive of health care outcomes. Patientswith low levels of activation have been found to have significantly greater health care costs than those with higher levels of activation. When socioeconomic factors and the severity of health conditions are controlled, patient activation remains predictive of health care costs and utilization.

How can we bend the health care cost curve while increasing the wellness and recovery of those we serve? Heath Literacy and Activation is one part of the answer.

According to Healthy People 2010, an individual is considered to be “health literate” when he or she possesses the skills to understand information and services and use them to make appropriate decisions about health. Lack of health literacy is estimated to cost $106-$236 billion annually. Activation goes beyond seeing a health care provider and understanding how to promote recovery; it’s the art and science of taking action on the information you have been given. It’s doing the things necessary to move toward recovery and wellness.

The 2015 ACHMA Summit explores this topic from several angles. What can we learn from the “physical health” community on this topic?  What about technology – is it helping or hurting?  How can we take a community approach? What does the research tell us?  What does it mean to approach this in a culturally competent or at least sensitive manner?   What can we learn from the positive psychology movement?

As an added bonus, we have an optional pre-Summit event exploring health homes in Missouri, the first to implement health homes statewide.

Goals of the Summit:
  • Explore how activation and health literacy change the nature and process of healthcare delivery
  • Reframe health literacy as more than being able to read and understand a prescription; literacy is specific to communities and cultures and requires working respectfully and cross-functionally with a broad set of partners.
  • Understand activation as not something done to those who consume healthcare services (including each of us), it’s about supporting change, listening to motivations, hopes and dreams; addressing stigma; and working as partners with every person to facilitate access to the right tools and programs at the right time.
  • Learn from individuals leading successful and innovative programs within this space in order to replicate and expand in our own settings, moving activation and health literacy forward.
The Summit features:
  • Catalysts: Keynote speakers who help us think about Activation and Health Literacy in new and fresh ways.
  • Going Deeper: Facilitated conversations using Appreciative Inquiry techniques for those who what to think deeply together about the implications of catalyst presentations.
  • Tech Tracks: For those who want to think about how technology can facilitate health literacy and activation.
  • Putting it Into Practice: Sessions that showcase programs that have implemented innovations within the health literacy and activation space.
  • Show Me the Data: Sessions that dig into the data around activation and health care literacy as a support to building the case when seeking to implement innovation back home.
  • Resource Ready: Fast-paced sessions that outline tools and resources you can use to implement programs at home.

Prior to the event, attendees will receive an eBook filled with information, articles, research, tools, and resources that help put health literacy and activation into practice. Attendees will have the chance to participate in creating an enriched version of the eBook post-Summit.

Optional pre-Summit Event – Exploring Missouri’s Behavioral Health Homes:  Innovations and Cultural Shift

Experience Missouri’s journey as the first in the nation to create a health home initiative. During the day, you will:

  • Learn how Missouri implemented and sustained the initiative,
  • Hear from the people who helped to shepherd this idea into reality, and
  • Visit an innovative health home and dialogue with staff.

More information and registration is available. Registration is limited to 30 people.

RECOVERY WORKS: National Activists & Organizations Call for Action

Excerpt from

Recovery Works (c) 2015, All Rights Reserved

“Recovery is a process, a way of life, an attitude, and a way of approaching the day’s challenges. It is not a perfectly linear process. At times our course is erratic and we falter, slide back, regroup and start again… The need is to meet the challenge of the disability and to re-establish a new and valued sense of integrity and purpose within and beyond the limits of the disability; the aspiration is to live, work and love in a community in which one makes a significant contribution.”

— Pat Deegan, PhD, person in recovery from serious mental illness

While the term “recovery” was originally applied to substance use conditions, in recent decades, there has been growing recognition that it also applies to mental health. People diagnosed with all mental health conditions, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, can and do recover in the community – given the right mix of easily accessible supports and services.

The Substance and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines recovery as “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to achieve their full potential.”

Recovery Works

Promoting Recovery Outcomes

We need to invest in recovery, which means investing in people and holding providers and systems accountable for increasing recovery outcomes, which include:

  • Permanent supportive housing
  • Employment and educational opportunities
  • Access to social support in the community
  • A sense of meaning and purpose in life
  • A sense of empowerment, or control over one’s life and treatment decisions


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