Exec Ed grad serves panel on merging mental health, addiction services
Lisa Hoeschele ’03 M.A. (PA), recently
served on a statewide committee guiding a merger of New York’s Office of Mental
Health (OMH) and Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS). The new
entity, the Office of Addiction and Mental Health Services, will integrate
mental health and addiction services and streamline procedures and regulations.
Hoeschele, who started her career teaching French, then
shifted to the nonprofit world, has worked since 2005 at Family & Children’s
Counseling Services (FCCS) in New York’s Southern Tier. She has served as executive
director/CEO of FCCS since 2010 and is board president of the New York State
Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. Under her leadership, FCCS has
grown from a $2 million single clinic to a $15 million multi-clinic
organization that serves five counties."
us goes unscathed when it comes to having family members who have experienced
mental health and or substance use problems,” she said.
Maxwell for every individual whose life I’ve been able to touch in my community,”
she added. “The faculty at the time really helped me frame my understanding of
the nonprofit organization in the continuum of services in a community. It
teaches us not just about the money, but about the mission. I’m forever
grateful for that.”
statewide committee included stakeholders and community agency staff providing
mental health and/or addiction prevention, treatment and recovery services. The
committee was tasked with envisioning and shaping the new agency’s structure
and operations. That includes regulations, access to integrated care, culture,
prevention, budget, workforce, recovery, stigma, justice, equity, diversity and
The committee met two to four times
a week from mid-February to April 1. They expect to present a recommendation to
the state in the next few weeks.
urgency is that there are two bureaucracies, where one could better serve our
communities,” Hoeschele said. “A merger gives us the opportunity to be able to
serve the whole entire person, where they are in their lives, and really
recognize the impact of trauma on substance use and vice versa.”
on-the-ground experience to the discussion. “We all know that policy is only as
good as the practice that implements it,” she said. “I’m really excited to be
able to inform the policy decisions around practical operations.”
experts “can be nimble hands, and really get our get our fingers dirty in the
work,” she said. “For government entities there are all these layers of getting
permission to hire and getting permission to fill positions. We like to think
of ourselves as partners with our bureaucratic brothers and sisters who
identify needs, then we try and fix the problem with them."
could save money, but that’s not the goal. “The point is to provide superior
service,” Hoeschele said.