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Hogg Foundation for Mental Health News and Grants
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

April, 2011



Hogg Foundation awards $446K

Austin Business Journal

April 6, 2011


The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health awarded four grants worth a total $446,615. The money targets policy projects that improve mental health services for children and adults statewide. The grant program, created three years ago, benefited organizations in San Antonio and Austin. 



Clubhouse Model Named Evidence-Based Practice

Hogg Blog

April 4, 2011


I just wanted to share some really worthy news with everyone. Last week I received a very exciting email from Lisa Yoch, executive director of the Austin Clubhouse. Her message informed me that the Clubhouse Model has been accepted by SAMHSA as an evidence-based practice (EBP)! EBPs are interventions, programs or models for which scientific evidence shows the practice improves outcomes. 





Thousands protest deep spending cuts in education, human services

Austin American-Statesman

April 6, 2011


Led by union workers from across Texas, thousands of chanting marchers converged on the Capitol on Wednesday to protest the recently passed House budget's deep spending cuts to education, health care and state jobs. 



Two messages, one budget in Austin: Rally seeks rainy day funds, while call made for deeper cuts

San Antonio Express-News

April 6, 2011


AUSTIN - Limited-government activists who celebrated the House's austere budget said Wednesday the Senate should cut even deeper in some areas, as a throng of protesters instead suggested spending more from the rainy day fund and finding new revenue. 



Senate works on plan to cut just $7 billion; Protesters eye more spending; others seek even larger reductions

Houston Chronicle

April 7, 2011


... The Senate plan under development at this point would cut $7 billion from current spending, according to Ogden's estimate. Ogden cautioned, however, that his figure assumes other programs would stay as currently proposed in the Senate version. "I've said we've got three priorities: public ed, health care and criminal justice," Ogden said. "I think that the Senate's proposal adequately funds all three of those right now. The question I'm wrassling with is, how much money do we have left for everything else?" 



Committee Passes Bill That Would Protect Veterans Fund

Texas Tribune

April 6, 2011


... Sens. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, and Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, filed SB1739, which would protect the commission's veterans assistance fund, which is currently restricted to awarding grants to nonprofits that give veterans access to rehabilitation programs, psychiatric counseling, rent assistance and health care for injuries sustained during combat. 



Will Hospitals Be Taxed to Prop Up Medicaid?

Texas Tribune

April 6, 2011


Talk has resumed in the Senate - albeit quietly - about a so-called quality assurance fee, a revenue generator that would effectively tax hospitals to prop up the state's cash-strapped Medicaid program. 



Medical Board Bill Moves Out of Public Health

Texas Tribune

April 6, 2011


The House Public Health Committee put its stamp of approval this morning on a much-watered-down version of State Rep. Fred Brown's Texas Medical Board bill, a measure designed to protect doctors from unfounded complaints. 





Volunteer Call For Foster Care Kids

KUT News

April 6, 2011


Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and former First Lady Laura Bush are leading a charge to recruit more court-appointed special advocates for children in the foster care system. With 42,000 kids already in the system, there's a growing need for CASA volunteers. 



Fort Worth's a finalist for 'All-America City'

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

April 6, 2011


FORT WORTH - The city on Wednesday was selected a finalist in the National Civic League's All-America City competition, a city spokesman said.  Fort Worth was one of 26 cities to make the cut on the strength of three initiatives highlighted in the application process: Directions Home, a program to address homelessness; the Mental Health Connection program; and the We Are Legal anti-graffiti program. 



Texas company sued for abuse of Iowa workers

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

April 6, 2011


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Texas company is accused of severely abusing and discriminating against 31 mentally disabled men who worked at an Iowa turkey processor, in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 



Minivan Torched; Bullying Suspected

KPRC Houston

April 7, 2011


HOUSTON -- A minivan was set on fire outside a Kingwood home, and the family said the crime is part of bullying against their teenage son. 





Mental Health Services at Stake for Current Budget Year

National Alliance on Mental Illness

April 6, 2011


A government shutdown looms, as the "continuing resolution" for the current federal budget is set to expire on midnight April 8, 2011. What's at stake? Current proposals for fiscal year 2011 include significant cuts to research, services and housing for children and adults living with serious mental illness. 



At California Mental Hospitals, Fear Is Part Of The Job

National Public Radio

April 7, 2011


The tipping point for major change is often tragedy. That may be the case in California at the state psychiatric hospital in Napa, where an employee was killed last October, allegedly by a patient - one of thousands of violent acts committed at the hospital that year. 



Suits paint picture of group home violence

Boston Herald

April 6, 2011


Boston area group homes housing drug addicts and the mentally ill have been lightning rods for court actions involving residents accused of violent eruptions that have resulted in a broken jaw for one staffer, a slashing, a torched home and caretakers being terrorized, a Herald investigation found. 



NC mental health workers rally for job protections

San Antonio Express News

April 7, 2011


BUTNER, N.C. (AP) - A union that advocates for mental health workers says North Carolina needs to do a better job of protecting their rights. 



RI weighs involuntary commitment for sex predators

San Antonio Express News

April 7, 2011


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - ...Lawmakers reviewed legislation Wednesday to allow the state to hold sexual predators in a mental health facility for treatment once they've served their criminal sentence. 



Bills making counties pay sent to money panels

San Antonio Express News

April 6, 2011


CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Members of a senate committee said Wednesday they were moved by the plight of the state's mental health court system, which provides mentally ill offenders with a second chance to get their lives under control and avoid the revolving door of prison. 



New Drugs at Lower Costs--Investing in Growth

Fiscal Times

April 7, 2011


... Over the past decade, the pharmaceutical industry has tested thousands of meds and other treatments and investigated millions of genetic and other biological targets in humans and animals associated with disease. Total spending for public and private investment in life science R&D has approached $1 trillion since 2000, twice what was spent in the 1990s. Yet the number of drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration has dropped from 56 in 1996 to only 23 in 2010. During this period, the time to develop new drugs has increased to at least a decade and costs have soared in the billions for each successful drug. 



Oil Spills May Leave More Emotional Than Physical Scars, Study Finds

The New York Times

April 6, 2011


NEW ORLEANS - In a review of past oil spills as well as the available data from last year's BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, doctors found that adverse health effects from oil and chemical exposure are less likely than behavioral and mental health issues to pose significant long-term risks for most gulf residents. However, they acknowledged the lingering uncertainty about the true impact of last year's spill and said the federal government's delay in studying the spill's health effects would hinder the ability to understand them with accuracy. 





Budget Office: GOP Medicare Plan Could Lead To Rationing

National Public Radio

April 6, 2011


Remember all those allegations from Republicans that the Affordable Care Act would inevitably lead to health care rationing? It turns out the same might be true of the House GOP budget plan for Medicare. At least that's the conclusion of the Congressional Budget Office. Buried deep in the analysis of the proposal offered Tuesday by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the CBO suggested that moving Medicare beneficiaries from public to private insurance could actually end up slowing the introduction of new and potentially life-saving medical technology. 



Medicare Cost Would Rise for Many Under Ryan Plan

The Wall Street Journal

April 6, 2011


The House Republican plan for overhauling Medicare would fundamentally change how the federal government pays for health care, starting a decade from now, likely resulting in higher out-of-pocket costs and greater limits to coverage for many Americans. The current spending level on seniors in Medicare is widely viewed as unsustainable, given rising medical costs and the aging population. Medicare calculates that it spent an average of $11,743 on beneficiaries in 2009, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's solution is to end the current Medicare program for people born in 1957 and after. 



Health coverage for $240 a month

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

April 6, 2011


In a pioneering bid to streamline the state's big health insurance programs, the Legislature's new Republican majority is poised to give thousands of low-income Minnesotans vouchers to buy coverage in the private marketplace. 



Poll: Mass. voters say health law not working

Boston Globe

April 6, 2011


BOSTON-Nearly half of Massachusetts voters are saying the state's landmark health care law isn't working. 



Study raises doubts about savings from Medicaid managed care

Kansas Health Institute

April 6, 2011


TOPEKA - This summer or fall, a study group led by Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer is expected to roll out a plan for cutting between $200 million to $400 million from the Kansas Medicaid budget. The plan, which is still being developed by officials from the state's various Medicaid agencies under Colyer's guidance, is likely to call for moving more of the state's Medicaid beneficiaries - disabled adults and the frail elderly, especially - into managed care programs. 



Study urges California to prepare for health law costs, challenges

Sacramento Bee (Calif.)

April 7, 2011


California will spend $2 billion more per year on Medi-Cal when federal health care reform goes into full effect in 2016 and $4 billion more annually by 2020, according to a Rand Corp. study released this week. 



Patient Safety Expert Says Law Could Lead To Overuse Of Medical Care: The KHN Interview

Kaiser Health News

April 7, 2011


Rosemary Gibson, an expert on health care quality and safety, is concerned that 32 million newly insured Americans will be overtested and overtreated. 





Online Treatments Vital To Meet Mental Health Demand, Australia

Medical News Today

April 7, 2011


Using online treatments will be essential if Australia is to meet the growing demand for mental health services, according to experts in the field. Every year, 3.2 million Australians struggle with a mental health problem, but only 46% receive treatment. 



Money woes 'linked to rise in depression'

British Broadcasting Corporation

April 7, 2011


Economic problems may be fuelling a rise in depression in England, it has been suggested. Prescriptions for anti-depressant drugs such as Prozac rose by more than 40% over the past four years, data obtained by the BBC shows. GPs and charities said they were being contacted increasingly by people struggling with debt and job worries. They said financial woe could often act as a "trigger", but added other factors may also be playing a role in the rise. 





NAMI Opposes Medicaid Block Grant

National Alliance on Mental Illness

April 6, 2011


Medicaid is the most important source of public mental health funding, paying for nearly half of all services. The draft budget resolution introduced on April 5th by House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) would result in major reductions in future federal spending on Medicaid and convert the program from a federal entitlement to a block grant to the states. 



Lawsuit timing is unfortunate for Texas' foster children

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

April 6, 2011


Just when there is reason to hope for improvements to the way Texas treats foster children, a lawsuit filed by a New York advocacy group threatens to throw a wrench into the works. 



Reforming Medicare for the real world

Chicago Tribune

April 7, 2011


After House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., unveiled a plan to overhaul Medicare, Democrats announced that despite its minor flaws, it was a brave and thoughtful attempt to grapple with a serious problem that has been ignored for too long. Just kidding. They said it was the worst thing they've seen since "Sex and the City 2.",0,1266948.column 



Doyle McManus: The choice between low taxes vs. Medicare benefits

Los Angeles Times

April 7, 2011


Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, won praise from his fellow Republicans this week for proposing a federal budget that would reduce the deficit by slashing spending in almost every domestic program. ...But on one major point, Ryan has done a great service. He has made it clear that if you're serious about cutting the federal deficit, you have to make a choice: low taxes or guaranteed Medicare coverage. You can't have both.,0,679456.column 





A Brain Protein Gone Awry Provides Schizophrenia Clue

National Public Radio

April 6, 2011


The scientific leap from the wild hallucinations and delusions that mark schizophrenia to changes in the brain at the molecular level is a huge one. Researchers who've been working to define the connection are pretty sure of one thing, though. There are lots of pathways that lead to schizophrenia, each one with many steps. Scientists at Johns Hopkins have figured out something quite interesting about one of them. A tiny change to a single protein can make a big difference. 



Borderline personality disorder patients often recover

Los Angeles Times

April 6, 2011


Borderline personality disorder usually goes away over time, but patients can be left with lingering "scars" that continue to hold them back in life, according to a major study on the disorder published Monday. Borderline personality disorder is a severe condition marked by chronic difficulties with mood and emotional control, relationships and self-image. Therapists often dislike treating such patients because they seem to defy treatment at times.,0,6363996.story 



Affectionate Communication Can Help Ease Emotional Disconnect

Psych Central

April 7, 2011


... Emotional distance often accompanies varies levels of autism, as well as post-traumatic stress disorders. Studies have shown that alexithymia has been related to eating and panic disorders, as well as substance abuse. For individuals who have serious issues with sharing emotions, surrounding themselves with affectionate people may help improve their quality of life. 



Work, social, or family life disability affects half of bipolar patients

MedWire News

April 7, 2011


Results from a Spanish study suggest that more than half of bipolar disorder patients experience some degree of disability in their work, social, or family life.,_social,_or_family_life_disability_affects_half_of_bipolar_patients__.html 



Specific metabolic abnormalities associated with schizophrenia

MedWire News

April 7, 2011


Schizophrenia patients exhibit specific metabolic abnormalities related to glucoregulatory processes and proline metabolism, Finnish researchers have found. 



Brain Development Switch Could Affect Schizophrenia, Other Conditions


April 6, 2011


An international team of scientists led by researchers from Duke University and Johns Hopkins University have discovered a key "switch" in the brain that allows neurons to stop dividing so that these cells can migrate toward their final destinations in the brain. 



Featured Journal:

Health Affairs

April 2011 


·         The Case For Measuring Quality In Mental Health And Substance Abuse Care

Over the past decade, efforts to measure and improve quality have permeated health policy and health care generally but have barely penetrated mental health and substance abuse care. We review barriers and recent activities in these areas and propose a short list of quality measures to engage the policy and practice community in a discussion about how best to evaluate the care of people with these conditions. Because proposing a list is only a first step, we suggest other elements of a broader strategy to bring mental health and substance use care into the mainstream of health care quality improvement. 


·         Informing And Involving Patients To Improve The Quality Of Medical Decisions

Good-quality care requires that procedures, treatments, and tests be not only medically appropriate, but also desired by informed patients. Current evidence shows that most medical decisions are made by physicians with little input from patients. This article describes issues surrounding informed patient decision making and the steps necessary to improve the way decisions are made. 


·         Despite Improved Quality Of Care In The Veterans Affairs Health System, Racial Disparity Persists For Important Clinical Outcomes

Both government and private health care systems have engaged in efforts to improve quality, but the effect of these initiatives on racial and ethnic disparities has not been well studied. In the decade following an organizational transformation, the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system achieved substantial improvements in quality of care with minimal racial disparities for most process-of-care measures, such as rates of cholesterol screenings. 


·         Variations In Efficiency And The Relationship To Quality Of Care In The Veterans Health System

There is widespread belief that the US health care system could realize significant improvements in efficiency, savings, and patient outcomes if care were provided in a more integrated and accountable way. We examined efficiency and its relationship to quality of care for medical centers run by the Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a national, vertically integrated health care system that is accountable for a large patient population. Policy makers should focus on what aspects of certain VA medical centers allow them to provide better care at lower costs and consider policies that incentivize other providers, both within and outside the VA, to adopt these practices. 





April marks Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Fox 34, Lubbock

April 6, 2011


By the time they reach college, nearly 20 percent of young women and 6 percent of men will be victims of attempted or actual sexual assault.  ...In addition, victims of sexual assault are more likely to struggle with depression, PTSD, abuse alcohol and drugs and contemplate suicide. 





Report Calls for More Health Funding for Marginalized Communities, Systemic Reform

Philanthropy News Digest

April 6, 2011


Less than one-third of a representative sample of grantmakers that support health-related issues in the United States have made the needs of underserved communities a top priority, a new report from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy finds.;jsessionid=HZET1C1TYWX4RLAQBQ4CGW15AAAACI2F?id=334500002  


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