What is the price tag for quality and compassion?

The problems with funding for mental and behavioral healthcare is not new to District of Columbia; but, this year, the effects are overwhelming. By the end of September, McClendon Center will experience a shortfall of over $100,000 due to the Department of Behavioral Health cutting off funding for uninsured clients.  This problem appears to be system-wide at this point, threatening the notion that we — as providers — form the public safety net for District residents with serious mental illness.  When it became apparent that there was a funding issue several months ago, we as a Center decided there were three basic courses of action.  The first was to transfer these uninsured clients back to the Department of Behavioral Health and hope they could find an agency that was sufficiently funded.  (The question then would be, why would McClendon Center — as the District’s highest-performing agency — not receive funding when a lower-performing agency had).  The second course would be to serve these clients anyway and try to absorb the loss, which is substantial.  The last choice would be to simply not serve them and wait for the new fiscal year to bring new revenues on October 1st.
It will come as no surprise that McClendon Center has chosen to serve these uninsured individuals and are doing so at our own expense.  We can’t let them go un-served, and we refuse to transfer them to an agency that will not provide the quality services that we do.  Our Board of Directors is acutely aware that this decision will likely put the Center in deficit for the fiscal year, the first time that has happened in this decade.  But how could we do otherwise?  What is the price tag for quality and compassion?  And what exactly does the District government value in regard to serving its most vulnerable residents?
If you have considered a gift to McClendon Center but have yet to make a donation, I ask that you actively consider making a contribution to help us cover the cost of providing these services.  For the rest of the summer, your financial participation in providing services to the uninsured would be very much appreciated by us all.

— Dennis Hobb, executive director

image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.nte

We Earned Our Second 5-Star Provider Scorecard Rating

5StarLogo_2We kicked of Mental Health Awareness Month by earning the only five-star Provider Scorecard* rating by the DC Department of Behavioral Health for the second year in a row. We are very honored to receive this recognition and are grateful to our staff — especially our Community Support Specialists whose teamwork with their clients is reflected in our success; our doctors, nurses, and professional staff; our leaders; and our Board of Directors.

*The Scorecard evaluates 20-plus DC community-based mental health providers for quality of services, adherence to Federal and District regulations and policy requirements as well as financial compliance. 

DON’T WAIT! Buy your 2016 Art of Transformation Event Ticket Today!

We are excited to be hosting our 2nd Annual Art of Transformation Reception and Client Art Show on May 5, 2016, at the Toolbox in Dupont Circle. We guarantee a fun evening — guests are invited to mingle, enjoy tasty bites and our signature drinks, and take in the artwork created by our clients. Closing the evening will be our raffle drawing, which includes airline tickets, wine, art supplies, and more.

All proceeds benefit our clients who are working each day toward gaining their stability, pursuing their goals, and maintaining a healthy state.

Visit our Event page for more information and to purchase your ticket. Space is limited so please buy your ticket today!

SAVE THE DATE for our 2016 Art of Transformation Event!

Save the Date PostcardJoin us on May 5, 2016, at the Toolbox in Dupont Circle or a fun evening. Instead of long speeches or a formal dinner, mingle with guests, take in the artwork created by our clients, delight in tasty bites and cocktails, and take your chance in our raffle drawings.

All proceeds benefit McClendon Center, a community-based mental health organization in the District, providing programs and services to more than 1,000 adults diagnosed with serious mental illness. By participating in our event, you’ll be supporting our clients who are working each day toward gaining their stability, pursuing their goals, and maintaining a healthy state.

Visit our Event page for more information and to purchase your ticket.

Sarah Barclay Hoffman Steps Down from Board Chair

Sarah certificateTHANK YOU, Sarah Barclay Hoffman, for your tremendous leadership and dedication to McClendon Center as Chair of our Board of Directors (2012-2015).

At last night’s Board meeting, a new leadership slate was introduced as Sarah Barclay Hofflman stepped down as Chair; however, Sarah will remain on the Board as a member. Two members stepped off the Board — Emily Gantz McKay (Treasurer) and Ann Clements. We are very grateful to each of them for their years of service.

Our new officers are:
Mohini Venkatesh, President
Kim Johnson, Vice Chair
Gayle Neufeld, Secretary
Hugh Franklin, Treasurer

Help Us Reach Our #GIVINGTUESDAY Goal

When you contribute to McClendon Center, you’re helping to provide hope and healthier lives to our more than 1,000 men and women who are living with mental illness. So often, when a client first comes to us, they have broken ties to family, have difficulties managing the symptoms of their mental illness, and/or have other health issues. McClendon Center not only provides psychiatric treatment, we also offer community support, group counseling and workgroups, and access to primary health care.

DID YOU KNOW that people with severe mental illness die 25 years earlier than the general population? Many of these deaths are due to chronic medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, hypertension and cardio-vascular disease). But WHY? Though most of these chronic conditions are treatable — and maybe even preventable — people with severe mental disorders are less likely to take care of their health, have access to primary care, and/or the symptoms of their mental illness affect their ability to make healthcare decisions. In additon, medications to treat their mental illness can have side effects (such as causing weight gain and diabetes) that affect their physical well-being. Furthermore, there is evidence that individuals with serious mental health conditions often do not receive the same levels of care as the general population – mostly likely due to disadvantages such as unemployment, disenfranchisement, and their socio-economic status.

In 2016, McClendon Center will be launching a Health Home team, which will better serve our clients by integrating primary and behavior health care services. In addition to psychosocial treatment, Health Home staff (nurses and Health Home coordinators) will be responsible for assessments, working with clients on setting health goals, documenting and reviewing progress, and adjusting strategies as needed.

HOW YOUR #GIVINGTUESDAY GIFT WILL HELP: Our goal is to raise $1,500 to help cover the costs of medical equipment such as professional-grade blood pressure monitors and scales, glucose testing supplies, and portable blood pressure devices for Health Home coordinators to use while in the field.

Dr. Tanya Royster Visits McClendon Center

“…YOU are the heart and soul of McClendon Center”

Group_photoA big thank you to Dr. Tanya Royster, Director of DC’s Department of Behavioral Health, for taking time to visit with McClendon Center. In October, Dr. Royster met with several of our clients as well as Dennis Hobb, our Executive Director; Sarah Barclay Hoffman, Chair of our Board of Directors, and Steve Luteran, our newly-joined Director of Health Homes and Clinical Services.

Dr. Royster, staff and clients candidly shared their thoughts about the successes and challenges that’s faced by the DC DBH — and what might help improve services for our community members struggling with mental illness and other behavior health conditions. Personal stories, viewpoints, and ideas were exchanged around the room and testaments were made espousing the benefits of community programs and services such as those provided by agencies like McClendon Center. At the conclusion of our meeting, a client ask Dr. Royster what she thought of our organization. With sincerity and heart, she looked at each one of the attendees and said, “…YOU are the heart and soul of McClendon Center” and reminded them that, when they are ready to “graduate” that she hopes they consider becoming mentors/peer counselors to the next group of individuals who come to McClendon Center seeking support and care.


McClendon Center Earns 5-Star Rating

5starsMcClendon Center earned the only 2015 five-star Provider Scorecard rating by the DC Department of Behavioral Health. The Scorecard evaluates 22 DC community-based mental health providers for quality of services, adherence to Federal and District regulations and policy requirements as well as financial compliance. This honor is a reflection of our clients’ commitment to their recovery, the teamwork and hard work among our staff, and the leadership of our Board of Directors. Click on the link to view how our services were rated:McClendon Center Scorecard.

2014 McClendon Center Annual Report

AR-14Our 2014 Annual Report will tell you in greater detail what we’ve accomplished at McClendon Center in the past year and the way we have benefited our city. We still have a lot to do, and we hope that you will either begin or continue to work with us. People need McClendon Center, and we need you if we are to realize our ambition of a healthier and better DC community. Click on 2014 Annual Report to download your copy.