Each year UCS surveys community stakeholders — primarily other health and social service providers — to ask how our programs are viewed in the community. Is UCS delivering quality service? Are the services accessible? Are they fully meeting needs?
This year, as an alternative to sending out questionnaires, we invited our community stakeholders to attend one of two focus groups to answer these basic questions. Attendance was good and lively discussion covered a range of topics and areas of concern. The following is a summary of the discussion, issues raised, and follow up action.
Thanks to all community stakeholders who took time to help evaluate our work. The more feedback we hear from the community, the better we can do our job.
Stakeholders found much to be grateful for, such as innovative leadership that fosters strong local collaboration, successful retention of excellent staff, direct resolution of challenges, and many highly valued service programs providing care and treatment for residents of all ages. Stakeholders also rated UCS outreach and communication highly and reported positive working relationships, as well as gratitude for a much shorter waiting list.
Stakeholders requested increased services typically in two categories:
- areas where no funding has been developed, such as new or expanded programs for developmentally delayed individuals and children with autism and their families; or,
- areas where stakeholders appreciated UCS services currently offered and wanted more, such as more clinicians in schools, nursing homes, and doctor’s offices.
Stakeholders also asked for more psychiatry services for children and adults, including supervision for other caregivers. UCS has been working hard to fill this need, and will continue to do so, although the problem of attracting psychiatrists to the region is not new. Stakeholders also identified the need for more in-depth crisis response, which UCS is currently working to establish.
Additional requests for services that UCS is currently addressing include:
- Suboxone training for DCF personnel
- More substance abuse counselors
- More presence in nursing homes to address psychological and emotional needs of the elderly
- More client art to our buildings
- Expansion of the Blueprint model integrating behavioral health care into the primary care provider’s office