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2013 BRSS Policy Academy Awards


Dear State Behavioral Health Authority or Tribal Leader:

In September 2011, SAMHSA initiated the Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) initiative to promote wide-scale adoption of recovery-oriented supports, services, and systems for people in recovery from substance use disorders, mental health problems, and/or co-occurring disorders. To carry out this effort, SAMEISA awarded a contract to the Center for Social Innovation and its partners. We are writing to announce an important opportunity offered through BRSS TACS, the 2013 Policy Academy Awards: Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale in the Context of Affordable Care Act Implementation.

The Policy Academy Awards will assist States, Territories, and Tribal Governments in creating action plans to promote the implementation of recovery-oriented supports, services, and systems within the context of the Affordable Care Act. This will be the second round of subcontract awards offered to States, Territories, and Tribal Governments, building on the successes of the 2012 subcontract awards under BRSS TACS.

The 2013 BRSS Policy Academy Awards will focus on assisting States, Territories and Tribal Governments to incorporate peer-support staff and services within efforts to expand insurance coverage (e.g., Medicaid, CHIP, private health insurance, etc.). A total of eight (8) teams comprised of 12 to 15 members will be selected to participate in a virtual Policy Academy with two onsite technical assistance visits, and to receive a $50,000, six (6) month subcontract to support planning and implementation of action plans developed at the Policy Academy and the onsite technical assistance meetings. In addition, BRSS TACS will provide ongoing technical assistance to teams that receive these awards, and awardees will have the opportunity to participate in a learning community with other teams to share ideas, resources, challenges, and lessons learned.

We believe the Policy Academy Awards provide an important opportunity to help create recovery-oriented systems in the context of health reform, and to address the holistic needs of those needing, seeking, or in recovery. We urge you to take advantage of this opportunity by submitting an application for your State, Territory/Jurisdiction, or Tribe.

Use the following link to find information about the application, expectations of awardees, and Policy Academy activities: Questions about the Policy Academy Awards may be directed to SAMHSA's contractor for BRSS TACS, the Center for Social Innovation.

Please send your questions to Rebecca Stouff, by email to, or by U.S. mail to Rebecca Stouff, Center for Social Innovation, 200 Reservoir Street, Suite 202, Needham, MA 02494. If you have general questions about the BRSS TACS initiative, please direct your questions to the SAMHSA Project Officer, Catherine D. Nugent, at or 240-276-1577.

Thank you for your attention to the Policy Academy Awards and for your ongoing efforts to promote recovery for individuals and families throughout the United States.


Keywords: SAMHSA, policy, academy, awards, recovery, support, affordable care act, aca

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