Founded in 2016 and part of United Way of Amarillo and Canyon, the Panhandle Behavioral Health Alliance (PBHA) seeks to build systems that improve the behavioral health life-cycle of care for all people in the Texas Panhandle. PBHA includes: 27 counties, 150 alliance stakeholders, 25 organizational members.
What factors are essential for effective cross-sector alignment?
- Group of stakeholders developed a shared collaborative commitment to coordinate planning, efforts, and resources with a focus on three areas (access and alignment, workforce and recruitment, and prevention and early intervention) related to mental health.
- Two of their guiding principles are “Collaboration” and “Mindset of the Whole.”
- Nearly all coalition partners indicated their organization’s mission and vision aligned with PBHAs.
- Most coalition partners indicated the coalition had established shared purpose to a great extent.
- PBHA serves as the backbone organization for its stakeholders, while the United Way of Amarillo & Canyon serves as the fiscal sponsor and supporter of this community collaboration.
- Leadership team officers serve three-year terms with explicit roles and responsibilities.
- Monthly work groups are convened and facilitated around its four focus areas.
- PBHA members (those who pay membership fees) are eligible to vote on key issues and serve on the leadership team.
- Measurement and development workgroup develop measurement tools that assist in evaluating PBHA’s progress toward achieving its mission of systems change and collective impact.
- Data collection was also a part of grant requirement.
Finance and Sustainability
- Partnership with United Way has allowed for in-kind sustainability (office space, staff time, etc.).
- The strategic planning process was funded by Amarillo Area Foundation, Baptist Community Services, High Plains Christian Ministries Foundation, and Harrington Cancer and Health Foundation.
- In 2019, PBHA was awarded a $208,915 grant from House Bill 13 Community Mental Health Grant Program.
- The Alliance’s specific programs are funded through a combined effort of community partners.
Integration of Health Equity
- Defines as “equity in all aspects,” updated from previous definition of the integration of body and mind in health care
- Conducts a community gap survey which measures a number of proxy data points
- An explicit and high priority for the coalition and that it was a central to the mission and vision, as indicated by a majority of coalition members
Community Trust and Accountability
- Gains credibility through association with United Way
- Communicates results to stakeholders and holds annual meetings with members and leaders to build and maintain relationships
- Administers surveys to solicit feedback
- Considerable amount of relationship building and opportunity to network
- Published resources such as Mental Health Guide and the PHBA website
- Held conversations around mental health stigma
- Achieved shared progress towards community goals and need, according to most coalition members