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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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July, 2015

APNA Member Info

Online Continuing Education
Featured Free CE: Bipolar Spectrum Disorders: Assessment, Diagnosis, and Epidemiology Using a Recovery Paradigm

Hot Topic on Member Bridge:
Medical Floor Suicide Risk Assessment

APNA Newsfeed
Keep up-to-date on APNA happenings!

Find out about APNA events in your area.

APNA Resource Center

APNA Member Benefits: Learn More

Members' Corner

President's Message
This message reflects my own personal thoughts about the recent Supreme Court ruling and access to healthcare in the U.S. It does not represent an official APNA position. Nearly 62 million Americans have received increased access to mental health and substance use services as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the federal parity law (the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act).  (Cont'd)

In Your Own Words: Psych Nurses' Stories
This month, Jill Bormann, PhD, RN, APRN-BC, CNS shares a glimpse into what motivates her as a psychiatric-mental health nurse research scientist: I have always been interested in spirituality and health. As a psychiatric nurse, I wanted to find a way to incorporate the "power within us" to help promote health and wellbeing in patients. (Cont'd)

Get to Know the Annual Awards Recipients
Meet the recipients of this year's Psychiatric Nurse of the Year Award, Kathleen Delaney, and Award for Distinguished Service, Jeanne Clement: These profiles provide a look at their careers and achievements, advice to future PMH Nurses, and even their favorite Disney movies - just in time for this year's Annual Conference at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort!

For Kathleen Delaney, the choice to become a psychiatric-mental health nurse was clear: “Psychiatric nurses have to be interested in people’s lives and working with them through the dilemmas they face, and I just always was,” she says. (Cont'd)

A simple piece of advice was how Jeanne Clement knew psychiatric-mental health nursing was right for her: “’In psychiatric nursing, the best therapeutic tool you have to use is yourself,’” she says, quoting an instructor from one of her first psychiatric-mental health nursing lectures. (Cont'd)

Member News
Anita Boykins secures $1.6 million grant for University of Southern Mississippi; Josh Hamilton named 2015 Distinguished Alumnus for the University of Wyoming;  Brenda Marshall honored as 2015 Fellow by National League of Nursing; Marlene Nadler-Moodie named Behavioral Health Person of the Year for San Diego County; Nicole Schultz profiled in Florida Today; Linda Stanley receives top VA Women Veteran Resiliency Award; Dawn Vanderhoef recognized by Vanderbilt University for receiving APNA Annual Award; Susie Adams, Angela McNelis, Jeanne-Marie Stacciarini, and Jane White to be inducted as 2015 Fellows to the American Academy of Nursing. (Learn More)

Annual Conference Program Highlights - Psychotherapy & Suicide Prevention
Highlights of this year’s program include a conference course on psychotherapy and a training in suicide prevention. A 5-hour multi-day conference course, Psychotherapy for Advanced Practice Nurses will explore new uses of three theoretical approaches in psychotherapy in real world treatment settings. The Competency Based Training for Suicide Prevention is a 2-part, 6.5 hour interactive training that will help nurses interpret and apply the nine Psychiatric Nurse Essential Competencies for Assessment and Management of Individuals at Risk for Suicide, particularly in the inpatient setting. Both options will take place during multiple session slots at the conference, allowing attendees to take deep dives into the educational topics. (Learn More) Remember, register by September 15 to save $75!

Engagement and Patient Safety in This Month’s JAPNA
Take an inside look at the role of patient engagement in promoting a safe and therapeutic environment. APNA members of the Institute for Safe Environments explore how nurses can connect, partner, and collaborate with patients in “Engagement as an Element of Safe Inpatient Psychiatric Environments”, available now in the May/June 2015 issue of JAPNA.

New IOM Report on Psychosocial Interventions
The Institute of Medicine recently released a new report, Psychosocial Interventions for Mental and Substance Use Disorders: A Framework for Establishing Evidence-Based Standards. APNA President Susie Adams participated in the development of the report. To learn more about improving outcomes for persons with mental health and substance abuse disorders through psychosocial interventions, click here.

2015 Board of Directors Student Scholars Named
Congratulations to the recently announced 2015 class of APNA Board of Directors Student Scholars! These exceptional prelicensure/undergraduate and graduate students are driven and dedicated, and we look forward to celebrating their achievements at the annual conference. (See the full list here.)

APNA Elections – Voting Ends 7/31
Don’t forget – the deadline to vote in the APNA elections is Friday, July 31st! With the deadline fast approaching, don’t miss out on making your voice heard – vote today!

Resource Roundup

  • Substance Use Resources: New SAMHSA guide on use of buprenorphine to treat opioid addiction
  • Medication Updates: FDA approves Rexulti (brexpiprazole) to treat schizophrenia and as an add-on for major depressive disorder; FDA warns of counterfeiting issue with Diazepam purchased online; FDA reports permanent skin-color changes with use of Daytrana patch (methylphenidate transdermal system)

New Members: 458 New Members since May!

Issues & Events

Clinical trial results from three studies of investigational therapies related to amyloid protein were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2015. Two abnormal structures called amyloid plaques and tau tangles are prime suspects in damaging and killing brain cells in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Full Story

Saliva may reveal is someone is a likely candidate for developing Alzheimer’s disease, reported The Washington Post. That the hope of Canadian researchers whose study suggests that analyzing certain chemical compounds in saliva could provide a cheap, noninvasive way to learn whether the brain has begun to undergo the changes that culminate in loss of memory and cognitive function. Full Story

Data from pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly suggests its solanezumab drug can cut the rate of the dementia's progression by about a third, reported BBC. The results, presented to the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2015, are being met with cautious optimism. A new trial is due to report next year and should provide definitive evidence. Full Story

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the 2015 Update to the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, reflecting our nation’s progress toward accomplishing goals set in 2012 and current action steps to achieving them. The 2011 National Alzheimer’s Project Act calls for the Plan to be updated annually. The 2015 Update follows updates released in May 2012, June 2013, and the 2014 Update released in April 2014. Full Story

A recent study, published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies, reveals a set of ten low-cost interventions that can increase safety on psychiatric wards. This Safewards Model reduces aggression, self-harm and other risky behaviors by 15% and reduces coercive control, such as restraint, by 24%. Full Story

NASMHPD launched the Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) virtual resource center, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The EIP virtual resource center is designed to provide reliable information for practitioners, policymakers, individuals, families, and communities in order to foster more widespread adoption and utilization of early intervention programming for persons at risk for (or experiencing a first episode of) psychosis. Click here to access the resource center.

The need for psychiatric services in inpatient hospitals continues to grow, according to the latest annual survey from the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS). Trended admissions and days of care in inpatient hospitals have increased over the past year (while inpatient length of stay has remained constant), the survey reports. Full Story

Elevated activation of the kynurenine pathway (KP) may be an objective signal of suicidality in adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD), new research indicates. In a study of 50 depressed teens with MDD, KP activation was elevated in those with a history of suicide attempt and those who were acutely suicidal, but not in those who were not suicidal, reported MedScape. Full Story

On July 10, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Rexulti (brexpiprazole) tablets to treat adults with schizophrenia and as an add-on treatment to an antidepressant medication to treat adults with major depressive disorder (MDD). Full Story


Click here for the July State Legislative Activity Report, made available as a part of APNA's new legislative tracking system!

On July 08, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that updates payment policies, payment rates, and quality provisions for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) on or after January 1, 2016. This year, CMS is proposing a number of new policies, including several that are a result of recently enacted legislation. The rule also finalizes changes to several of the quality reporting initiatives that are associated with PFS payments, including the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the Physician Value-Based Payment Modifier (Value Modifier), and the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program, as well as changes to the Physician Compare website on Medicare.gov. Full Story

The Department of Health and Human Services is considering a rule that would create best practices for more than 15,000 long-term care facilities or nursing homes that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs and care for 1.5 million residents. The proposed rule would require nursing home staff to be properly trained on how to care for dementia patients and how to prevent elder abuse and would force facilities to consider the health of residents when making decisions on the kinds and levels of staffing a facility needs, reported The Hill. Full Story

A bill sponsored by Massachusetts state Sen. Marc Pacheco, D-Taunton, and state Rep. Patricia Haddad, D-Somerset, would create a pilot program at Taunton State Hospital for psychiatric patients currently boarding in hospital emergency departments, reported The Herald News. The pilot program would transfer medically stable patients with a high-acuity behavioral health condition out of emergency departments and board them until an appropriate placement is found. Full Story

Allowing advanced trained nurses to practice at the limits of their authority would generate at least $6.4 billion in health care savings for Pennsylvania over the next decade, a new study found. State Sen. Pat Vance, a Republican from Cumberland County, and state Rep. Jesse Topper, a Republican from Bedford County, have introduced bills that would make Pennsylvania a full-practice authority state for nurse practitioners, reported the Pittsburgh Business Times. Full Story

With less than three months remaining until the nation switches from ICD-9 to ICD-10 coding for medical diagnoses and inpatient hospital procedures, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the American Medical Association (AMA) are announcing efforts to continue to help physicians get ready ahead of the October 1 deadline.  In response to requests from the provider community, CMS is releasing additional guidance that will allow for flexibility in the claims auditing and quality reporting process as the medical community gains experience using the new ICD- 10 code set. Full Story

Yet another bill has been introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives with the aim to institute a “safe harbor” period following the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. The bill, H.R. 3018, the Code-FLEX Act, calls for dual coding for six months after the ICD-10 transition deadline, which is set for Oct. 1, 2015. The legislation was introduced by Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Tom E. Price (R-NC), reported Healthcare Informatics. Full Story


The National Council and Kaiser Permanente introduced a new educational program for community health centers to become trauma-informed practices. Primary care organizations selected for this initiative will play a significant role in shaping the future of the health care system by recognizing and responding to the significant impact that traumatic life events have on the health of patients. Full Story

The implementation of a care coordination strategy for patients at risk of negative outcomes related to certain mental or behavioral health conditions helped to reduce the preventable 30-day hospital readmission rate at Brigham and Women’s Hospital by nine percent over three years, according to a new paper published in the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. Full Story

A new certification option from The Joint Commission is focused on helping health care organizations improve care coordination across the continuum of care, beginning with hospital and ambulatory care settings. The new Integrated Care Certification option assesses how well a health care organization integrates information sharing, transitions of care, hand-off communications and other key activities as a patient moves between the hospital and outpatient care settings. With a focus on leadership, clinical integration, patient and family engagement and other areas, this new certification is the starting point for improving patient outcomes with better coordinated care. The goal is to eventually develop the Integrated Care Certification program to assess organizations as a full delivery system and evaluate the integration of care across the care continuum beyond ambulatory to include settings such as skilled nursing facilities, home care, long term care, and behavioral health care. Full Story

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is Accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the
American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

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