Great Lakes ATTC: Helping Build Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care

Implementation, the final phase of the ATTC Technology Transfer Model, moves an innovation into routine practice in real-world settings.

For the Great Lakes ATTC, implementing Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care in real-world settings has been a particular focus since the concept first began to take shape. (See related blog post: Building a Science of Recovery: The Pinnacle ATTC Achievement.)

SAMHSA defines a Recovery Oriented System of Care as:

“A coordinated network of community-based services and supports that is person-centered and builds on the strengths and resiliencies of individuals, families, and communities to achieve abstinence and improved health, wellness and quality of life for those with or at risk.” (SAMHSA, 2011)

The Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care Illinois State Network (ROSC-ISN)
The Great Lakes ATTC provides training and technical assistance for ROSC implementation projects throughout the six-state region at the state, county, and local levels. 

One example of a statewide initiative currently underway is the Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care Illinois Statewide Network (ROSC-ISN), launched by the Illinois DHS in the fall of 2018 under the leadership of Dani Kirby, director of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (SUPR) at IDHS. Rex Alexander, also of IDHS SUPR, serves as the project director for ROSC-ISN.

“Our technical assistance has included all of the coordination, planning, and delivery for the ROSC-ISN,” says Scott Gatzke, Great Lakes TA coordinator for the project. “This includes face-to-face meetings, one-on-one coaching calls, monthly peer learning calls, and report-out sessions where participants share lessons learned.”

The goal of ROSC-ISN to help eight local ROSC Councils throughout the state build community-based recovery supports tailored to the unique needs of the community. Each ROSC Council has a lead agency that provides leadership for the local council, with support from IDHS/SUPR.

One of those lead agencies is the Chicago Recovery Communities Coalition, a peer-driven, peer-run Recovery Community Organization founded by Dora Dantzler-Wright.

“We are collaborating with organizations that provide substance use disorder services to identify service gaps,” explains Dantzler-Wright. “Being part of the ROSC-ISN has enabled us to reach over 13 communities on the west side of Chicago, provide information to those agencies, and collect data. This state initiative is helping our RCO to work on a system transformation.”

Adds Gatzke, “The ultimate goal of this project is to create multiple stand-alone Recovery Community Organizations in Illinois that will spin off from the ROSC Councils. The system change that emerges from this important initiative will provide valuable lessons that our Center can apply in other ROSC initiatives in our region and beyond.”

Mid-America ATTC: Creation of Intensive technical assistance manual for trauma informed care (TIC)

The Mid-America Addiction Technology Transfer Center (a collaboration between Truman Medical Center Behavioral Health and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies) developed an intensive technical assistance manual to be used by Technology Transfer Centers to facilitate trauma informed care (TIC) implementation in substance use and recovery service settings.

The manual will provide guidance for TIC consulting teams on issues such as:

  • Evidence for effectiveness of TIC implementation, including improved client experience and employee well-being and retention
  • Key considerations for TTCs as they determine capacity and strategies to provide TIC consultation
  • Examples of different levels of TA activities to promote implementation
  • Core components of trauma-informed care and corresponding consultant and organization activities during each stage of implementation
  • Defining and navigating the role of a consultant in organizational change
  • Organizational assessment tools, meeting facilitation techniques, and approaches for developing strategies for change with leadership
  • Building and supporting organizational capacity to lead, sustain, and evaluate TIC implementation
  • Future considerations for TIC implementation may be developed for peer recovery coaches, CLAS standards, child welfare, and other community partners

To pilot the manual’s multi-faceted TIC implementation process, Mid-America conducted site visits to regional provider agencies expressing interest in becoming a TIC environment. Osawatomie State Hospital (OSH) in Kansas was selected as the initial pilot site; OSH leadership signed a memorandum of understanding committing the organization to weekly on-site and virtual engagements with TIC TA specialists. The OSH leadership and the TIC TA specialists will navigate through multiple steps including relationship building and program design, and movement through four stages: trauma aware, trauma sensitive, trauma responsive, and trauma informed.

Movement to a trauma informed culture requires dedication from all levels of staff, from the ground up and top down. With thorough self-evaluation through surveys and group discussions regarding individuals and the provider organization as a whole, the end goal is operating with a Trauma Informed Care lens. Once provider organizations have reached this stage, the aim is that the organization will:

  1. Have a mission statement, goals and/or objectives explicitly reference sustaining a Trauma Informed Care culture and environment;
  2. Demonstrate a sustainable commitment to trauma-informed values and all employees and volunteers implement trauma-informed practices;
  3. Other agencies and community partners turn to organization for expertise and leadership;
  4. All staff respond to internal and external changes, barriers, and growth through a Trauma Informed lens.
A secondary goal of the project is to field-test evaluation tools, resources, tips, case studies, and step-by-step guidance for TIC consultant teams. In 2021, Mid-America plans to initiate a virtual TTC TIC Team Learning Collaborative to provide initial guidance in how to use the intensive technical assistance manual and support those regional ATTCs providing TIC consultation.

For more information about Trauma Informed Care, please see the Mid-America ATTC’s website: