Bridging Local Systems: Strategies for Behavioral Health and Social Services Collaboration


The North Carolina Institute of Medicine and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services are partnering to convene Regional Leadership Summits involving Local Management Entities/Managed Care Organizations (LME/MCO) and Departments of Social Services (DSS) with the goal to foster better collaboration and coordination of care for children, families and adults served by DSS who have behavioral health needs.  
“Across North Carolina, Child Welfare staff are seeing more families with behavioral health needs, and bridging these two systems to enhance outcomes will result in stronger families and communities,” said N.C. Division of Social Services Child Welfare Section Chief Kevin Kelley. “Children who have experienced abuse or neglect may have significant trauma histories, and parents and family members may be coping with their own mental health needs with alcohol, opioids or other substances. Through this partnership, DSS and LME/MCO agencies will identify additional opportunities to address their needs.”
Those to be served by this collaborative effort are among the most vulnerable, and ensuring needs are met will require high levels of coordination. The Regional Leadership Summits will bring together organizational leaders to discuss the successes, opportunities and challenges for serving North Carolinians with complex needs, and will provide opportunity to develop new strategies for working together at local and regional levels.
The North Carolina Institute of Medicine, with support from The Duke Endowment, will serve as the organizer for the meetings. The NCIOM has a long history of convening stakeholders at state and local levels to inform policy change. At the conclusion of all the Regional Leadership Summits, reports will be published that will provide information on the successes, challenges and opportunities and will inform local and state policy moving forward.
Dr. Adam Zolotor, President of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine said the Regional Leadership Summits will engage stakeholders on their common goals and the opportunities that exist for real and lasting partnerships.
For questions, please refer to the North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s website,, or contact Dr. Adam Zolotor at 919-445-6500.


About the North Carolina Institute of Medicine The North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) is an independent, quasi-state agency that was chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1983 to provide balanced, nonpartisan information on issues of relevance to the health of North Carolina’s population. The NCIOM convenes task forces of knowledgeable and interested individuals to study complex health issues facing the state in order to develop workable solutions to address these issues to improve health, health care access, and quality of health care in North Carolina. Visit for more information and updates on the Bridging Local Systems project.

About the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services manages the delivery of health- and human-related services for all North Carolinians, especially our most vulnerable citizens – children, elderly, disabled and low-income families. The Department works closely with health care professionals, community leaders and advocacy groups; local, state and federal entities; and many other stakeholders to make this happen. A $20-billion organization with more than 16,000 employees, DHHS protects the health and safety of North Carolina’s more than 10 million citizens.

NCDHHS also oversees 14 facilities including developmental centers, neuro-medical treatment centers, psychiatric hospitals, alcohol and drug abuse treatment centers and two residential programs for children.