Improving the Competency & Retention of the Mental Health Workforce
Detroit Wayne Connect (DWC) formerly VCE, is the vehicle for ongoing workforce development and dissemination of information regarding best practices for mental health, intellectual and developmental disability and substance use disorder service deliver, along with other areas of healthcare. DWC was created by the Detroit-Wayne County CMH Agency (D-WCCMHA), now the Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network (DWIHN) in 2006 to promote System Transformation through workforce development.
DWC is a single-source provider of products and services for mental health professionals, healthcare organizations and the community. With extensive knowledge and experience in the field of behavioral and mental health, combined with expertise in continuing education and business/administrative solutions, DWC is uniquely equipped to offer high-quality content and services for the purpose of compliance assurance, improved organizational management, and the overall professional development of healthcare workers. DWC helps professionals to stay competitive, organizations to have more insight and the community to be more educated.
Training lies at the core of DWC's service offerings. Our courses are carefully crafted from a vast library of professionally created content, resulting in a quality training that not only provides certification and licensure opportunities, but also an efficient and effective transfer of knowledge for professional growth. Training is available both online for convenient access from anywhere users can log in, and on existing, professionally designed training courses or DWC can create customized training and curriculums to fit the needs of individual organizations.
Among DWC's most powerful and impactful solutions are those for staff management and business support. Our products enable healthcare organizations to better and more easily manage, track and report on their workforce's professional development and compliance status. With our intuitive, online-based management solution, organizations can log in and see detailed, sortable information regarding employee certification, licensure and compliance. The result is easier access to information, improved insight and better reporting for management as well as increased productivity, more qualified staff and improved customer satisfaction for organizations.
Helping healthcare organizations to better meet the needs of their employees and patients is the goal of DWC's professional support services. We offer a full array of both strategic and tactical solutions that enable organizations to realize increased ROI from their business, marketing and operational efforts. From industry-specific consulting services, to video production, to help with event planning and materials, DWC provides a one-stop resource for organizations looking to get the most from their mental health units and divisions.
In addition to providing products and services for mental health professionals, DWC also offers classes and informational resources for the community. We help educate and counsel on matters regarding parenting, child development, substance use and more. Our commitment to improving the lives and wellbeing of those around us, either directly through DWC resources, or indirectly through healthcare providers, underlies everything we do and the overall mission of DWC.
DWC is a non-profit organization developed by health and human service professionals. Our mission is to be a leader in providing quality education through training and informational resources for health professionals and to be a trusted source of management and business solutions for healthcare organizations. By supporting the healthcare workforce, DWC helps to ensure quality and consistent care for consumers and their families who receive mental health, developmental disability, substance use and healthcare services. DWC is dedicated to improving the competency and retention of the healthcare workforce.
The following three elements, together, enable the development of a marketplace of best practices by forming a system which incorporates new knowledge, improves performance and creates a mechanism for the institutionalization and maintenance of best practices throughout Detroit and Wayne County:
- Identify organizations and solicit their participation
- Identify specific members to serve in the DWC Advisory Coalition
- Ensure communication between partners (i.e. host DWC meetings)
- Obtain direction and advisement in meeting DWC goals
- Conduct regular DWC Advisory Coalition meetings
- Coordinate active interaction and exchange of information between research/evaluation, the DWC Advisory Coalition and various DWC training components
- Coordinate the research, development and dissemination of core competencies and training thresholds by monitoring implementation and providing continuous feedback
Education and Training
- Provide education for professionals, para-professionals, peers and participants, board members and the community
- Oversee the development and implementation of curricula for Human Service, Social Work Mental Health, Gerontology, Direct Support Professionals, Substance Use Disorders and Supervision and much, much more.
- Oversee system-wide trainings and conferences, ensuring that appropriate CEUs are available
- Develop distance learning, including web-based training
- Research, develop and disseminate core competencies and training thresholds
- Identify, implement and evaluate mental health-relevant and evidence-based practices, sharing information at the University/College and community levels
- Support/Coordinate implementation of best-practice models
- Assess fidelity with best-practice models
- Facilitate implementation of new evidence-based practices
- Evaluate outcomes and performance indicators in partnership with practitioners
- Disseminate results at a state/national level, including the funding community (i.e. state and federal foundations)
- Work toward informing curriculum development at the University/College level to aid in the preparation of a qualified workforce
- Establish website with best-practice materials
- Link the DWC website to other informational web-based centers
- Research, develop and disseminate core competencies and training thresholds
- Monitor fidelity in support of a continuous learning environment
- Confirm quality improvement through ongoing monitoring, evaluation and feedback
Detroit Wayne Connect (DWC) is committed to being a leader in providing quality education and training opportunities to an increasingly integrated healthcare workforce. By optimally equipping this workforce, DWC supports quality and consistent care to individuals receiving services for physical health, mental health, substance use disorders, intellectual or developmental disabilities and their families. Our efforts are dedicated to improving the competency and retention of the healthcare workforce for the benefit of those served.
- Identifying the workforce to understand and meet their learning needs.
- Supporting Evidence-Based Practices (EBPs), including offering trainings important for EBP implementation and sustainability.
- Developing targeted trainings for CMH staff.
- Distributing high-quality training products through a variety of formats and media platforms, including web- based training and teleconferences for the convenience and cost-savings of our workforce.
- Providing an array of continuing education credits for live and online trainings to ensure that the workforce maintains licensure and credential requirements.
- Evaluating, analyzing and summarizing the results of new and ongoing systems transformation efforts across the DWC provider network.
- Ensuring continuous process improvement and continuing to evolve to provide the highest quality and content of training possible.
The implementation of DWC was the result of a cooperative venture of the Detroit-Wayne County Community Mental Health Agency (D-WCCMHA) now Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network (DWIHN) and The Guidance Center (TGC) in response to the demand for System Transformation. The idea originated through the Annapolis Coalition report on the Behavioral Health Workforce in 2000. The following year, The Institute of Medicine published the first of a series of books dedicated to quality in health care, Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century.
The Institute of Medicine published a new volume each year, and in 2006, released a report for the mental health community. Improving the Quality of Health Care for Mental And Substance-Use Conditions was the catalyst that helped to bring Detroit Wayne Connect into existence. Chapter Seven of this book, “Increasing Workforce Capacity for Quality Improvement” shined a light on the inconsistent and uneven education and training of behavioral health employees. The formal education for medical doctors and nurses is based on the universal application of strict standards and guidelines. However, professionals providing behavioral health and counseling services to populations with a mental illness or substance use condition can potentially follow dramatically different educational tracks.
DWIHN partnered with The Guidance Center, Wayne State University and Wayne County Community College District to establish Detroit Wayne Connect (formerly known as VCE) in 2006. DWC was created to overcome these differences, to maintain a trained and qualified workforce, and ultimately improve care and services for our consumers and their families. Using proven Evidence Based Practices, we offer the most current trainings and curriculums in the field to advance the knowledge and skill of the workforce.
In 2008, DWIHN launched the training website website. This multimedia website provides 24/7 training opportunities for the community. One of the key objectives of this site is to provide convenient and easily accessible event listings, online registration, archive of video recorded lectures and distance learning opportunities. Members have the benefit of a virtual transcript which tracks registration and attendance for DWC-sponsored training and online required courses, as well as the ability to upload all training records.
DWIHN houses and manages this unique program. With workforce specialists and event coordinating specialists, plus the use of cutting edge technology, DWC has the capability of researching, creating, and implementing successful, organized educational opportunities.
Communication and collaboration between partners has been an important part of the process of developing DWC into the unique model it is today. Collaboration with multi-talented and skilled staff, partnered with current and new partners ensures the creation of a widespread learning community where we can share knowledge, decision making and experience.