Mental Health Dissemination Network of Arizona Mental Health Dissemination Network of Arizona
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About Mental Health Dissemination Network of Arizona

What is MHDNA?

The Mental Health Dissemination Network of Arizona - MHDNA - is a program initiative of St. Luke's Health Initiatives, a public grant making organization in Phoenix, Arizona. MHDNA is one part of SLHI's work to improve health care access and quality to disadvantaged, underserved and disenfranchised populations in Arizona, and the greater Phoenix urban area in particular. Please visit SLHI's web site to learn more about its activities.

MHDNA grew out of a needs assessment conducted by SLHI in 1997-98 that underscored wide spread recognition of issues of access, quality of care, and adequate financial and human resources to sustain a public behavioral health system serving Arizona's most vulnerable populations. Following the study, SLHI convened a group of committed stakeholders to develop a program initiative to address these issues. MHDNA, which was created in early 1999, is the result of those efforts. Our work is just beginning!

MHDNA Mission, Goals and Strategies

Our Mission

To improve the system of care in Arizona for persons of all ages suffering from mental illnesses and disorders, to educate Arizona citizens on the causes, condition and treatment of these illnesses and disorders; and to advocate on behalf of persons with mental illnesses and disorders for appropriate treatment and support that assures their dignity and self respect.

Our Goals
  • To develop common data and assessment standards accepted by consumers, providers, payers and management entities in an Arizona managed care environment for treating persons with mental illnesses and disorders.
  • To integrate multiple points of assessment and care for persons with mental illnesses and disorders with the broader system of medical services in an Arizona managed care environment.
  • To eliminate disparity in financing the treatment of mental illness and disorders compared to the treatment of other physical illnesses in Arizona.
  • To improve housing, education and work transition opportunities for persons with mental illnesses and disorders in Arizona.
  • To reduce public misconceptions, fear and ignorance in Arizona of the medical and social issues concerning mental illnesses and disorders.
  • To increase the number of Arizona residents with defined mental illnesses and disorders who seek and obtain necessary care and treatment.
  • To strengthen and encourage the work of the network of organizations, agencies and individuals who address these goals.
Our Strategies

Collect, analyze and disseminate information and knowledge related to emerging and promising practices in mental health under the general areas of diagnosis and treatment, services, and systems and organization.

Convene appropriate stakeholders for conferences and meetings related to program and policy development to support and advocate for MHDNA's goals.

Provide leadership training and technical assistance to Arizona's public and private behavioral health providers, consumers and families, policy leaders, managers and other appropriate groups.

Conduct special studies related to selected best practices issues.

Conduct independent evaluation and reporting of Arizona's public behavioral system performance and progress against established benchmarks.

MHDNA Coordinating Committee

Stephania O'Neil (Chairperson)
Scottsdale Prevention Institute

Cheryl Collier Becker
Mental Health Association of Arizona

Laura Knaperek
Representative, Arizona State Legislature

David Miller
Arizona Council of Human Service Providers

Charles Simmons

Anne Ronan
Arizona Center for Disability Law

Michael Zent


Robert Hess
William H. Mercer

Bonnie Marsh
Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System

Robert Posner

Ron Smith
Arizona Department of Health Services/Behavioral Health Services

Jack Harvey
Mental Health Advocates Coalition of Arizona

Michael Berren
Community Partnership of Southern Arizona

Roger Hughes
St. Luke's Health Initiatives


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