WAKEFIELD – Gogebic Community Mental Health recently received accreditation from CARF International, a mental health accrediting agency. CMH has been accredited for a period of three years for its assertive community treatment, case management and services coordination, community housing, crisis intervention, and employment services, employment supports and job development programs. The latest accreditation is the eighth consecutive three-year accreditation that the international accrediting body, CARF, has awarded to CMH. This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to a behavioral health organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards, according to a press release from CMH. “An organization receiving a three-year accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process and has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during a multi-day, on-site visit its commitment to offering programs and services are of the highest quality, measurable, and accountable.” Gogebic Community Mental Health Authority has its offices at 103 West U. S. 2 in Wakefield. It has been providing services listed above, in addition to other programs and services, throughout the Wakefield, Bessemer, Ironwood, Marenisco and Watersmeet areas since 1976. Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services. It has developed consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services. Brian Boon, President and CEO of CARF, praised CMH in a letter that accompanied the accreditation. “This achievement is an indication of your organization’s dedication and commitment to improving the quality of the lives of the persons served,” said Boon. “Services, personnel, and documentation clearly indicate an established pattern of conformance to standards.” A written survey summary report said, “On balance, Gogebic Community Mental Health Authority demonstrated substantial conformance to the standards and has effectively demonstrated a commitment to using the CARF standards to the benefit of staff members and persons served. Persons served and other stakeholders speak highly of GCMHA and its long-serving employees are a significant asset. The organization has adopted a person-centered philosophy that aims to retain persons served and reduce the stigma of mental illness in the community. The ongoing quality improvement processes in place are thorough and data is analyzed regularly to improve performance.” Authors of the summary pointed out several strengths of the organization, such as a positive reputation in the community, providing high-quality services that meet a critical need in Gogebic County. trust of staff members, supportive employment services that include job readiness and competitive job placements for persons with severe barriers and challenges, innovative, evidence-based practices, and an extensive network of community stakeholders. “The CARF survey process is such a very stressful time for staff,” said Missy Lane, Quality Improvement Coordinator, who organized the survey. “There were 1,641 international standards that the organization had to be in compliance with and everyone worked extremely hard to assure compliance and maintain the organization’s three-year accreditation status. Our preparations began six months prior to the on-site review, and to receive only four recommendations out of the 1,641 standards is worth all the hard work put forth in preparing for this intense survey as it verifies our top priority and commitment is always providing the highest quality services and programs to the persons served.” Lane praised the staff and others involved with CMH. “All employees should be commended for their effort and dedication to ‘go the extra mile’ when necessary to ensure our on-going success,” she said. “The CMH board members should also be commended for their continued leadership, accountability, and support in pursuing CARF accreditation, again, assuring that the highest quality services and programs, per the international standards, are continually provided to our community.” In addition to the review of international standards for compliance, CARF surveyors also interviewed CMHA staff, CMHA Board Chairman Steve Thomas, and numerous individuals receiving CMHA services.

Gogebic Community Mental Health receives accreditation