AC's PAIMI Program Monitored By Federal Reviewers
On July 10-12, 2012, representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) conducted a review of the Advocacy Center's Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) program.
The three-day review consisted of interviews with AC staff, Board members, and PAIMI Advisory Council members, and a review of 60 redacted case files. The review team evaluated the strength of AC's PAIMI program, governing board, and advisory council.
The official report will not be released immediately, but AC staff, Board, and Advisory Council members attended an exit conference on the final day of the review to hear preliminary comments from the review team.
As expected, the review team found no compliance issues. In fact, the team offered much praise for the program, congratulating the AC on many of its features, which they deemed "best practice." Highlights of the team's verbal reports follow:
The financial management system is well organized and implemented.
The Governing Board is knowledgeable, involved, and committed. Board members have a strong relationship with staff, and they fully understand the PAIMI program and their governance responsibilities.
The PAIMI Advisory Council is enthusiastic and passionate. Furthermore, Council members are very involved and active in the community.
About the program's legal advocacy, the team noted that the staff is skilled, experienced, passionate, and thoughtful. They are creative and willing to think out of the box to be effective. They have performed stellar litigation work, as well as their individual client representation and systems advocacy work.
The team also noted the PAIMI program's great presence in institutions, even with limited staff.