Promoting Specialized Care & Health: Alan M. Weinstock, President

by HCE Exchange on August 19, 2010

Several years back, PSCH used to stand for Professional Service Centers for the Handicapped. Today, however PSCH has changed their name and with that change comes a complete rebranding for the non-profit. Now, PSCH stands for Promoting Specialized Care and Health, a far broader, sensitive and defining acronym for the agency.  The direction change for the organization began in 2008 and is slowly progressing with new logos, new colors and an overall reinterpretation of what the group stands for.  PSCH has been serving the New York City boroughs for three decades now and deals primarily with servicing individuals with mental illness and developmental disabilities.  However, the agency does have a primary care clinic that offers medical support to the general public in Brooklyn.

An Ambitious Scope of Care

As a $100 million agency the organization sees revenue spread out over its three care areas – Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Clinical Services.  About 50-60% of the non-profit’s revenue comes from services for the developmentally disabled, around 35% from mental health care and the other roughly 10% from the Brooklyn general clinic.  PSCH is a somewhat large organization, with 1400 full time employees and another 600 independent consultants for services such as occupational and physical therapy and dental services.

President Alan M. Weinstock breaks down the overall scope of care further.  “We operate a lot of residential programs.  On the mental health side, we have close to 500 apartments that we oversee.  We also have four community residences that we operate for individually diagnosed mental illness and operate several mental health clinics.”  For the developmentally disabled the organization operates over 30 houses in New York, servicing close to 300 individuals who live within PSCH’s setting.  PSCH also operates residential houses for about 40 people in New Jersey.  The organization’s clinics provide day-treatment programs and rehabilitation programs. “As a provider of Medicaid Service Coordination, we oversee the care of people in our residential programs, but also in other residential programs, so those figures add almost 300 additional people from other residential units.”  PSCH spans every borough in New York and has recently begun developing residences in Long Island.

Weinstock says he is quite proud of his team at PSCH and what they have been able to accomplish.  “One of the things that we do that we are pretty well known for in the field is, we are one of the few, perhaps the only, organization that is willing to take and treat very difficult consumers; consumers who many other agencies have turned away.”  Weinstock has been with PSCH for just over four years now and began by serving as the Executive Vice President.  He was then appointed President just a year ago when the former president stepped down. Weinstock says that PSCH’s reputation for care has begun to speak for itself.  “Government agencies are continuously getting us involved in programs with challenging consumers because we are an agency that has been successful at treating this population.  Furthermore, the staff takes pride that we can be successful working with these very difficult consumers.”

President Positions Team for the Future

In his freshman year as president, Weinstock has seen many changes already initiated.  Although PSCH doesn’t have the same technology needs as a hospital, Weinstock felt that this was one of the areas where the company was lagging behind.  “Since I’ve been the president of the company we’ve made a big effort at expanding that whole concept.  We’ve brought in a senior vice president who has a lot of experience with technology.  We are putting in the extra effort to stay current.”  Weinstock says in fact PSCH is proceeding rapidly to an electronic health record system, something that he sees as important, especially for non-profit agencies, which have not taken the initiative like corporate health care organizations have. “We’ve been at the forefront of this initiative and we expect by the beginning of next year to have the system ready to use.”  Weinstock adds that it is worth the significant investment of resources and capital and the staff training in order to have an extensive easily retrievable electronic health record system.

Additionally, Weinstock has plans to expand the organization’s scope even further.  “We are looking to expand both our mental health clinics and our general medicine clinics.  We are currently working with New York State to identify areas of need and to expand our services to other areas.”  One change that Weinstock has already implemented, corporate compliance standardization, is sure help once the organization grows even more.  “We never had a corporate compliance program within the agency so we’ve made a major commitment to standardize all the procedures.  There were no two divisions that were implementing policies in the same way.  Nothing was centralized.  So, we did two things: first we put in very stringent corporate compliance policy that is being very strictly adhered to and, two, we added a policy review committee to ensure that when a policy is being written that it is appropriate and consistent with existing policy.”

Another way Weinstock has helped to organize his leadership team is through the addition of three new senior vice presidents.  Weinstock decided to do this after his own experience as the sole VP.  “When I was vice president, the management structure that was in place made every aspect of the agency answer to me and then I reported to the president.  It was just too wide a breadth of responsibility and basically I found myself going from one crisis to another.  When I became the president I brought in three other vice presidents along with the existing CFO.  So now we have four senior vice presidents, one in charge of Operations, another for Clinical Services one for Corporate Compliance, IT and Quality Assurance and finally the last who handles Finance and Administration.”  Weinstock also hired an internal auditor who functions dually answering to the board of directors and the corporate compliance officer, reviewing all aspects of the agency and making a presentation on his findings.  “These steps have helped to really ensure that we are delivering quality care to the consumers who we are responsible for.”

Positioned for Expansion

Weinstock says to look for PSCH in the future.  Now that the organization has changed and is focused on the future the team is inspired to provide help for as many consumers as possible.  “It took us a very long time to come to the change we wanted and what we wanted PSCH to stand for.  We are in the process of implementing our three-year strategic plan.  There are a lot of vulnerable people with developmental disabilities and mental health issues who need services.  What we’ve been trying to do is raise awareness about the need within the community and work with the state agencies to try to address the needs we see as being under-served within the community.”

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