Behavioral Health

The initiatives in this domain engage and support Behavioral Health Care Collaborative networks and individual providers in building program capacity, connections to primary care, integrating peer support services, and implementation of quality improvement initiatives that improve behavioral health outcomes.

City of Rochester Crisis Intervention Services

We partnered with the City of Rochester Department of Recreation and Human Services and Recovery Options Made Easy (ROME) to expand the City’s Crisis Intervention Services (CIS) program to include NYS Certified Peer Specialists. The one year project began in September 2021 and ended in August of 2022.

Peers have lived experience which helps them relate to and assist people in crisis. CIS) responds to individuals experiencing mental health or other crisis requiring intervention and support. In a post-initiative survey, CIS staff members described their peer engagement strategies as “sharing real life examples to connect and build a relationship with the client.”

The Peers, who were hired and supervised by ROME, joined the CIS team to provide person-centered support to City of Rochester residents experiencing crises such as, but not limited to, suicidal behavior, domestic violence, and substance abuse. The Peers assisted in providing follow-up support, including referrals to resources that are available in the community.

The City of Rochester is planning to utilize peers to support individuals experiencing crisis going forward.

Our Community Partners


*Published in Democrat and Chronicle January 2021



“The key to the success of this menu of services is our ability to have a two-way dialogue with doctors and other medical professionals about both health and social support needs at home. We’ve proven this model can improve patient outcomes and reduce unnecessary ED visits and hospitalizations, and that’s a win for everyone. It also reduces both physician and patient/family caregiver frustrations.”

Ann Marie Cook, President and CEO of Lifespan

“For decades Regional Health Reach has been a leader in the community in providing healthcare and support services to those experiencing homelessness. Through our traditional clinic, mobile medical unit, and presence at shelters, our Healthcare for the Homeless program has touched thousands of lives. Health Reach is excited to partner with Finger Lakes Performing Provider System and MC Collaborative to expand our reach to unsheltered individuals, meeting them where they are, to provide the care they need.”

William E. Belecz, Executive Director of Regional Health Reach

“By expanding our Person In Crisis teams to include certified peer specialists, we will be able to assist even more of our residents in need in a humane and compassionate manner. In addition, by assisting residents in this new way, we are expecting that there will be a reduced number of people calling the PIC team because they are getting connected to the services they need.”

Former City of Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren

“I am excited to see ‘equity in action’ through this partnership with FLPPS, who recognizes the importance of lived experience and elevating the parent and patient voice to bring change across our health and behavioral health systems.”

Sara Taylor, Founder of BIPOC PEEEEEEK

“The Finger Lakes IPA, a partnership of the region’s community health centers, six behavioral health organizations, and the S2AY Rural Health Network, is very excited to be a part of this important initiative by FLPPS to support the critical need for access to developmental screenings for young children in our rural communities. This program will give us the ability to provide access to services that are often not available due to geographic and other barriers to care experienced by our patients.”

Mary Zelazny, Chair of Finger Lakes IPA and CEO of Finger Lakes Community Health