Tag Archives: hoban

Hoban compares N.C. mental health system to other states

WUNC’s Rose Hoban took advantage of an AHCJ fellowship to create far-reaching series on what state and local governments are doing to accommodate and treat residents with mental health disorders, particularly in terms of housing.

Rose Hoban

Rose Hoban

I recommend you start with Hoban’s honest and personal explanation of how the series came about. It was facilitated by an AHCJ Media Fellowship on Health Performance, supported by the Commonwealth Fund, but the initial impetus came from Hoban’s 12 years of nursing experience and firsthand experiences with treatment models for the mentally ill.

Her original plan for the fellowship, which called for a broad, systemic analysis, was to compare North Carolina’s health system to that of a an equivalent state elsewhere in the country. As she soon found, it’s not that simple.

… as I started digging, I learned that’s just not possible. States have so many varied ways of organizing mental health care delivery – Local-control or state-control? Combine with substance abuse services and developmental disabilities or not? Pull in lots of federal dollars or depend on state dollars? Rely on institutions or more on community-based services?

On top of that, states have many ways of paying for mental health services – Medicaid? State dollars? County dollars? Private dollars? Public-private-partnerships? Tax dollars? Insurance dollars? Fees?

With the insight provided by that false start, Hoban recalibrated by choosing to compare specific components of the North Carolina system with those of other relevant states. The results, along with some relevant past work and original blog posts, are available on Hoban’s NC Voices: Mental Health Disorder blog.

The centerpiece, a five-part radio series focusing on housing issues for those with mental health problems, aired on North Carolina Public Radio. The links below will take you to stories, transcripts and blog posts.

AHCJ member reports from Zambia, Malawi

WUNC reporter and AHCJ member Rose Hoban tackled abortions in Zambia, AIDs orphans in Malawi, medical education in Africa and other issues with North Carolina ties on a recent grant-funded reporting trip to Africa.

Rose Hoban

Rose Hoban

She visited a North Carolina couple running an organization coordinating care for thousands of AIDs orphans in Malawi, a North Carolina nonprofit’s involvement in access to reproductive health in Zambia, and UNC’s massive health care and research operation in Malawi.Malawi street scene showing coffin sales, courtesy of Rose Hoban, WUNC

In addition to nine radio stories, Hoban blogged extensively about her experiences and produced several videos and multimedia slideshows (photos and multimedia can be accessed through her blog).

Hoban shared some of her experiences and recommendations with AHCJ; read the full article.