Modifications to a Collaborative Network During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Adapting to a Changing Landscape to Meet Community Needs


  • Jennifer Smith Ramey Horizon Behavioral Health
  • Jeff Randall Medical University of South Carolina


Individuals living in the United States of America experienced remarkable changes to their activities, routines, and facets of their daily life as a result of the coronavirus or COVID-19. Mitigation strategies, including social distancing, telework and telemental health (TMH), have had significant implications in neighborhoods and communities. Research has indicated community collaboration in behavioral health is a key factor in meeting the health needs of individuals through the organization of resources, shared communication, and an understanding of the roles of different community agencies (Christens & Inzeo, 2015; Walzer, Weaver, & Mcguire, 2016). As a result of COVID-19, Central Virginia’s behavioral healthcare and human services agencies shifted from largely face-to-face contact to a telehealth delivery of care through audio and video conferencing. The purpose of this article is to present a case study on the modifications made by a human services collaborative network in Central Virginia which may provide generalized lessons that other agencies and collaborative networks consider when adapting to address an unforeseen pandemic. Prior to discussing modifications and offering generalized lessons learned, a description of the collaborative network including the guiding theory and how the theoretical framework shaped the modifications will be presented.

Keywords: community, collaboration, pandemic, COVID-19, behavioral health, telework, lessons learned

Author Biographies

Jennifer Smith Ramey, Horizon Behavioral Health

Jennifer Smith Ramey earned her M.S./Ed.S. degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Counselor Education in 1996. She has been a Licensed Professional Counselor since 1999. She has worked with a variety of populations including adults with severe and persistent mental illness and adolescents with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders. She is a certified G.A.I.N (Global Appraisal of Individual Need) local trainer, a certified MET/CBT (Motivational Enhancement Therapy/Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) supervisor and therapist, and a certified A-CRA (Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach) supervisor and therapist. She has been trained in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) for adolescents, Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Jennifer is a forensic evaluator for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Jennifer has worked on two Targeted Capacity Expansion SAMHSA grants (MET/CBT/FSN and A-CRA/ACC) as Clinical Supervisor and Principal Investigator (A-CRA/ACC). Jennifer is currently the Principal Investigator and Program Manager on the SAMHSA Cooperative Agreements to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI) grant. Jennifer is the Program Manager for the Substance Use/Co-Occurring Program at Horizon Behavioral Health. Jennifer provides clinical and administrative supervision to team of over twenty therapists and supervisors, including Intensive Outpatient Substance Use Treatment and Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST). Jennifer currently serves on the Bedford Truancy Review Team (TRT), Community Management and Policy Team (CPMT), leads the Bedford Clinical Disposition team, and facilitates a monthly collaborative called “Minds Together” that focuses on community wellness and substance use and mental health prevention and treatment strategies. Jennifer is a member of the Bedford Family Drug Court planning and operations team. In 2009, the A-CRA/ACC program at Horizon won a national SAMHSA Science to Service award. In 2010, Horizon received the Evidence-Based Practice Program award at the Joint Meeting of Adolescent Treatment Effectiveness (JMATE). Jennifer presented at the 2012 JMATE national meeting on sustaining evidence-based programming. Jennifer is also a consultant/trainer for Chestnut Health Systems and has provided training in the United States and abroad.

Jeff Randall, Medical University of South Carolina

Jeff Randall received his undergraduate degree in psychology from San Jose State University, his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Virginia Tech, and his pre-doctoral internship as well as post-doctoral fellowship from Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh. He is president and CEO of Evidence Based Services, which disseminates evidence-based treatments, such as multisystemic therapy and contingency management, domestically and internationally. He is also an Assistant Professor in the Division of Global and Community Health of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina. He was the project director of a National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIDA/NIAAA) funded project entitled “A Randomized Clinical Trial of Juvenile Drug Court and Multisystemic Therapy (MST)”. This project received funding from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment for the continuation of clinical services. Dr Randall was principal investigator on a grant that add additional treatment components to the NIDA/NIAAA funded project. Dr Randall is first author on eight published substance abuse articles, and has published over 40 articles, book chapters and books. His research interests include Multisystemic Therapy, adolescent substance abuse, contingency management, juvenile drug court, adolescents’ internet use disorders, community interventions, technological interventions, and anxiety disorders.






Case Studies