Monarch's Robeson and Wake IPS Teams Shine Brightly During Recent Fidelity Review
Monarch’s Robeson and Wake County Individual Placement and Support (IPS) teams in Robeson and Wake Counties spent the past few months preparing diligently for North Carolina’s fidelity review, which was performed in early June and is conducted yearly. The state’s fidelity review is a quality assurance assessment performed on-site with the goal of ensuring that Monarch meets set performance standards.
Monarch’s Vice President of Operations, Enhanced Services Lyndril Leonard explains that during this year’s review the teams worked collaboratively to prepare, and each had a strong desire to achieve the highest fidelity rating which is exemplary status.
Monarch’s IPS, managed by a team of employment professionals, helps individuals with serious to severe and persistent mental illness and co-occurring disorders find competitive, sustainable jobs. The service is patterned after the evidence-based Dartmouth model, a standard in the industry that combines research-proven core principles to provide comprehensive support to people seeking satisfying, long-term employment.
Monarch’s IPS teams across North Carolina carry out the belief that everyone has the right to work and enjoy what they do. Leonard explains that Monarch’s IPS teams work with the people we support to first identify career choices that interest them and then determine how they can reach their employment goals.
The IPS teams’ hard work, passion and commitment to improving services for the people Monarch supports was reflected in the released scores. This year’s review resulted in a 5 percent improvement from 2017 between both teams – four percent increase for the Robeson County team earning them a good fidelity rating and one percent improvement from the Wake County team earning them fair rating. The state’s fidelity review aligns facility scores with three levels: fair, good and exemplary.
Through assisting the IPS teams to prepare for the fidelity review, Leonard saw firsthand how Monarch’s core values are clearly evident: “I am so proud of both teams for showing such commitment to the people we support. Of course, they are concerned with scoring as high a fidelity score as possible, but most importantly their passion to provide the highest quality of service was undeniable.”
Having reviewers on-site can be intimidating, but the process is not meant to be, explains Leonard. With several new Monarch personnel on both the Wake and Robeson teams, they took measures to help each other prepare, even quizzing one another. “It warmed my heart to be present at the reviews and see the comradery among the staff, helping each other in preparation for the assessment,” says Leonard.
The review team is comprised of three reviewers from the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Vocational Rehabilitation. While on-site, the reviewers look at areas including the overall quality of service provided, integration and collaboration of IPS services with other mental health services, and overall culture of the organization.
While on-site during the fidelity review, the assessment team interviews Monarch team leads, employment specialists, benefits counselors, as well as the people supported and their families. Leonard notes that the reviewers also speak with the employers with which Monarch has established relationships. Once the completed reviews are released, the assessor’s feedback and comments help Monarch IPS teams improve.
Notes from the 2018 review session highlighted how well the teams work together and their cohesiveness. “During the review, the assessors mentioned that the teams have each other’s backs and truly enjoy what they do,” shares Leonard.
Leonard specifically is proud of Robeson Team Lead Ann Hanna and Wake Team Lead Danita Horton. “They both did an amazing job coordinating and hosting the fidelity review,” Leonard proudly says. “The chemistry displayed by both teams was truly amazing. I walked away from each site filled with a sense of pride and admiration to be connected to such great groups of individuals.”
Pictured from left to right: (top) The Robeson IPS team consists of, from left: Employment Specialist Robert Cain; Employment Peer Mentor Leonard Edwards, Jr.; Team Leader Ann Hanna; and VP of Operations, Enhanced Services Lyndril Leonard; (bottom) The Wake IPS team VP of Operations, Enhanced Services Lyndril Leonard; Employment Specialist Precious Haynes; Team Leader Danita Horton; Employment Specialist Angel Freeman; and Employment Peer Mentor William Fletcher.