Pacific Southwest ATTC Launches 3-Year Implementation and Process Improvement Technical Assistance Capacity Initiative

January 8, 2019


Michael S. Shafer, Ph.D.
Pacific Southwest ATTC



Facilitating patient change is a core essential skill of effective behavioral health care. Facilitating organizational change is a core essential element of implementing evidence-based practices and other practice improvement strategies designed to promote patient change.

Beginning January 22-24, 2019, and continuing over the course of the next three years, the Pacific Southwest ATTC will launch a major regional initiative to develop technical assistance capacity in behavioral health agencies throughout its region. The initiative consists of two inter-related parts: The Change Facilitation Workshop and the Facilitator’s Community of Practice. The workshop is a three-day, residential immersive learning experience.


As a result of attending this three-day workshop, participants will:

1. Identify and define the core elements of the technology transfer and implementation models.

2. Explain how to develop and sustain effective team agendas for complex work.

3. Demonstrate, through interactive activities and group discussions, how to effectively utilize group decision-making and conflict resolution strategies for use in change team facilitation.

4. Describe common process improvement strategies including PDSA, Root Cause Analysis, and Lean Design.

5. Discuss the process for facilitating an implementation and/or practice improvement change team.

How to Get Involved 


Participants to the workshop must apply to attend. Applicants must identify one of four clinical practice areas that their agency is committed to implementing and/or improving and include a letter of commitment from their CEO. The clinical practice areas were selected by the Pacific Southwest ATTC Regional Advisory Board and include:

  • Medication-Assisted Treatment: Implementation or enhancement of the use of specific FDA-approved medications to treat opioid use disorders.
  • Digital Health Technologies: Implementation or expansion of use of app-, texting, and web-based platforms to deliver clinical and/or recovery services.
  • Motivational Interviewing: Implementation or enhancement of the use of Motivational Interviewing in client and patient interactions.
  • ASAM Criteria: Implementation or enhancement of the use of ASAM criteria in client and patient intake and assessment processes.

Following completion of the three-day workshop, participants will enroll to participate in the Facilitator’s Community of Practice conference calls with other change team facilitators who also participated in the workshop. During these calls, facilitators will provide updates on their agency-based change team activities, achievement of change team milestones, and identification of barriers or challenges they would like to discuss. Community of Practice conference calls will occur monthly. Facilitators will have access to a cloud-based communications, file sharing, and resource library platform, allowing their access to programmatic and change team resources. Facilitators will be asked to upload their change team milestone documents to the site, as well.

The Pacific Southwest ATTC Change Facilitation team is led by Dr. Michael Shafer and Beth Rutkowski. Drawing upon Dr. Shafer’s research in change team facilitation and Ms. Rutkowski’s expertise as a NIATx certified coach, the project team also includes Dennis Skinner, President of ManytoOne Consulting, and former director of the Accelerate Learning Labs for Intel. For more information, click here or email Michael Shafer or Beth Rutkowski.

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