Participants, NIATx CLA Minnesota

NIATx Change Leader Academy Launches Minnesota Learning Collaborative

Publication Date: Apr 09, 2019

April 9, 2019

The Minnesota Association of Resources for Recovery and Chemical Health(MARRCH) sponsored a NIATx Change Leader Academy(CLA) on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at the Ewald Conference Center in St. Paul, MN.  Nearly 40 substance use disorder professionals from across Minnesota attended the one-day training to learn the essentials of the NIATx approach.

John Magnuson, MARRCH Executive Director, explains that the NIATx CLA is the first collaborative programming to emerge from the new MARRCH Innovation Center and part of a strategic initiative to embrace change as a tool of innovation for the field.  

“Not just change, but exponential change,” says Magnuson. “And the only way to keep up will be to have trained professionals embedded in our  agencies familiar and trained in change management.” 

"The NIATx model offers a field-tested wheel for training in change management, and the opportunity to access it is readily available through the Great Lakes ATTC, with funding from SAMHSA."

Magnuson says that offering the NIATx CLA to Minnesota substance use disorder providers is part of the ongoing strategic collaboration with colleagues working in prevention and mental health, which is critical to building an effective continuum of care in Minnesota. 

(The Great Lakes Mental Health Technology Transfer Center(MHTTC) and the Great Lakes Prevention Technology Transfer Center(PTTC) will also be offering NIATx CLAs to mental health and prevention professionals in Minnesota and other states in the Great Lakes region. )

A statewide Change Leader Learning Community

For MARRCH, the NIATx CLA is a foundational starting point for a statewide Change Leader Learning Community that will focus on managing the policy and process changes coming to the field. 

“The first Learning Community will include substance use disorder, mental health, and prevention professionals who will report out their findings in a breakout session at the next MARRCH Annual Conference, at the Saint Paul River Centre, October 28-30, 2019,” says Magnuson. “We’ll hear how change management works in substance use disorder and mental health treatment and prevention, and also about similarities, differences, and opportunities for continued collaboration. The annual meeting will also be an opportunity for all to recruit for the next cohort of change leaders.” 

Team at MN CLA Apr 3 2019
L-R: John Magnuson with Great Lakes team: Kris Kelly,
Julia Parnell Alexander, Jeanne Pulvermacher, Scott Gatzke

The Minnesota NIATx CLA was led by NIATx expert coaches Scott Gatzke and Jeanne Pulvermacher. Magnuson gave the team high marks and cites the simple to understand, team-based learning approach of the one-day training as key in helping participants understand that principles of change management are bigger than the prevention, treatment, and recovery fields,  and crucial to our integration with the larger healthcare systems. “We need to look to other areas of medicine and science for ideas and inspiration,” he says. 

“Also, the one-day training presents a simple, yet focused approach to change management that ignited confidence among participants that their goals are achievable,” adds Magnuson. 

Following the one-day training, NIATx CLA participants receive virtual support from their NIATx coaches for three months while they conduct change projects in their own agencies.  

“MARRCH is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the Great Lakes ATTC in bringing the NIATx change management model to substance use disorders providers and to help lead a more collaborative relationship with our professional colleagues in mental health and prevention. Better patient care demands this of us all,” said Magnuson.