NEWS: Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center earns 3-year accreditation
July 31, 2017 (Hagåtña) — Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center achieved the highest level of accreditation.
The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) performed an accreditation survey from June 21- 23. On July 25, GBHWC was informed they received the 3-year CARF accreditation, which is the maximum number of years that can be earned. The accreditation expires June 30, 2020.
“Congratulations to the hard working men and women of Behavioral Health on this achievement. This is the first attempt at accreditation and not only was it achieved, it was achieved with flying colors and you earned the highest accreditation possible,” Governor Calvo stated.
Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio called the accreditation a win for the people of Guam.
“The work that Guam Behavioral Health does, such as Crisis Intervention and stabilization, is critical to the well being of our community. This accreditation is an acknowledgement that they follow the highest standards in helping the people of Guam,” Lt. Governor Tenorio stated.
Accreditation is official recognition that GBHWC is guided by internationally recognized service standards and best practices. The survey team headed by the administrative surveyor Nora Y. Navarro-Hernandez M.S, LCPC, CHC, CPHQ, program surveyors Rona A. Krueger, M.S.W., and Henrietta G. Fishman, LCSW, DCSW.CASAC, applied over 2000 CARF behavioral health standards to evaluate GBHWC’s conformance.
This accreditation decision shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. An organization receiving a Three-Year Accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process, and has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit, that its programs and services are of the highest quality, measurable, and accountable.
GBHWC accreditation in Behavioral Health include the following Programs/Services
• Crisis Intervention Mental Health: (Healing Hearts Crisis Center)
• Crisis Stabilization: (Adult Inpatient Unit and Child Inpatient Unit)
• Intensive Outpatient Treatment: (New Beginnings Drug and Alcohol Program)
• Outpatient Treatment: (New Beginnings Drug and Alcohol Program)
• Outpatient Mental Health Program: (Adult Outpatient Program and Child Adolescent Services)
• Prevention Family Services: (Prevention and Training Branch PEACE program)
• Residential Treatment Mental Health: (Residential Recovery Program)
Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center is the sole state entity providing comprehensive mental health services, alcohol and drug program and services to the people of Guam. It was created in 1983 with the passage of Public Law 17-21 as the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, now known as the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center. The Center currently provides services to a total of 2,266 consumers.
CARF highlighted some of the strengths of GBHWC in their survey report and these were; the Leadership, the different programs and the staff; who has made great efforts these past few years to improve processes in services delivery, addressing gaps in services, improving outcomes, and promoting community integration throughout the programs.
CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of the persons served. Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and now known as CARF, the accrediting body establishes consumer focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services.
What does this accreditation mean?
• Accreditation demonstrates that Behavioral Health is committed to reducing risk, addressing health and safety concerns, respecting cultural and individual preferences and providing the best possible quality of care to its clients and the community.
• Accreditation demonstrates that Behavioral Health values input of its consumers and is accountable to the community.
• Accreditation demonstrates that Behavioral Health has made a specific commitment to put the needs of the consumers at the center of everything they do.
• Accreditation indicates that Behavioral Health respects the rights and individuality of its consumers.
“Kudos to Director Rey Vega and Deputy Director Benny Pinaula for their leadership on this important milestone,” Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio stated.

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