21 hour’ and we got on Zoom together once every week and then once every two weeks just to talk as if we were meeting in our breakroom and catching up with one another. We also continued our monthly staff meetings via Zoom so when you added all of the meeting time up, each staff member had on average of at least one weekly contact with colleagues. We also had one of the staff do a relaxation/stress reduction workshop to teach basic techniques for our staff to take care of themselves.” Bob Gold, Chief Behavioral Technologist &CEO, GoMo Health® : “The pandemic has affected physical and emotional health across the board and our employees are no exception. At GoMo Health, we have always valued our employees and believe that happier, healthier employees are more productive members of our team. Work and life balance is a key part of our strategy in ensuring staff morale and mental health remain positive. To do this, we offer a flexible schedule - customized based on what works best for each employee and their team - that allows for time in the office to connect live with colleagues, and time at home to appreciate the life balance that working from home affords. Our team has expressed how much they value the ability to work together to formulate a schedule that is mutually beneficial, and we see firsthand the positive effect of this collaborative approach.” Danielle Lehtonen, MS, LAC, Director of Outpatient Services West, NewHope Integrated Behavioral Health Care - Open Door: “The pandemic affected staff morale by making themmore stressed and burnt out; therefore, morale is down. Dealing with a pandemic first hand and then going into sessions having to help clients navigate the pandemic has been stressful. We think being able to still work from home has been instrumental in increasing and maintaining morale. Additionally, we have seen that staff morale has been affected by the increased demand for services as more people are seeking treatment due to an increase in substance use throughout the pandemic, which is creating higher caseloads for clinicians and leading to increased burnout and stress. We feel that allowing staff to continue to be flexible with their schedules and providing more referrals for assistance within the community through self-help meetings and peer recovery support have been helpful in maintaining morale.” Howhas service delivery changed (e.g., telehealth) andwhat benefits are your staff, clients and overall organizations gaining from these changes? Jennifer Petro, MA, CPRP, Regional Director, CareLink Community Support Services: “As we are a residential provider staffed 24 hours a day, we were not able to utilize telehealth in completing our work. However, we have some residents who have been hesitant to go into the community and attend medical and psychiatric appointments, so telehealth did enable us to ensure our clients received some needed services that would have been refused otherwise.” Karen Acker, Chief Administrative Officer/Chief Compliance Officer, West BergenMental Healthcare: “The last two years have seen a tremendous growth in the use of telehealth in the behavioral health field. Once considered taboo, the complete shift in implementing telehealth has created benefits for both our clients and staff. Staff productivity has increased with less time to travel between physical office sites, and there is a higher level of employee satisfaction from being able to have a hybrid work model. Clients have also embraced the technology, as it makes it easier to attend appointments virtually. They seem to appreciate the option of a hybrid service model.” What innovations regarding staff, clients and/or service deliverywere inspired by the challenges of the pandemic? Peggy Swarbrick, PhD, FAOTA, Associate Director, Center for Alcohol &Substance Use Studies, Rutgers University, and Director, Wellness Institute, Collaborative Support Programs of NJ (CSPNJ): “The Enhancing Immune Health programwas an amazing innovation we created at CSPNJ that is benefitting many people. It consists of five modules that can be offered individually or in a group online or in person to educate about what Spring 2022 [continued on page 22]