Professor John Jacobi featured in NJ Spotlight On Reorganization of Health Services in NJ

Officials from the Christie administration will be called to explain the benefits of a controversial plan the New Jersey governor outlined to shift addiction and mental health services to a different department during a legislative hearing scheduled for later this month.

The governor’s proposal is designed to better integrate behavioral health and physical health services — an approach widely recommended by experts — and improve government efficiency by moving the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services from its current home in the Department of Human Services into the Department of Health.

Seton Hall professor John Jacobi was encouraged by the governor’s proposal, however. Jacobi and his colleagues published a report in March 2016 that identified bureaucratic and systemic hurdles that prevent New Jersey from better integrating behavioral and physical care, and he has been working with key staff at both the health and human services departments ever since; Christie frequently cited the study in his proposal.

“This is a real opportunity for New Jersey,” Jacobi said earlier this week. “There’s no easy way to do this,” he added, “but there is a deep commitment in both agencies to get this right.”

Read more from Professor Jacobi in "Lawmakers Wary of Christie's Plan to Shift Addiction, Mental Health Services" from NJ Spotlight.