Trilogy Blog

Adolfo Luna

Recent Posts

Dr. Matthew Brown Joins Trilogy as Chief Medical Officer

Posted by Adolfo Luna on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 @ 11:58 AM

Chicago, IL - Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Matthew Brown as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Brown brings more than 10 years of experience to Trilogy, as a physician, psychiatrist and thought leader in the area of mental health technology. He is double board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, holds an MBA in healthcare leadership, and prides giving back to the community via public education and his work with nonprofit organizations.


In his private practice, Dr. Brown takes a whole-person approach to mental wellbeing placing an emphasis on lifestyle, supplements and technology to promote true healing and minimize the use of pharmaceuticals. The philosophy complements Trilogy's own belief that individuals are capable of making decisions in their own best interests when provided with accurate knowledge, a variety of recovery options and support. Furthermore, Dr. Brown's previous experience with clients in early childhood through adulthood positions him as a great resource among Trilogy's leadership and in the development of Impact, the organization's newest program, serving youth and adolescents throughout Chicago.

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Tags: Trilogy Staff, New to Trilogy, Leadership at Trilogy, Impact Youth and Family Services, Youth and Family Services

Trilogy CEO Recipient of Dr. C. Vincent Bakeman Memorial Award

Posted by Adolfo Luna on Thu, Sep 28, 2017 @ 01:09 PM

On September 8th, John Mayes, President and CEO of Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare Inc. was honored by the Illinois Association for Behavioral Health (IABH) with the 2017 Dr. C. Vincent Bakeman Memorial Award. Mayes received the award during the IABH annual conference, where professionals come together from across the fields of addiction, substance use, and mental health.

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Tags: Awards, Leadership at Trilogy

Nursing at Trilogy

Posted by Adolfo Luna on Fri, Sep 15, 2017 @ 02:37 PM

There are currently more than a dozen nurses working in various capacities and programs at Trilogy, and the value these nurses bring to the organization becomes apparent in the stories of their impact on clients’ lives. Dr. Alice Geis describes an account from this summer when, “A client presented at the clinic with symptoms he had been experiencing for weeks. The registered nurse (RN), TJ Thurlow, identified the symptoms as those of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot in the leg, which when left untreated, can travel to the lung and become fatal.” A nurse practitioner on staff confirmed the likely diagnosis of DVT and the client was escorted by staff to a nearby hospital for urgent attention. Considering the crucial role nurses play at Trilogy, it is hard to imagine that less than 10 years ago, there were no nurses employed at the organization.

In 2008, opportunities in the field of nursing at Trilogy consisted of academic projects for nursing students. At the time, two advanced practice nursing students from Rush University College of Nursing (RUCON) were engaged in the process of developing an assessment of the medical and coordination needs of the clients. This project required an RN facilitator on site, and Dr. Geis, a faculty member at RUCON at the time, agreed to act as facilitator after hearing about it through her faculty chairperson. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Geis accepted an offer to join Trilogy in an official capacity as Medical Services Coordinator (MSC), a position made possible through a small foundation grant received that same year. Dr. Geis remains engaged with the Faculty Practice program at RUCON, maintaining a formidable relationship between the two organizations.

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Tags: ACT Nurse, company culture, Nursing

Trilogy Employee Bestowed Vollendorf Peer Leadership Award

Posted by Adolfo Luna on Thu, Jul 06, 2017 @ 02:01 PM

In-Home Recovery Support Specialist at Trilogy, Charles Mack, received the Vollendorf Peer Leadership Award on Friday June 2nd in a ceremony at the Thompson Center. The ceremony was part of the 2017 Nothing About Us Without Us Recovery Conference.

The Vollendorf Peer Leadership Award was instituted in honor of Carol Vollendorf, a Recovery Support Specialist and mental health activist who worked in the field for nearly two decades before her death in 2007. The award seeks to honor her memory by recognizing persons, who like Carol, provide exemplary inspiration, service, and empowerment to their peers. Every year, individuals who are currently in their own process of recovery from mental illness or co-occurring challenges nominate candidates for the award who they see as heroes. Charles says the news of his nomination came as a “total surprise,” and that now he feels “honored to be the recipient of this award, instilling its meaning to fellow peers.”

Charles started at Trilogy in the Fall of 2015 and brought years of experience working in community mental health with him. Prior to joining Trilogy, he worked at the Lake County Health Department as a case manager for clients of the Williams Consent Decree, which enabled qualifying individuals with mental illness to be moved from state-funded facilities into communities where they can live independently with professional support. He now continues this work at Trilogy, engaging with clients representing varying levels of need. Charles sees skill-building as a central component of his work, teaching clients how to lead more independent lives inside and outside their home environment. This can include teaching them to utilize basic home appliances, access resources in their community, using public transportation. Charles isn’t only tasked with helping clients adapt to their new community, he also helps them encompass a holistic perspective as they build skills based on their personal strengths. He says “I help my peers embrace all aspects of life, including housing, employment, education, mental health and healthcare treatment and Substance Abuse services, spirituality, creativity, social networks, community participation, and family supports as determined by the peer themselves.”

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Tags: peer specialist, Trilogy Staff, Awards

Trilogy Named One of Chicago’s Best & Brightest Companies to Work For

Posted by Adolfo Luna on Mon, Jun 26, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare has for the third consecutive year been recognized as one of Chicago’s Best & Brightest Companies to work for by the National Association for Business Resources. The annual competition honors companies with an exceptional track record for human resources practices and a commitment to their employees.

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Tags: Awards

Trilogy’s Employment Program Obtains Top Fidelity Score

Posted by Adolfo Luna on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 @ 11:25 AM

Last March, Team Olympic of the Supported Employment Program (SEP) at Trilogy was reviewed by the Illinois Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health and received one of the top scores in the State of Illinois. In this post, we explain how the resulting fidelity score serves as an indicator of how well the team adheres to the most progressive, evidence-based model offered to individuals with mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

This April, Team Denali of SEP was also reviewed and can now proudly say they hold the highest fidelity score in the state. The team obtained a score of 123 from their review, and great acclaims from the reviewers.  Torrie Baker, Manager of the IPS Supported Employment Program, says “the reviewers were truly impressed with the team’s adherence to the model of IPS across all service provisions.” In interviews conducted during the review, employment team members were not the only ones who were well versed in the services offered, their importance, and the role they play in recovery for our clients. The reviewers also spoke to six employees outside of the employment program, and all of them could promote and speak about employment services with great accuracy. “This affirms how the employment program works to reach new populations through integration with innovative new programs at the organization like First Episode Psychosis, Williams, and Colbert.

The exemplary performance of Team Denali has been recognized in years past through many markers, opportunities, and awards. In 2013, the team achieved the highest baseline fidelity score in the history of Illinois, indicating great performance from the offset. In 2015, the team received the Transformation Award from the Dartmouth, Johnson & Johnson learning collaborative for transforming the employment program into the new model of IPS.

With this growing recognition, the work at Trilogy is even reaching audiences abroad. In the summer of 2016, a team of six employment specialists from the Netherlands came to shadow Team Denali for one week. The team from the Netherlands was new to the IPS model, and won a trip to observe an IPS Supported Employment Program in the USA. Dartmouth, the creator of this model had recommended Team Denali for this visit.

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Tags: employment services, Awards

Providing OT Students with New Perspectives

Posted by Adolfo Luna on Tue, May 30, 2017 @ 10:33 AM

It is more common for OT internships to take place in environments such as hospitals, outpatient facilities, and rehab units where there is an emphasis on the physical rehabilitation of patients. A student might have the opportunity to work with behavioral or mental health patients somewhere like an inpatient psych unit, but those opportunities are more difficult to find and, vary drastically from the experience at a CMHC such as Trilogy.

A core principle of OT is practicing occupation based therapy in the patient’s natural environment, since that is where they normally do activities of daily living. However, when students provide supervised treatment in inpatient settings they instead simulate the patient’s home environment. Students working out of CMHCs often won’t need to simulate home environments though, since the therapies and interventions they offer can be provided within the client’s natural environment. Laura Cuttone, an OT student at Rush University, highlights how Trilogy’s client-centered approach to service provision makes such a big difference. She says that rather than having to mimic reaching for items on a tall grocery store shelf for a client who has limited mobility, she accompanies the client to the store and directly provide strategies to overcome obstacles on the spot.

Differences between working in the mental and physical health sectors go beyond the sites of service provision. Laura describes her first internship in physical rehabilitation and said, “I would begin by reviewing the patient’s chart to learn more about the individual’s condition, what they are recovering from [a broken hip, a knee replacement], and provide treatment based on the doctor’s orders. When working with individuals in mental health, the obstacles a client faces due to their diagnoses might present differently and thus require a different intervention.”

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Tags: Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapist, Student Opportunities

Occupational Therapy: Supporting independent living for our clients

Posted by Adolfo Luna on Fri, Apr 14, 2017 @ 09:02 AM

If you follow us on our social media, you recently read about some of the Occupational Therapists here at Trilogy. You might be wondering what an occupational therapist does, or how they fit into our mission of supporting individuals with mental illness. Since April 2017 marks not only the national observance of Occupational Therapy (OT) Month, but also the centennial of the profession, we thought it an appropriate occasion to highlight the nature of OT at Trilogy.

In 2012, when Trilogy was designated a Williams Class Member service provider by the State of Illinois, we were one of the first community-based mental health organizations to assist individuals transitioning out of nursing homes and into the community. It became apparent early-on that many of the Williams’ clients needed individualized support to learn or relearn skills necessary for a successful transition into independent living. Trilogy firmly believed these daily living skills were also essential to the client’s mental health recovery, and hired and Occupational Therapist. Additionally, the organization leased an apartment where clients could practice independent living skills in preparation for their move out of the nursing home. (1)

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Tags: community-based mental health, Williams Consent Decree, Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapist

A Passionate Professional, Making A Positive Impact

Posted by Adolfo Luna on Tue, Apr 11, 2017 @ 09:13 AM

Thomas Southerland obtained his B.A. in Business Marketing and Psychology, but after a brief stint of working in the marketing field, knew he would go on to pursue career options where he could apply his studies of the mind and behavior. He also considered options in counseling and academia, while working two and a half years as a social worker at a nursing home in Hickory, North Carolina. This would cement his plans to pursue social work. Thomas went on to obtain his MSW from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and moved to Chicago shortly thereafter.

Not long after his move, Southerland started at Trilogy as a Transitional Coordinator, assisting individuals with mental illness in moving out of nursing institutions and transitioning into community settings where they could lead more independent lives. In his time at Trilogy, he has worked in different programs and progressing roles, all of which gave him a broad understanding of management and healthcare for individuals in mental health recovery.  Now, as Clinical Director of the South Shore and Lawndale locations, Southerland applies this encompassing understanding of care to oversee direct client services.

Not surprisingly, the provision of such varied services in uniquely different neighborhoods requires him to wear different hats. Southerland believes that this flexibility is intrinsic to many social workers. He says that the field of social work attracts individuals who are willing to help those facing very difficult times in their lives, and those difficult times are as varied as they are unpredictable. To him, social work means staying flexible, being creative, and adapting quickly to the fluctuations life throws our clients.

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Tags: Trilogy Staff, National Social Work Month

Trilogy’s Employment Program Top State Performer

Posted by Adolfo Luna on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 @ 12:02 PM

Since 2012, Trilogy’s Supported Employment Program has exhibited passion and dedication to helping individuals with mental illness maximize their independence and quality of life. This excellence was recognized in 2013 when the program received the highest baseline fidelity score in the history of the state of Illinois, and again in 2015 when it was honored with the Transformation Award from the Johnson and Johnson – Dartmouth IPS Learning Collaborative. This year, Trilogy continues its exemplary work, earning a top fidelity score in Illinois for its provision of employment services.

At Trilogy, there are four employment teams serving the Edgewater, Rogers Park, South Shore, Lawndale, and several other neighborhoods in Chicago. This March, the Edgewater team, founded in 2014 through a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), was up for a review of its performance.

This review was conducted by the Illinois Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, which evaluates all supported employment programs in the state of Illinois using a fidelity scale developed at Dartmouth University in 1995 and is still used as a tool to measure the level of implementation of the evidence-based practice. The review requires at least 1.5 days in which the staff, organization, and its services are carefully and objectively rated. The fidelity score produced at the end is an indicator of how closely the services being provided adhere to the model of Individual Placement and Support (IPS), the most progressive, evidence-based model offered to individuals with mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

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Tags: employment services, Trilogy Staff, Awards, National Social Work Month