Impact Wins National Award for Employment Program Innovations

Salt Lake City, UT- On May 23, 2023, Impact Behavioral Health Partners received the prestigious IPS Learning Community Transformation award for Outstanding Transformation to Implement IPS during the 17th Annual Meeting of the International IPS Learning Community. The award was presented to Impact Employment Program Supervisor Melissa Chavez and Impact Employment Program Manager Anna Sack.

Both the Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) and the Illinois Division of Mental Health (DMH) nominated Impact for the award. The nomination was in recognition of Impact’s success expanding access to services to underserved populations. Darius McKinney, Illinois DMH Administrator of Community Programs, stated that Impact is one of Illinois’ “go to agencies” when the state develops new initiatives.

The Individual Placement and Support (IPS) program model is an evidence-based model of supported employment developed at Dartmouth College. IPS is specifically designed to integrate employment into mental health treatment. IPS employment programs are widely used around the world to support individuals in meeting their employment goals.

Impact launched its IPS Employment Program over a decade ago to serve participants in Impact’s Housing Program. Since then, the Employment Program has expanded to provide services in partnership with a variety of community mental health centers, social service agencies, and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) throughout Chicagoland. The FQHC partnership, which targets communities not traditionally served by IPS service providers, was the basis of Impact’s nomination for the award.

“We are so grateful to receive this award from the entire IPS learning community. One of our top priorities and goals has been expanding our services to further reach marginalized groups in the Chicagoland area. To be recognized for this achievement is an honor and truly shows the amazing and hard work our IPS team has been doing over the years,” says Anna Sack, Impact’s Employment Program Manager.

Smiling employment program staff and posing with award plaque and conference attendees.