BHI News

This website is for informational purposes concerning the Behavioral Health Initiative. If you are looking for referrals or additional information about behavioral health services, call 211. If this is an emergency, please call 911. 

August 9, 2016

From American Society of Addiction Medicine:

SAMHSA Releases Waiver Notification Form

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has just released the Buprenorphine Waiver Notification Form for physicians who are eligible to increase their patient limits to 275 under new federal regulations. We encourage all eligible physicians to apply!

What You Need to Know – Webinar Recording and Slides

At the beginning of August, ASAM hosted two webinars on “What Raising the Buprenorphine Cap Means for Members” to provide an overview of the qualifications, requirements and processes related to applying for and maintaining the higher patient limit, as well as specific implications for ASAM members. Importantly, the webinar addresses practice management issues such as documenting a diversion control plan, demonstrating adherence to evidence-based guidelines and formalizing agreements with behavioral health service providers. 

For those who participated and would like to watch the webinar again or for those who were unable to participate, the recorded webinar is available in our e-Learning Center and you can view the slides from the presentation here.

Resources & Information

ASAM’s webpage on the DATA 2000 Patient Limits has information on the entire process of applying for a buprenorphine waiver and applying for an increase to both 100 and 275 patients.

ASAM has developed resources to help physicians applying for an increase fulfill the requirements set forth in the final rule, including a sample diversion policy and treatment agreement.

It is our hope that this information will make it easier for our members and other physicians to continue to provide quality care to the patients they serve.

For more information, contact the SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment’s (CSAT’s) Buprenorphine Information Center at 866-BUP-CSAT (866-287-2728) or send an email to

August 3, 2016

Terri Lacey named executive director of Behavioral Health Initiative

July 2016


March 23, 2016

Hospital foundation awards $2 million to local groups – The Times-Tribune

March 23, 2016


Steven J. Scheinman, M.D., president and dean of Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, addressed a gathering of the Hazleton Rotary Club on March 23 regarding Geisinger Commonwealth’s Behavioral Health Initiative (BHI). The BHI is a multi-faceted, interdisciplinary effort to fill presently unmet needs for mental health and substance abuse services in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania. Attending the meeting were, from left, Toni Frumkin, Hazleton Rotary Club vice president; Ron Avellino, Hazleton Rotary Club president; Dr. Scheinman; and Pat Ward, Hazleton Rotary Club president-elect and program chairman.

February 7, 2016

Health initiative to boost community well-beingThe Times-Tribune

January 10, 2016

Psychiatrist shortage strains health system – The Citizens’ Voice

December 12, 2015

WVIA’s Call the Doctor focuses on mental health this December. The goal is to bring awareness and reduce the stigma of mental health problems, while supplying viewers with direct contact to local resources. Geisinger Commonwealth’s President and Dean Steven J. Scheinman, MD, serves as a guest on one of the installments. View the episodes online.

November 24, 2015

As part of Geisinger Commonwealth’s Behavioral Health Initiative (BHI), the College hosted “Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk Training” on Tuesday, November 24, 2015, from 8:30am-5:00pm, in Room 3073 of our Medical Sciences Building, 525 Pine Street in Scranton. This one-day workshop was for mental health and other professionals on accessing suicide risk, planning treatment, and managing the ongoing care of the at-risk client. Sponsored by: Northeast Suicide Prevention Initiative, Suicide Prevention Resource Center, and American Association of Suicidology. Contact: Kathy Wallace, 570-575-2343. Click here for more information.

November 15, 2015

Our Opinion: Suicide prevention warrants more attention in NEPA – Times Leader

September 22, 2015

Suicide prevention expert, Michael Hogan, PhD, with Tina Wydeen, PhD, at the Zero Suicide Workshop on September 22, 2015 at Geisinger Commonwealth in Scranton.

September 14, 2015

Geisinger Commonwealth’s Behavioral Health Initiative to host Zero Suicide workshop 

August 11, 2015

Linda Godleski, MD, Director of the US Department of Veterans Affairs National Telemental Health Center will present a lecture entitled, “The VA’s National Innovations in Telemental Health” on Tuesday, August 11

Linda Godleski, MD (center), Director of the US Department of Veterans Affairs National Telemental Health Center, with Tina Wydeen, PhD, (left) and Geisinger Commonwealth’s President and Dean Steven J. Scheinman, MD (right). Dr. Godleski presented “The VA’s National Innovations in Telemental Health” on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at Geisinger Commonwealth in Scranton.

August 10, 2015

National Expert in “Telemental Health” to speak at Geisinger Commonwealth 

July 20, 2015

Geisinger Commonwealth Launches Behavioral Health Initiative 

July 2, 2015

Geisinger Commonwealth to administer Behavioral Health Initiative, other endeavors in Wilkes-Barre