In this mixed-method study, we examined coordination of mental health and public health services in addiction health services (AHS) in low-income racial and ethnic minority communities in 2011 and 2013. Data from surveys and semistructured interviews were used to evaluate the extent to which environmental and organizational characteristics influenced the likelihood of high coordination with mental health and public health providers among outpatient AHS programs. Coordination was defined and measured as the frequency of interorganizational contact among AHS programs and mental health and public health providers. The analytic sample consisted of 112 programs at time 1 (T1) and 122 programs at time 2 (T2), with 61 programs included in both periods of data collection. Forty-three percent of AHS programs reported high frequency of coordination with mental health providers at T1 compared to 66% at T2. Thirty-one percent of programs reported high frequency of coordination with public health services at T1 compared with 54% at T2. Programs with culturally responsive resources and community linkages were more likely to report high coordination with both services. Qualitative analysis highlighted the role of leadership in leveraging funding and developing creative solutions to deliver coordinated care. Overall, our findings suggest that AHS program funding, leadership, and cultural competence may be important drivers of program capacity to improve coordination with health service providers to serve minorities in an era of health care reform.
Keywords: Coordination; Funding; Leadership; Mental health services; Public health services.
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