- Tech Insights
As stated by Julia Zhou, Chief Information Officer, Community Behavioral Health (CBH) is a non-profit 501(c) (3) corporation contracted by the City of Philadelphia to manage the delivery of behavioral health services to Philadelphia County Medicaid recipients. Services are delivered in accordance with Pennsylvania’s HealthChoices Program, administered through the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS).
Julia brings more than 25 years of information technology (IT) and business intelligence experience, specializing in working with payor and provider health care organizations. She has held several leadership roles before joining CBH, including Vice President, IT at American Medical Technologies; Senior Director, Product Management at Dynamic Healthcare Systems; and Director, Applications at Molina Healthcare.
Inclusivity and diversity are the keys to unifying the team and, in this process, developing leaders who can be a role model to go beyond their responsibility and perform for the greater cause of improving services, explains Julia. Julia leads by example of being a strong technology evangelist and a support team. She is also curious and excited about changes. She gives the team power and builds high-performance teams from the ground up.
Using new technology, Julia also guides the team in developing a strategic technological architecture for corporate growth. She comes up with new ideas, especially in Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning for system modernization and transformation using large portfolio management, project management, agile, and business process management to improve operational effectiveness.
CBH is a single-payer organization for mental and behavioral health care services. Julia states CBH emphasizes member engagement, maximum access, public accountability, and local control in its managed care system. CBH works with DBHIDS, other government agencies, and Philadelphia's managed care groups to support Philadelphians' wellness. CBH has provided high-quality, cost-effective, recovery-oriented, evidence-based services for 25 years. They have a new mission and vision statement and KPIs to track their development. Infrastructure systems, application modernization, BI and data analytics using machine learning (ML), and the IT portfolio are tracked in the technology division to ensure the technology strategy fits business growth.
CBH’s provider network is capable of serving their members with very different Behavioral Health needs, says Julia. Meanwhile, with new technology approaches for coming years, population health omni channel and HIE with telehealth solutions are all going to promote better care and give CBH very competitive edge.
“I was the head of product for the SAAS Company. I build a team where everyone feels their voice matters and the best idea wins. I provided a positive environment where people felt we shared common goals, supported each other, and respected each other’s opinions. We started by modernizing our data platform to utilize Azure cloud technology in conjunction with the Snowflake centralized data repository. This layer also serves as a logical divide for our new application as well as our legacy system to achieve digital transformation while keeping the lights on”, Julia adds.
For CBH mission and commitment, Julia told us “We are in the field of servicing Medicaid members who need behavioral health care. Clients are unlike primary care members, where accessibility and willingness to seek help is an issue. CBH provides online education on our website and social media to promote well-being and remove the barrier of feeling shameful when there’s a BH need. Young adults and children often have BH health problems and need to sign up for our program.
For Julia, CBH will be a pioneer in the behavioral health area through preventive care first. With proper education and technological solutions to check well-being, we will identify problems before they become more critical issues. We will also be big advocates in policy making to promote early mental health education so that people starting from a younger age will be more mindful of their overall well-being and seek help not just for the flu or cold but also for anxiety and depression, and not feel ashamed of it.
Mental and behavioral health is much underrated topics and fields. It impacts everyone around us. Living a healthy life is a choice for most, but can be out of control for others. How we can remove SDOH factors and provide care to all is still a challenge, Julia explains. I will be committed with my full knowledge and power to reduce the gap and improve overall health in our community, and will always be looking to create solutions to improve mental health and behavioral health, especially for the younger generation.
This is a good era for technology and a very good time to be a women technologist. The change around us proves women can contribute just as much, if not more, to the world with their knowledge, skills, and leadership. Julia suggests, opportunities are everywhere for women leaders and women technologists. Go out and make a difference!
Community behavioral Health
As one of the nation’s largest managed care organizations, Community Behavioral Health (CBH) provides a variety of behavioral health services to Philadelphia County’s most vulnerable residents—adults, adolescents, and children who are Medicaid eligible. We are a non-profit organization managed by the City of Philadelphia and the behavioral health arm of the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS), which offers a variety of mental health and substance abuse services to eligible Philadelphians.