Community of Practice: Successful Implementation of Trauma-Informed Approaches

NCTIC Community of Practice Invitation 

Addressing Implementation Challenges 
Designed for Previous NCTIC TA Recipients

SAMHSA’s National Center for Trauma-Informed Care and Alternatives to Restraint and Seclusion (NCTIC) is pleased to announce the opportunity to participate in the upcoming Community of Practice (CoP): Successful Implementation of Trauma-Informed Approaches - designed for mental health, substance use, and co-occurring organizations that have received training/technical assistance (TA) from NCTIC and participated in the 6-month interview process. This CoP will build on work started following TA – addressing implementation challenges and sharing success stories to help build a community of learning and overcome obstacles. This approach has been developed to address challenges noted in our 6-month post training interview, which you participated in. We have culled the data from the interviews and determined the need to further help organizations implement Trauma-Informed Approaches. 

The CoP will consist of approximately 8-10 organizations working together from January – August 2018. Each organization is encouraged to include more than one key staff member who will form an active practice community and oversee implementation of TIA in their respective organizations. Leadership/decision making authority is critical to participation – we also encourage a range of staff responsibilities, and inclusion of the peer/survivor voice as part of your team approach.

A Community of Practice is a group of people who share a common goal and learn how to improve/overcome challenges more effectively through group learning/regular interaction. This “working” classroom event consists of instructor-led virtual classroom presentations on the Adobe® Connect™ platform, interactive “work” sessions with a NCTIC coach, and development of an action plan. Participants will be asked to share their challenges and successes with the group and any outcome measures being tracked.

We will use the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) method  – developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to help measure progress. This will be explained at each phase and will involve some homework assignments. The work will also involve direct consultation with lead trainers and interaction among group members to create a community of practice. Course work and materials will help participants understand and implement the principles of trauma-informed approaches in a collaborative partnership with colleagues – sharing challenges and innovations with other group members and working to sustain trauma-informed approaches in their community.)



  1. Participants will receive a summary of outcome data on common themes and challenges to help prepare for the CoP.
  2. Participants will interact with one another and the instructors via webcam, which creates an interactive and dynamic experience. 
  3. The first webinar will be an introductory session where participants introduce their team and organization, and their challenges, and meet the NCTIC facilitators/coaches.
  4. Webinars will include presentations on select topics identified by the group– and center on challenges described by participants. 
  5. Participants will share their plans for change – offer feedback to other groups – and report on final outcomes. 



The CoP will be held from January – September 2018, with the following schedule (The first session will be held January 29 from 11:30 – 1:00 (EDT) and all subsequent sessions will be held on the 4th Monday of each month from 11:30 – 1:00 (EDT):

  • December 2017 - Solicit and select applicants 
  • January 29, 2018 (11:30 – 1:00 EST)– Introductory webinar/virtual classroom
  • February – August (last Monday of each month from 11:30 – 1:00 EST)  
  • August 2018 - report on goal attainment (using the PDSA model)



Joan Gillece, Ph.D. 

Dr. Gillece has thirty years of experience working in the behavioral health field with seventeen dedicated to trauma and seven in prevention of seclusion and restraint.  Working cross agencies, Dr. Gillece promotes the use of trauma informed care in multiple settings including mental health, substance abuse, adult and juvenile justice and homeless services.

Prior to joining the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) seven years ago, Dr. Gillece served as Director of Special Populations for Maryland’s Mental Hygiene Administration where her responsibilities included all aspects of state mental health planning and delivery of services as well as development of collaboration across agencies serving individuals with psychiatric diagnosis.   As project director for SAMHSA’s National Center for Trauma-Informed Care  and  Alternatives to Restraint and Seclusion (NCTIC), Dr. Gillece has championed the cause of full consumer integration and development of Culturally Competent programs.  Utilizing survivors in all aspects of trauma work, Dr. Gillece has coordinated technical assistance, conference presentations, and consultations with experts in the field.  Commitment to strength based support by implementing trauma informed values with the overreaching theme of recovery has been her focus.

Raul Almazar, R.N., M.A.

Mr. Almazar has many years of experience as direct care provider, administrator, organizational and clinical consultant, trainer, and speaker.  Prior to working as full-time consultant in 2009, he served as Deputy Director for the State of Illinois Division of Mental Health where he was charged to facilitate an organizational culture shift in all 10 State -operated facilities towards person-centered, trauma-informed, recovery-promoting, non-coercive treatment settings. He serves as faculty to the National Center for Trauma-Informed Care and Senior Consultant to SAMHSA’s National Center for Trauma-Informed Care  and  Alternatives to Restraint and Seclusion (NCTIC), He provides consultation, training and technical assistance to organizations in the areas of leadership, workforce development, consumer empowerment, organizational planning and changing organizational cultures to effect systems transformation towards development of non-coercive, trauma-informed treatments. He has expertise in working with youth and adult serving, institutional and community based, publicly and privately –funded programs across service systems.