PARTNERS IN RESEARCH & INNOVATION
At Vinfen, we provide services that combine the very best evidence-based practices with the most innovative, effective interventions. To achieve this, we partner with leading academic institutions, health care organizations, information technology companies, foundations, and other funding agencies to develop and evaluate novel solutions for the challenges the people we serve face.
To learn more about our current projects, check out the links below.
In it Together is a project where best practices to prevent COVID-19 illness among group home staff and residents are being developed.
The goal of this large, two-year research project is to develop best practices to prevent COVID-19 illness in staff and residents with mental illness or intellectual/developmental disabilities who are living in group homes. This project is in collaboration with The Mongan Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital and five other Massachusetts health and human service providers. The primary outcomes the project measures are COVID-19 infection rates, hospitalization rates, and mortality.
Further information on the project can be found here:
Best Practices to Prevent COVID-19 Illness in Staff and People with Serious Mental Illness and Developmental Disabilities in Congregate Living Settings | PCORI
Access to a digital device and knowledge of how to use it is important for daily functioning and social inclusion. As a society, we go online through a computer or smart phone, for information, to establish and maintain social connections, to manage life’s logistics, for entertainment purposes, and increasingly for support with health and wellness.
Internet access and skills are correlated with employment, income, civic engagement, and social well-being. In addition, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a dramatic increase in medical and behavioral health service delivery needed via telehealth. Digital inclusion is something that many of us take for granted, but many of the people Vinfen serves feel left behind in this area. As a result, Vinfen has implemented several initiatives with the goal of increasing digital equity for people with mental health conditions and intellectual and developmental disabilities. See below for more information on these initiatives:
- Digital Device Distribution
- Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Vinfen distributed over 500 digital devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, and smart speakers) to people with mental health conditions or disabilities.
- Digital Literacy Sessions
- In partnership with Dr. John Touros of the Division of Digital Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Vinfen has offered digital skill building sessions at our Clubhouses as well as drop-in hours for technology support whenever applicable.
- Supportive Technology
- With special grant funding, Vinfen is piloting technology to enhance persons’ served independence in group homes. The program conducts an assistive technology evaluation, acquires the digital equipment needed, and trains the staff and persons served on how to use these tools.
We know that people with mental health conditions can benefit tremendously from internet access and mobile health technology. Through surveys and pilot programs, we have learned that people are eager to access digital behavioral health tools. Nevertheless, with over 10,000 mental health apps available in the app store, it’s proven difficult for people to select a suitable app and further guidance is needed.
Because of this challenge, Vinfen has worked on several projects that use technology to promote wellness and further recovery including:
- Vinfen’s App Library
- Vinfen’s App Evaluation Committee evaluated 30+ apps and developed a library of recommendations for both people receiving services and staff. Click here to learn more.
- Smartphone app for opioid addiction and recovery
- In partnership with Lowell House Addiction Treatment and Recovery and PEAR Therapeutics, Inc., Vinfen has helped 60 people in recovery from opioid abuse adopt reSET-O, a smartphone app that delivers cognitive behavioral therapy as an adjunct to outpatient treatment and recovery home services.
Vinfen actively seeks strategic partnerships and alliances. If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact Vinfen Vice President of Integrated Care and Innovation Kim Shellenberger at email@example.com.