Peter J. Koutoujian, sheriff

Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian is joining a select group of local officials as the inaugural cohort of the National Association of Counties’ Familiar Faces Leadership Network for their commitment to improving life outcomes for high-needs residents with complex behavioral health conditions, his office reports.

The Familiar Faces Initiative (FFI): Improving Outcomes through Coordinated Health and Justice Systems was launched in May by the National Association of Counties to empower communities to share data between health and justice systems and to coordinate care options for these highest-need residents. The focus is on individuals who frequently cycle through jails, homeless shelters, emergency departments and other crisis services.

Koutoujian has worked to improve the lives of Middlesex County residents who have become familiar faces to local service providers. He has joined this network to strengthen and expand the county’s ability to share cross-system data to identify these patients and to align systems to improve outcomes for them.

“The Middlesex sheriff’s office, local law enforcement partners and behavioral health providers work each day to provide critical supports and services to those most in need,” said Koutoujian in a July 26 release. “By working across systems – as we have done with our nationally recognized Medication Assisted Treatment And Directed Opioid Recovery (MATADOR) program – we have proven we can help improve outcomes for individuals with complex behavioral health needs. Through our participation in the Familiar Faces Leadership Network, I believe we will be able to expand and enhance the incredible efforts that are already under way across Middlesex County.”

As a participant in the Familiar Faces Leadership Network, Koutoujian will engage with fellow elected officials from across the country who are building similar efforts in their jurisdictions. They will participate in peer site visits to communities with model data-sharing practices and receive technical assistance from the organization's advisory board members.

Counties nationwide connect on health and safety

“I look forward to sharing the groundbreaking programs we have launched here in Middlesex County and learning from the innovative projects our colleagues across the nation have implemented,” said Koutoujian. “Through open and honest dialogue discussing challenges we have faced and how we have been able to overcome them, I believe we will pave a path for jurisdictions across the country to improve public health and safety in communities large and small."

Leaders in this network represent jurisdictions ranging in size and geographic location from the City of Issaquah, Wash., which has 38,000 people, to Contra Costa County, Calif., with a population of 1.2 million. To see a full list of local officials participating in the Leadership Network and to find out more about the Familiar Faces Initiative, visit familiarfaces.naco.org.


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This news announcement was published Friday, July 29, 2022, based on information from Kevin Maccioli of Koutoujian's office. YourArlington volunteer Kim Haase prepared it for publication.