happy people stacking hands outdoor

Bizzell Awarded Four SAMHSA IDIQ Domains


The Bizzell Group Contact
Chad Brown DM, Chief Administrative Officer
301-459-0100 | cbrown@thebizzellgroup.com

The Bizzell Group (Bizzell), a global strategy, consulting, and technology firm, is excited to continue its successful partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Bizzell has been awarded four domains as a prime contractor on SAMHSA’s Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract through 2027. The IDIQs help SAMHSA achieve its goal of reducing the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.

Through this award, Bizzell is eligible to compete for new contracts under the following domains:

  • Domain I: Feasibility, Pilot, and Evaluation Projects
  • Domain II: Statistical Projects
  • Domain V: Technical Assistance and Training Projects
  • Domain VI: Planning, Implementation, and Report Support Projects (8a and HUBZone)

Since Bizzell’s inception, the firm has worked with SAMHSA and other agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services to accelerate behavioral health advancements and improve services and resources for communities within the United States and across the globe. Bizzell has a full range of capabilities that can support SAMHSA’s mission, and includes program and project management, data analytics, evaluation and learning, and technical assistance and training.

Bizzell has conducted a wide range of feasibility studies, evaluation projects, and didactic learning seminars to strengthen health system interventions and training, foster data-informed decisions, and improve program outcomes and impact. Specifically, we’ve partnered with SAMHSA to provide direct technical assistance and support services to opioid treatment programs nationwide. Additionally, we’ve delivered in-person and web-based provider trainings in the areas of prevention treatment and recovery, substance use disorder and maternal and infant health, effective uses of medication assisted treatment, and improving cultural competence in substance abuse treatment.

“As a company, Bizzell is passionate about developing innovative solutions that lead to positive health outcomes,” says Anton Bizzell, M.D., President and CEO of Bizzell. “We are energized to support SAMSHA’s critical work to advance the nation’s behavioral health—especially now as more people struggle with mental health and substance use concerns and the demand for effective and accessible behavioral health services is growing.”

About Bizzell

About Bizzell Established in 2010, Bizzell is U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) HUBZone certified strategy, consulting, and technology firm with a mission to improve lives and accelerate change. Bizzell develops innovative solutions to some of the most critical issues of our time such as health care services equity, global health, workforce innovation and other urgent needs facing the world. Under the leadership and vision of founder, Anton C. Bizzell, MD, the company has grown into a thriving firm headquartered in New Carrollton, Maryland with staff and offices in various regions around the country including California, Colorado, and Georgia, and globally in Africa, Asia, and Central America. Learn more about how we develop data-driven, research-informed, innovative solutions to complex-real-world challenges: www.thebizzellgroup.com.

3 Xanax Addiction Signs to Lookout For

3 Xanax Addiction Signs to Lookout For

Nearly 52 million Americans 18 and older are living with a mental illness and/or substance use disorder.  In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports of people suffering from panic disorders and anxiety are increasing. A common medication for treating panic disorders and anxiety is a prescription drug called Xanax. While Xanax can help relieve anxiety and panic symptoms, it is highly addictive. It is important that individuals taking Xanax become aware of the signs of an addiction to Xanax, which can include withdrawing from relationships and preoccupation with your Xanax use.  As individuals become preoccupied with maintaining a steady supply of Xanax, financial troubles and concerning behaviors may increase. In a recent WebMD Connect to Care article on signs of Xanax addiction, Dr. Anton C. Bizzell, CEO of The Bizzell Group and a substance abuse expert, highlighted some additional telltale signs: “Maintaining a supply of the drug on hand, mixing with alcohol or other drugs, and developing dangerous behaviors to obtain the prescription, including stealing or getting it from the streets.”

Recognizing the signs of an addiction is an important step towards getting help to treat an addiction—for yourself or others you love.

READ MORE: 3 Xanax Addiction Signs to Lookout For

Why Overdose Awareness Matters More Than Ever

Why Overdose Awareness Matters More Than Ever

International Overdose Awareness Day, August 31st, began in Australia 20 years ago to raise awareness of overdoses, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and remind us of the grief felt by the families and friends of those who have died due to substance use disorders (SUD). Today, International Overdose Awareness Day is recognized in more than 40 countries.

Isolation individuals have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated mental health and SUD challenges, and reduced access to supportive communities and behavioral health care. Substance use and overdose deaths have increased during the pandemic.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and others have developed approaches, tips, and guidance for managing your mental health during this time, as well as links for locating treatment for substance use disorders. Anton C. Bizzell, MD, President/CEO of The Bizzell Group, has dedicated his career to improving access to quality substance abuse, mental health, and medical treatment and prevention services, and writes about timely behavioral health solutions in his monthly Psychology Today column, Mind Your Health. You can make a difference too, by accessing these resources and promoting behavioral health in your community.

Read more: Why Overdose Awareness Matters More Than Ever

Mobile Mental Health Apps: Weighing the Pros and Cons

Mobile Mental Health Apps: Weighing the Pros and Cons

By: Randolph Edmead, MS and Laura LaRue Gertz, MSW, LCSW

As symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression are increasing during the global COVID-19 pandemic, people may be exploring technology-based strategies to relieve symptoms and to supplement mental health care. Increasingly, telehealth is a service covered by insurance providers. In addition, many people are interested in using mobile apps to supplement their care, track and improve their symptoms, and take proactive steps to improve their mental health through strategies such as stress reduction, relaxation, and cognitive behavioral techniques. Yet individuals may also be wondering how to evaluate if a mobile app is useful, evidence-based, and will safeguard their privacy.

Technology-based strategies such as mobile apps for mental health have many potential advantages. Technology has enormous capacity to gather assessment and monitoring data that can provide valuable insights about symptoms, useful strategies and could lead to more effective treatment. Technology can help overcome access barriers for individuals with mobility issues, for individuals living in rural areas or areas with a shortage of providers, and for individuals who have been reluctant to seek conventional mental health services. And now, mobile access is even more important as individuals may be simultaneously coping with increased symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression during the pandemic, while experiencing isolation and reduced access to their usual support systems due to physical distancing.

Although there are many potential advantages of mobile apps to supplement mental health care, there are still many barriers and risks, including lack of effectiveness data; challenges with reproducibility, implementation, and dissemination; concerns about the privacy and confidentiality of data and use or misuse of data; and challenges with integration of technology strategies and data into the treatment plan and the health care system. However, there are useful, accessible strategies that can help people assess the safety and usefulness of a mobile app.

The APA App Evaluation Model is an evaluation roadmap to guide informed decision-making in choosing mobile apps in clinical care. The guideline provides a series of questions, organized by levels, that help consumers and providers decide whether to use a mobile app (Torous et al., 2018). This model does not endorse specific apps, but rather promotes a systematic approach to evaluating apps.

The five levels of the APA App Evaluation Model are:

  1. Access and Background: Assesses background information needed prior to evaluation
  2. Privacy and Security: Considers many aspects of app security and privacy
  3. Clinical Foundation: Evaluates any evidence for potential benefits
  4. Usability: Evaluates how usable the app is for the consumer
  5. Data Integration towards Therapeutic Goal: Examines whether the app’s output can be used in a clinically meaningful way

The PsyberGuide, developed through Northwestern University’s Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies with funding from the One Mind Institute, reviews and rates apps that claim to treat mental health conditions. The publicly available guide helps consumers make informed choices. PsyberGuide provides app ratings based on three metrics:

  1. Credibility: Evaluates the strength of the scientific research for the app, as well as the therapeutic interventions provided by the app
  2. User Experience: Uses the Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS) developed by Stoyanov et al. (2015) to assess the design and user interface
  3. Transparency: Evaluates the clarity of the app’s privacy policy regarding data storage and collection procedures of the app and associated servers

Technology will not replace the human connection that is a central part of the care of individuals experiencing stress, anxiety, and depression. But when technology-based strategies are thoughtfully developed, evaluated, and implemented, they have tremendous potential to augment and expand care, to enhance engagement and treatment, and to improve the quality of life for individuals living with mental health conditions.

Randolph Edmead, MS, Vice President of Federal Government Programs. Randolph Edmead has an extensive background managing large teams in the mental health treatment, substance abuse prevention and treatment, policy, and evaluation service areas. Mr. Edmead has over 18 years of experience developing, implementing, and managing the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Centers for Mental Health Services and Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention programs; providing curricula and training to SAMHSA and health care providers and staff on leading practices, human resources, accreditation survey support, skills development, and cultural competency; and consulting with healthcare organizations and treatment facilities. Mr. Edmead holds a Master of Science Degree in Clinical Psychology.

Laura LaRue Gertz, MSW, LCSW, Public Health Analyst/Scientific Writer. Laura LaRue Gertz has over 30 years of experience in health and mental health, as a clinician, analyst, writer, researcher, and project manager. She developed literature reviews and reports on evidence-based treatments for individuals with serious mental illness for a federal contract with the SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS). She has also worked on contracts with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and numerous other U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies. Ms. Gertz holds a Master of Social Work Degree and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

The Bizzell Group (Bizzell) was founded by President & CEO Anton C. Bizzell, M.D., a leading behavioral health expert and former Medical Officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Bizzell’s team of public health experts have created and led comprehensive behavioral health prevention and treatment initiatives and education and training programs. Bizzell’s recent work includes systematic, integrated approaches designed to effect lasting change in health and behavioral health care through work with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Department of Defense (DOD).

Learn more about how Bizzell advances data-driven, research-informed, innovative solutions to solve complex-real-world challenges: https://BizzellUS.com/


Stoyanov, S. R., Hides, L., Kavanagh, D. J., Zelenko, O., Tjondronegoro, D., & Mani, M. (2015). Mobile app rating scale: A new tool for assessing the quality of health mobile apps. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 3(1), e27.

Torous, J. B., Chan, S. R., Gipson, S. Y. M. T., Kim, J. W., Nguyen, T. Q., Luo, J., & Wang, P. (2018). A hierarchical framework for evaluation and informed decision making regarding smartphone apps for clinical care. Psychiatric Services, 69(5), 498-500.