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State Aims to Improve Health Care Integration for Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Treatment With $10 Million Grant

Saturday, November 10, 2018 @ 12:11 AM

Posted by Tyler Ochs

20170423-Governor-Wolf-Nominate-Insurance-Commissioner-Teresa-Miller-be-Inaugural-Secretary-Health-Human-Services-ar-1HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Wolf Administration today announced grant funding awarded to DHS’ Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to improve integration between behavioral health and primary care for Pennsylvanians. The administration was awarded $10 million total, distributed as $2 million per year over the next five years.

“A person’s health is influenced by physical, mental, and environmental factors,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “Treating issues from one perspective can help, but to improve long-term outcomes, we must look at the whole person. This funding will help behavioral health and primary care providers improve coordination of care and establish strong partnerships that use this whole-person approach to help more Pennsylvanians access better care.”

The funding was awarded by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through its Promoting Integration of Primary and Behavioral Health Care Cooperative Agreements. DHS established four partnerships with health centers around Pennsylvania in 2017 following a competitive application process to target various special populations such as adults with a substance use disorder, children with severe emotional disturbances, and adults with mental illness.

Partnerships supported through this grant funding include:

  • Joseph J. Peters Institute and Public Health Management Corporation Health Network: Identifying and treating adults with a substance use disorder and co-occurring trauma-based condition in Philadelphia County;
  • Delaware Valley Community Health, Inc. and Children’s Crisis Treatment Center: Treating pediatric primary care patients with serious emotional disturbances and other behavioral health care in Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties;
  • Community Guidance Center and Primary Health Network: Treating adults with mental illness and co-occurring physical health conditions or chronic diseases in Indiana County;
  • Broad Top Area Medical Center and J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital: Treating adults and children with substance use disorder, severe emotional disturbances, and mental illness with co-occurring physical health needs in Huntingdon County.

The partnerships will address disparities in behavioral health treatment in these communities by establishing fully integrated, comprehensive care models that address physical and behavioral health conditions. The multi-year funding will allow providers to better monitor and serve complex cases for years to come.

“Often, individuals with substance use disorder have a co-occurring mental illness that is left untreated,” said DDAP Secretary Jennifer Smith. “To effectively treat these individuals they must receive appropriate services to help them into recovery. We are excited for this project and to help more individuals receive the treatment they deserve to become truly healthy.”


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