New Jersey has both Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) and Medically Underserved Areas/Medically Underserved Populations (MUA/MUP) designations by HRSA. Out of 21 counties, New Jersey has fourteen counties with designated primary care physician as well as mental health HPSAs. Nineteen counties are designated with MUAs or MUPs.
Goals and Objectives:
The goal of the New Jersey Family-Centered Mental Health Access Program is to promote behavioral health integration in pediatric primary care by supporting the development of a new statewide pediatric mental health care telehealth access program. This will be done by conducting training and providing technical assistance to 1,800 primary care providers over a 5-year period to enable them to conduct early identification, diagnosis, and treatment for children with behavioral health conditions, including through telehealth, and using evidence-based practices and methods such as web-based education and training sessions.
The purpose of the project is to improve access to mental health care to all children and adolescents in New Jersey ages birth through 18. The proposed expansion is centered on: 1) implementing a statewide telehealth network to connect children and adolescents to mental health providers to increase access to care; 2) increasing access to care through provider recruitment and outreach efforts designed to increase provider enrollment in the network; 3) expanding training and technical assistance to hubs and participating providers; 4) creating an online referral database and communication mechanisms; and, 5) sustaining the network after the funding cycle.
The New Jersey Family-Centered Mental Health Access Program is a collaborative effort led by the New Jersey Department of Health (NJ DOH). Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH) and the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (NJAAP) will provide critical services to the program via subawards. Additional partners include: New Jersey Hospital Association, Cooper University Health Care, Atlantic Health System, the 3 NJ Maternal Child Health Consortia, and SPAN Parent Advocacy Network.
The formative evaluation will seek to examine the contextual factors that may influence implementation of the program in different settings as the program is scaled-up and the implementation assessment will focus on program operations, telehealth implementation, data collection processes, and data integrity. The evaluation will provide feedback to program leaders that may assist in improving and refining the program and/or developing guidelines to ensure the program operates as intended in specific contexts and at larger scale. Additionally, the evaluation will conduct ongoing, monthly analyses of existing program performance data and prepare monthly performance monitoring data summaries for the monthly state reports.