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Funded Projects

Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: PMHCA

Project Director(s):

Blythe Berger
Rhode Island Department of Health
3 Capitol Hill
Providence, RI  02908-5034
Phone: (401) 222-5949


Similar to the rest of the nation, Rhode Island children and adolescents face significant challenges in accessing timely and affordable mental health care. Approximately one in five Rhode Island children ages six to 17 has a diagnosable mental health problem, and one in ten has a significant functional impairment. Access to psychiatric consultation, referral, and care coordination remains challenging because of lack of child mental health providers, insurance barriers, geography, and the availability of outpatient/ambulatory services. In response to this significant need, the RI State Innovation Model Test Grant funded the Rhode Island Pediatric Psychiatry Resource Network (PediPRN) a state-wide clinical psychiatric consultation service. This funding will be used to maintain and expand the current services provided PediPRN.

Goals and Objectives:

The goals of this project are: 1) expand primary care involvement in the PediPRN; 2) expand training and technical support to primary care providers, 3) increase telephone consultation and referral coordination services; 4) improve data collection and analysis to track performance and outcomes; and 5) identify and secure funding to sustain the project.


Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) will contract with the Emma Pendleton Bradley Hospital to carry out the PediPRN project. Activities include prompt telephonic consultations, including recommendations for medical prescribing; face to face psychiatric evaluations, as needed, with return to the treating primary care practitioner for medication management; phone availability for ongoing collaboration; referral to other mental health services and programs, based on the needs of the child or adolescent, and short-term therapy to children awaiting the appropriate behavioral health services.


Rhode Island's existing partnerships speak to the state's readiness to successfully implement the work described in this application. RIDOH and Bradley are well poised to meet the developed timeline for the work plan. RIDOH's program manager will collaborate closely with Bradley's program manager and program evaluator. RIDOH and Bradley collaborated in development of this application.


Staff from RIDOH and Bradley Hospital will provide the expertise and experience to conduct a robust evaluation for the PediPRN project. The project will utilize a REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) database to track key data related to telephone psychiatric consultations (type of consultation, diagnosis, comorbidity, medications prescribed, and basic elements of treatment plan). It will also track date and time of encounters and basic demographic information, to identify peak utilization and underserved communities. Provider trainings as well as community outreach activities will also be tracked to access the reach of the program. The evaluation team will address the specific performance measures and outcome measures described by HRSA as listed in the Notice of Funding Opportunity.

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