1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

Project TEACH (Training and Education for the Advancement of Children's Health)

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program (PMHCA)

Project Director(s):

Kirsten Siegenthaler, PhD
Health Research, Inc.
Room 695 Corning Tower
Albany, NY  12237-0001
Phone: (518) 474-7832


While all-cause mortality for teens has been declining, suicide has increased. Depression among NYS teens is on the rise. Experiences of bullying, physical violence, and dating violence and are common. Significant health disparities exist. Black or African American and Hispanic students are more likely to miss school because of safety fears. Hispanic students are more likely to report depression symptoms and suicide attempts. New York State is fortunate to have established investments supporting pediatric mental health teleconsultation, training, and referrals through the statewide Project TEACH, which has provided over 21,590 consultations with over 4,270 primary care providers, and a network of 260 School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) serving 260,000 children each year in areas with need. There two systems are not connected. HRSA funding will be used to create a bridge and will support evaluation of this model.

Goals and Objectives:

The HRSA funding will support the state's system of SBHCs to connect the SBHC pediatric clinical providers to child mental health professionals and to provide training and technical assistance. This grant will be managed by the NY Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block grant. The project will leverage and expand an existing statewide mental health consultation infrastructure called Project TEACH (Training and Education for the Advancement of Children's Health) funded through the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH). OMH has an established statewide network and multidisciplinary Project TEACH Advisory Council. The funding will connect SBHC pediatric providers to Project TEACH consultation services and referral network to support their pediatric patients. A grant-funded contract will augment training on telehealth best practices, infrastructure requirements, billing, and other topics, as well as establishing a robust care coordination infrastructure to ensure referrals for SBHC pediatric clinical providers are made. The goal is to increase pediatric primary care providers capacity to utilize telehealth and to support their patients' mental health needs through teleconsultation, training, and access to referrals.


NYSDOH plans to achieve the nine program activities by using the HRSA funding to leverage the existing infrastructure of Project TEACH and the state's SBHC pediatric clinical providers. The project will support and be informed by the state's existing Project TEACH Advisory Council and a newly created SBHC Pediatric Mental Health Work Group. NYSDOH will assess SBHC needs to inform the project. NYSDOH will support the SBHCs to formally engage with Project TEACH to access teleconsultation, training, and referrals. In addition, HRSA funding will be used to procure an organization to provide SBHC specific training, technical assistance, and coaching to support SBHCs use of telehealth and be able to support mental health needs of their patients. NYSDOH will implement data collection, analysis, evaluation, and dissemination of results to ensure the goals and objectives of the project and to contribute to the evidence base.


NYSDOH will coordinate with SBHCs, NYS Education Department, OMH, Project TEACH, as well as child-caregiver advocacy groups and youth self-advocates, stakeholders and organizations, and the state's Medicaid Program.


NYSDOH and OMH have established databases to track activities and outcomes, including information about mental health screening, assessment, diagnosis and treatment with race/ethnicity information and location of school (urban, suburban, or rural). NYSDOH will establish baseline numbers for, and track and report on annually, at a minimum, the 16 performance measures identified by HRSA as benchmarks for this project.