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Funded Projects

Pediatric Mental Health Care Consultation and Services (PMACS)

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: PMHCA

Project Director(s):

James B. Gaffney
South Carolina Department of Mental Health
2414 Bull Street
Columbia, SC  29201
Phone: (864) 849-8546
Email: brandon.gaffney@scdmh.org

Problem:

In the state of South Carolina, children continue to live in poverty in 40 out of the 46 counties and have a poverty rate higher than the national average of 16.9 % (US Census Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates). The Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children released a report in May 2021, that states there are 1,117,975 children in the state of South Carolina. Of that total, 216,175 of these children live in poverty, 12,789 children are homeless, 405,000 live in single-parent homes, 136,000 are children of migrant families and 311,000 have parents who lack secure employment. Also, the most recent Maternal and Child Health Services Title V Block Grant for South Carolina FY 2021 Application/FY 2019 Report revealed the following needs pertaining to children in South Carolina. These include, Lack of transportation, lack of access to care in rural areas of South Carolina, increase developmental screenings and referral to early intervention services for children, improve coordinated and comprehensive health promotion efforts among the child and adolescent populations, improve care coordination for children and youth with special healthcare needs, eliminating barriers to medical care, especially behavioral and mental health care fatherhood involvement, and racism/discrimination, and finally efforts to enhance parenting skills.

Goals and Objectives:

The goals and objectives are to increase the availability and accessibility of regional networks of pediatric mental health care teams through telehealth consultation and referral to pediatric primary care providers and other providers caring for children and adolescents 0-18with behavioral disorders, including those with special health care needs. Conduct training and provide information and technical assistance to pediatric primary care providers and other providers to enable them to conduct early identification, diagnosis, and treatment for children and adolescents with behavioral health conditions using evidence-based practices and methods such as web-based education and training sessions.

Methodology:

The methodology for PMACS is to use the SCDMH telehealth network and mental health teams to provide care in conjunction with community pediatric providers to provide care to the most underserved and rural communities throughout the state of South Carolina. This project will start with a planning period of 10 to 12 months. During this time, a needs and readiness assessment will be performed with the community pediatric primary care providers to determine their needs regarding mental health services and consultation, mode of communication and training priorities.

Coordination:

PMACS intends to leverage the use of existing pediatric mental health providers at SC DMH Community Mental Health Centers and School-Based Mental Health Providers to form regional child and adolescent mental health care teams which will provide clinical consultation (via tele-video or tele-phonic means) to community pediatric primary care providers. The model will be based on prior successful programs like the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project and the Partnership Access Line at the University of Washington which expanded the capacity of pediatric practices to integrate behavioral health into primary care through rapid clinical consultation with specialty pediatric mental health teams.

Evaluation:

All applicable reports and data related to the PMACS will be submitted to the project officer. In addition, there will be pre-scheduled meetings to discuss the progress of PMACS with regard to stages of development, training, community engagement, data sources, process improvements, accomplishment of goals and objectives and successes of the project. Both quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods will be used to assess program outcomes and effectiveness and efficiency of the project in attaining the goals and objectives.



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