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Funded Projects

Vermont Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: PMHCA

Project Director(s):

Laurel Omland
Vermont Agency of Human Services
280 State Drive, NOB 2 North
Waterbury, VT  05671-0090
Phone: (802) 279-5012
Email: laurel.omland@vermont.gov

Problem:

While the state of Vermont has shown good commitment and innovation when it comes to integrated mental health care, these efforts have lacked coordination and even coverage across the state.

Goals and Objectives:

This grant proposal aims to create a centralized hub for integrated care, called the Center for Pediatric Integrated Care (CPIC). The center will serve as a statewide resource to coordinate and enhance existing integrated care projects and to expand integrated care to underserved communities.

Methodology:

Once the basic infrastructure of CPIC is created and a needs assessment completed, enhanced and expanded integrated care will be achieved through a number of mechanisms including: 1) telemedicine/email/ telephone consultation to all enrolled primary care clinicians in the state for pediatric mental health questions and referral assistance though a full-time clinically trained therapist/care coordinator and an on-duty child and adolescent psychiatrist, 2) the building and then implementation of training programs for clinicians interested in integrated care with provisions for ongoing supervision, 3) the collection, creation, and distribution of technical assistance and referral materials that can be used to improve care of those already in need and prevent the onset of emerging psychiatric conditions, 4) synchronous and asynchronous educational programs to help primary care clinicians gain knowledge, skill, and comfort in addressing the mental health needs of their patients. Expected mechanisms for improved care include 1) increased engagement with families regarding brain building measures (positive parenting, reduction of adverse childhood experiences, etc.) that can improve overall mental health and prevent psychopathology from developing in the first place; 2) employment of mental health screening tools according to best practice guidelines; 3) effective assessments and treatments within the medical home for common mental health problems and conditions; and 4) targeted and timely referrals to the proper mental health specialist for more severely affected youth.

Coordination:

While the state's Department of Mental Health will take the lead for this project, its success with be accomplished through collaboration and partnership with a number of other organizations including Maternal Child Health, the Community Health Center of Burlington, the Vermont Child Health Improvement Program, the University of Vermont's Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and various family advocacy organizations. Regular contact with HRSA Project Managers will also occur to ensure compliance with all regulations and policies. Ongoing feedback will also be sought through diversity, equity and inclusion groups representing BIPOC, LGBTQ, rural healthcare, and other underserved communities. This collaboration will occur through regular meetings and presentations as well as membership in this project's Advisory Committee.

Evaluation:

A robust evaluation program is planned that will combine required elements as part of this project's participation in a network of similar programs being enacted around the nation with data collection and analysis of innovate metrics unique to this individual program. Data collection and analysis will be aided through the use of a specific software package and managed through a subcontract with an organization with substantial experience with outcomes analyses and quality improvement in pediatric health care settings.



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