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Funded Projects

WV Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Project

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: PMHCA

Project Director(s):

Teresa Marks
West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources
350 Capitol St., 4th Floor
Charleston, WV  25301-0057
Phone: (304) 414-0634
Email: Teresa.D.Marks@wv.gov

Problem:

West Virginia ranks 49th in the nation for mental health workforce and these workforce shortages often lead to many individuals not receiving proper mental healthcare. West Virginians have reported the lowest well-being of any state in the U.S. for the past ten years. As anticipated in a rural state, all health care provider types are in high demand. There is an acute need for more psychiatrists and pediatricians, as over 65% of West Virginia's fifty-five counties have no psychiatrist and 40% have no pediatrician. Forty-five West Virginia counties are designated as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) for mental health, with ten of those designated as a geographic HPSA (Preston, Morgan, Mason, and Gilmer, N=4) or a high needs geographic HPSA (Wyoming, Summers, Logan, Mingo, McDowell, and Wirt, N=6).

Goals and Objectives:

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (WVDHHR) will develop a new statewide project to improve integration of pediatric mental health care and primary care. Key objectives to this project include: 1. Education and training of pediatric mental health care providers and primary care providers on telehealth and remote service provision; 2. Technical assistance to pediatric primary care providers regarding available mental health services in their communities; 3. Establishing regional mental health teams to support care coordination between the mental health and primary care communities; 4. Gap filling telehealth services through increased MCH infrastructure and a state lead care coordination team; 5. Sharing of effective practices and promising approaches through programmatic data analysis and project evaluation.

Methodology:

Capacity for expansion of integrated networks will begin at the state level within the Title V Agency. With a long history of care coordination services provided through the Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health, the West Virginia project will begin improving access through a state housed team of a care coordinator (RN), social worker, and contracted psychiatrist. With the support of the OMCFH Medical Director, the project will work collaboratively with both mental health and primary care providers to design a network that will meet the needs of our rural state and lack of mental health care providers. Training, linkage and referral, and outreach and education will be supported by existing Title V staff through the WV HealthCheck, the state's Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) Program.

Coordination:

The WVDHHR's Division of Infant, Child and Adolescent Health (within Bureau for Public Health/State Health Department) will partner with sister Bureaus, including Behavioral Health, Medical Services, and Children and Families, to address a systemic shortage of mental health services for its most vulnerable children and adolescents. The project will also be partnering with the state Primary Care Association, Department of Education, and other MCH Programs and professional associations (WV AAP, WV AFP) to ensure multisector involvement to address issues that affect them all.

Evaluation:

Evaluation of the project will focus on the sixteen required performance measures, along with process measures relating to: 1. Project development and implementation; 2. Strategic partnerships; 3. Project sustainability; and 4. Policy development.



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