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Funded Projects

CALL-UP: Expansion of Utah's Pediatric Mental Healthcare Access Program

Grant Status: Active

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

Project Director(s):

Jeremy Kendrick, MD
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT  84112
Phone: 801-583-2500

Kristi Kleinschmit, MD
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT  84112
Phone: 801-583-2500


Children, adolescents, and the young adult populations in Utah are at highest risk for mental health issues and face an area of the nation with a lack of mental health personnel. The state's population statistics show 41% of the population is under the age of 25. As of 2020-2021, the National Survey of Children's Health indicated that Utah's children have a prevalence rate of 23 % for 1 or more mental, emotional, developmental, or behavioral problems in the 3-17 age bracket. Suicide is the leading cause of death for children ages 10-17. There is a mental healthcare provider shortage, highlighting the urgency to train a primary care workforce with the knowledge and skills to manage mental and behavioral health conditions in the primary care setting, wherever they practice in the state. Although healthcare provider shortages are noticeable in rural areas, they also can exist in underserved areas that are urban. Statistics show that while 21% of the population lives in rural areas, only 11% of physicians practice there. There is still a stigma around mental health and finding help in Utah.

Goals and Objectives:

The goals of our program are to expand and support the capacity of healthcare providers to care for the mental health needs of children and adolescents across the state of Utah, with emphasis on serving the needs of patients in rural and underserved areas. Our program will expand consultative services beyond primary care into schools and emergency department settings.


The methodology of this grant involves several key components to ensure the successful implementation of the program. These components include:

  1. Behavioral Health Psychiatric Consultation: The program will provide tele-consultation services to primary care providers, schools, and emergency departments. This will allow for remote access to psychiatric expertise in various settings, ensuring that individuals in rural and underserved areas have access to quality behavioral health care.
  2. Case Management/Care Coordination Support: The grant will provide case management and care coordination support to individuals receiving teleconsultation behavioral health services. This will help ensure that individuals receive comprehensive and coordinated care with attention paid to following up on recommendations made during the consultation.
  3. Training and Education: The program will offer training and education to pediatric and adolescent health care providers as well as stakeholders in other areas such as schools. This will enhance their knowledge and skills in caring for children and adolescents with behavioral health needs.
  4. Technical Assistance: The grant will provide technical assistance to support the implementation and utilization of collaborative care practices in primary care settings throughout the state.
  5. Systems Improvement: The program aims to improve the overall behavioral health care system by implementing strategies to address barriers and challenges. This includes an equitable approach to policy changes and resource allocation.


The core governing principles of the program will be determined through collaboration among stakeholders, including the establishment of an Advisory Committee. The committee will consist of key stakeholders such as healthcare providers, educators, community leaders, state officials, health system leadership, and individuals with lived experience. The committee will meet regularly to provide input, guidance, and feedback on program development, implementation, and evaluation.


The program will be evaluated through a collaborative and utilization-based approach, utilizing a Rapid-Cycle Evaluation (RCE) methodology. An external evaluation firm will work closely with the grant team to collect and analyze data, using a data dashboard to monitor performance measures and outcomes in real time. The evaluation will include formative and summative components, with regular meetings to discuss evaluation questions, methods, and data collection protocols. The goal is to generate new knowledge, optimize infrastructure development, and ensure effective implementation of the program.