FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland Awarded $500,000 HHS Grant under Affordable Care Act for Mental Health Services
Oakland, CA (August 1, 2014) – UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland has received a two-year grant of $500,000 in funding through the Affordable Care Act to develop new mental health services for homeless and at-risk children, adolescents, and young adults in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland is the only hospital in the country to receive this award.
The grant allows UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland to develop and pilot test an innovative model for integrating physical health and mental health at the hospital’s primary-care clinic. Traditionally, physical health and mental health have been seen as two separate treatment realms; patients typically seek mental health treatment at a different location than their regular doctor. However, it is now well understood that physical health and mental health are closely related, and are best addressed in a coordinated manner within the same setting.
“For a variety of reasons, children who are homeless or otherwise at-risk face much higher prevalence of a many mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, alcohol and drug addiction, and developmental delays. At the same time, there is an acute shortage of mental health specialists who treat children in our community,” said Dr. Bertram Lubin, CEO and President of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. “With this grant we plan to expand the range of treatment and interventions to many of our patients by integrating mental health specialists into the primary care setting where they already come to get their regular care.”
The model, which requires the hospital to hire two new mid-level behavioral health specialists, will involve comprehensive screening for mental health problems from infants through young adults, onsite treatment and therapy, and appropriate referrals to external providers for children with more complex conditions. Screening and interventions will be age-appropriate and evidence-based, with a focus on early diagnosis and treatment. If successful, this strategy could be replicable by other clinics around the country.
There will also be a significant training component aimed at attending primary care physicians and pediatric residents. The UCSF Benioff Oakland’s model will utilize existing resources, community partners, and new insurance reimbursement strategies, to allow for the continuation of the program after the two year grant ends.
The hospital’s grant was announced by U.S. Children’s Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. A total of $54.6 million in funding from the Affordable Care Act will support 221 health centers in 47 states and Puerto Rico to establish or expand behavioral health services for over 450,000 people nationwide.
About UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland (formerly Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland) is a premier, not-for-profit medical center for children in Northern California, and is the only hospital in the East Bay 100% devoted to pediatrics. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland affiliated with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco on January 1, 2014. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland is a national leader in many pediatric specialties including hematology/oncology, neonatology, cardiology, orthopedics, sports medicine, and neurosurgery. The hospital is one of only five ACS Pediatric Level I Trauma Centers in the state, and has one of largest pediatric intensive care units in Northern California. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland has 190 licensed beds, over 500 physicians in 43 specialties, more than 2,600 employees, and a consolidated annual operating budget of more than $500 million. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland is also a leading teaching hospital with an outstanding pediatric residency program and a number of unique pediatric subspecialty fellowship programs.
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland’s research arm, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI), is internationally known for its basic and clinical research. CHORI is at the forefront of translating research into interventions for treating and preventing human diseases. CHORI has 250 members of its investigative staff, a budget of about $50 million, and is ranked among the nation’s top ten research centers for National Institutes of Health funding to children’s hospitals. For more information, go to www.childrenshospitaloakland.org and www.chori.org.
Contact: Melinda Krigel
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland