HFNJ recently awarded five grants totaling $828,032 to improve the delivery of healthcare to vulnerable, underserved children in Newark, NJ. The grants, which the Foundation hopes will serve as models of care delivery for children across the country, all involve the integration of behavioral/mental health care with pediatric primary care.
Grantees met on July 29th for first collaborative learning session: Seated (L-R): Steve Margeotes, CEO, Main Street Counseling; Cindy Sickora, DPN, CEO, Rutgers Community Health Center; Eva Turbiner, CEO, Zufall Health Center Standing (L-R): Mary Pillarella, NJCRI; Corey DeStefano, NJCRI; Dr. James Olesky, NJCRI; Nettie Mendez, Zufall HC; Dr. Laura Budinick, PhD, NBIMC; Sherrille McKethan, NBIMC
The five grantees are:
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Foundation ($226,489) will test and refine the first fully integrated pediatric practice in the region at Children’s Hospital of New Jersey (CHNJ). The hospital will implement a new collaborative care model at its Pediatric Health Center that will integrate behavioral and developmental health. Funding will underwrite the hires of a full-time psychologist, embedding behavioral and developmental testing, intakes, and treatment within the pediatric setting; a full-time navigator to conduct baseline screenings and intensively coordinate care; and the purchase of technology to enable the tracking and analysis of results.
St. James Health, Inc., a new Federally Qualified Health Center formed to fill the void in the Ironbound section of Newark since the closure of St. James Hospital, received $200,000 in funding to establish integrated primary, dental, and behavioral care for children and caregivers using a care team model, with a primary focus on children, new mothers, and pregnant women. The project’s goal is to replace episodic, crisis care for the Ironbound’s predominantly Latino/Hispanic immigrant infants and children with a medical home and health system that advances healthy development.
NJCRI ($146,293) will add pediatric and prenatal services using the agency’s existing Living Well adult model of integrated primary care and behavioral health. The pilot will initially target the children of female clients, female clients needing prenatal care, and preteen/teen clients aged 13-18. Monies will establish a clinical care team consisting of a part-time pediatrician experienced in serving HIV+ and high-risk children and families, an OB nurse practitioner, a dentist, and a care manager. Mental Health services will be provided by existing NJCRI staff.
Rutgers Community Health Center, a newly designated Federally Qualified Public Housing Health Center, will use its $189,750 award to establish a multidisciplinary, dedicated pediatric primary care team that includes community health workers to support the healthy development of infants and children 0-21 living in public housing in East Newark. Wrap-around, coordinated care will encompass primary health services and treatment of chronic conditions such as asthma, behavioral health assessment/therapy, case management ensuring access to specialty care, education, and ongoing supports.
Main Street Counseling Center ($65,500) will integrate behavioral healthcare into the school based health center at Newark’s 13th Avenue School in partnership with Jewish Renaissance Medical Center. The agencies will work together to establish bidirectional referrals and a joint system to increase identification of children with unmet behavioral health needs, provide onsite counseling, and increase access to primary care. Jewish Renaissance will establish a behavioral health protocol as part of the primary care visit for younger patients (6-10), expand the electronic medical record system. All students will have access to Main Street’s consultant psychiatrist.