a program of the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation (FHLI) has received a grant from The Duke Endowment to lead a three-year program focused on child and adolescent behavioral health. The emphasis of the project is on advocacy for mental health check-ups for children, as well as on training for behavioral health professionals to provide pediatric and family assessments and interventions.
"North Carolina's health care workforce is doing amazing work every day with well-child exams and preventative services for children and adolescents,"
said Dr. Amelia Muse, COE's Program Director. "However, after the hardships of the past year, it's time to answer the call for more support for providers, families, and communities on preventative and interventive behavioral health care."
With a dual emphasis on advocacy and workforce development, The Duke Endowment has provided support for this program that will include partners from the i2i Center for Integrative Health and the North Carolina Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program.
The COE team will partner with i2i to convene a workgroup of family members, advocates in children's welfare, and representatives of practitioners to develop a sustainability plan to embed annual behavioral health well-child checks into medical protocols and practices, with a focus on the need for insurance coverage. This additional focus on behavioral health during or in conjunction with the well-child check will bring North Carolina alongside other leadership states, who have worked to support pediatricians, children, and families with additional behavioral health emphasis.
"With our more than 34 years of collaboration and advocacy experience addressing behavioral, I-DD, SUD, and primary healthcare, i2i is well-suited to lead this advocacy effort,"
said i2i Executive Director Ann Rodriguez. "We are thrilled to partner with FHLI, COE and NC AHEC on this critical initiative. The pandemic and North Carolina's Medicaid transformation efforts have created an opportunity to ramp up integrated, preventative care practices across the state and strengthen whole-child care."
Simultaneously, the COE team will partner with North Carolina AHEC to address workforce development issues by offering a continuing education opportunity for a cohort of 45 licensed behavioral health providers and ten graduate student interns currently working with youth and families. The one-year specialized training program will focus on mental health and substance use prevention, assessment, and intervention for children and adolescents and their families.
The second year of the program will train a second cohort of behavioral health professionals, with the first cohort of graduates acting as peer supervisors to assist with oversight and case consultation. The training curriculum will be informed by evidence-based literature, as well as by information collected from regularly held workgroup meetings of child and family advocates, youth, family members and providers advising on policy to support child and adolescent behavioral health wellness.
- Marni Schribman
- Director of Communications & Public Relations
- Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation
- Ph: (919) 259-4547