United Health Foundation provides $2.9 million to create the United Health Foundation Training Institute at Washburn Center for Children

October 03, 2013
  • New center aims to enhance clinical outcomes and reduce cost of care while increasing access to effective, evidence-based mental health services

United Health Foundation awarded a $2.9 million grant to Washburn Center for Children to create an innovative, nationally renowned children's mental health training program.  The United Health Foundation Training Institute at Washburn Center for Children will be housed in Washburn's new facility in Minneapolis.

Washburn Center for Children, a community health center focused on children's mental health, strives to integrate innovative research into program practice, implement meaningful evaluation methods, and provide effective training and consultation for agency staff and community collaborators.

The new United Health Foundation Training Institute at Washburn Center for Children aims to enhance clinical outcomes and reduce health care costs by increasing access to the most effective, evidence-based mental health services, and transform the training, practice and expertise of the children's mental health workforce in Minnesota.  Through the institute, Washburn will create an innovative, replicable national model for integrating children's evidence-based mental health practices with training, practice and evaluation to enhance the mental health care experiences of children across the country.

"We see a great urgency in meeting this critical community need – one out of five Minnesota children experiences mental health obstacles, yet only 20 percent get the help they need," said Steve Lepinski, executive director of Washburn.  "We're thrilled to receive this gift from United Health Foundation as we help children grow, thrive and achieve success at home, in school and life."

"Washburn is creating an innovative and effective model for care and training that will have far reaching impact," said Kate Rubin, United Health Foundation president.  "We recognize the need for specialized pediatric mental health care.  Washburn is well positioned to deliver evidence-based care with a team of highly trained professionals, to thousands of children throughout Minnesota and beyond."

Washburn will use the United Health Foundation funds to develop curriculum and programming for the Washburn Trained Certification Program to improve clinical expertise.  Concurrently, a team at OptumInsight, a UnitedHealth Group company, is providing pro bono expertise to help evaluate the impact of the institute and enhance Washburn's outcomes analysis and reporting capacity to assess total cost of care, quality of care, client satisfaction and improvement in symptoms and functioning. 

To learn more about The United Health Foundation Training Institute at Washburn Center for Children, please visit www.washburn.org

About Washburn
Washburn Center for Children, Minnesota's leading children's mental health center, is a vital community resource that helps children with social, emotional and behavioral problems have happier, healthier futures.  One out of five Minnesota children will experience mental health challenges, yet only 20% get the help they need. Washburn ensures caregivers have a resource to help kids who are hurting on the inside.

As a community mental health center caring for a wide variety of children's needs such as trauma, anxiety, depression and learning difficulties, Washburn serves more than 2,700 children annually and has doubled the number of children it served in the past six years.  In response to the community's growing needs for children's mental health services, Washburn launched a capital campaign to build a new expanded facility – a safe, nurturing space, inspired by nature, where young minds can thrive.  www.washburn.org

About United Health Foundation
Guided by a passion to help people live healthier lives, United Health Foundation provides helpful information to support decisions that lead to better health outcomes and healthier communities.  The Foundation also supports activities that expand access to quality health care services for those in challenging circumstances and partners with others to improve the well-being of communities.  After its establishment by UnitedHealth Group [NYSE: UNH] in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation, the Foundation has committed more than $210 million to improve health and health care.  For additional information, please visit www.unitedhealthfoundation.org.

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