Published September 22, 2015
A $1.5 million grant from United Health Foundation will enable Regional Primary Care Network (RPCN) to expand the reach of its behavioral mental health services, including coordination of health services across all health providers.
U.S. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter; Kathy McGuire, senior vice president, Rochester Regional Health System; Michael Nazar, executive vice president/chief of medical groups, Rochester Regional Health System; David Putney, medical director of the Monroe County Office of Mental Health; and other community leaders joined RPCN and UnitedHealthcare executives at Genesee Health Service Center, 224 Alexander Street in Rochester, for the announcement.
The grant is part of United Health Foundation’s “Helping Build Healthier Communities” program that provides resources to nonprofits that have local expertise and programs aimed at expanding access to care, improving health outcomes and building healthier communities.
RPCN will use the funds to integrate behavioral health and primary care services at two of RPCN’s community health centers – Rushville Community Health Center and Utica Community Health Center – as well as one of its contracted centers, Genesee Health Services.
Grant Meets Critical Community Need for More Integrated Health Care Services
The funding comes at a critical time as the need for more integrated health care, including behavioral health services, far outpaces the number of professionals available to provide that care in Upstate New York. RPCN reported that area residents seek or need mental health services for alcohol or substance abuse disorders, attention deficit and disruptive disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
“Regional Primary Care Network plays a critical role in improving the health of residents in Central and Western New York,” said Heather Cianfrocco, Northeast Regional CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan. “By bringing together primary care and mental health services in one setting, RPCN is simplifying the health care experience so people can get the care they need.”
Grant Will Enable Care Continuity Across Behavioral and Primary Care Providers
Through this initiative, RPCN will collaborate with behavioral and primary care providers to better coordinate care to improve patients’ overall health. It will formalize training for center staff to support the delivery of culturally sensitive, in-language behavioral health services for its patients. RPCN also will develop systems to track screenings, referrals and patient visits to determine the program’s impact on overall care and access to regional behavioral health services.
“Our partnership with United Health Foundation will enable us to better serve our communities by integrating behavioral health into our centers,” said Michael Leary, RPCN CEO. “Over the past few years, we have transformed our medical and dental practices, achieving the highest level of recognition as Patient Centered Medical Homes. We are now in the perfect position to add behavioral health services and continue improving the overall health of the communities we serve.”
“I am so proud to stand with my friends from the Rochester Primary Care Network to celebrate this new partnership with United Health Foundation. These two organizations are on the front lines of providing health and intervention services and understand the critical importance of mental health services,” said Rep. Slaughter. “This announcement means that RPCN will be better prepared to serve the members of our community who need access to critical mental health care. I thank United Health Foundation for this investment in our community’s future.”
RPCN will administer the grant through Dec. 31, 2017. At the end of this period, RPCN plans to expand its fully integrated behavioral health/primary care services to its other urban and rural community health centers.
About Regional Primary Care Network
Regional Primary Care Network (RPCN) is a not-for-profit network of Community Health Centers with 23 service locations that provide primary medical and dental care across Upstate New York, including Chemung, Livingston, Monroe, Oneida, Ontario, Wayne and Yates counties. Between 11-17 percent of the residents it serves live below the Federal Poverty Guideline – and nearly 20 percent speak languages other than English. School-based portable dental services are also provided throughout the Finger Lakes region and in Oneida County. RPCN is dedicated to providing access to quality health care for all, regardless of financial, cultural or social barriers.
About United Health Foundation
Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts, United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local communities. United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, United Health Foundation has committed more than $240 million to programs and communities around the world. We invite you to learn more at www.unitedhealthfoundation.org.