Three-year, $930,000 grant from the United Health Foundation will enable better access to specialty mental health care for children through telehealth technology
Pathways, Inc., and the United Health Foundation announced a three-year, $930,000 grant to expand mental health services for children in eastern Kentucky using telehealth technology.
The project will enable Pathways to provide better access to specialty mental health care for the more than 3,000 children it serves across a 10-county service area. Pathways will install and operate the telehealth technology at its 16 outpatient offices and specialty residential units in the region to connect children to child and adolescent psychiatrists, eliminating the need for families to drive as long as two hours to access a child's mental health specialist.
Pathways and the United Health Foundation were joined today by Kentucky Health and Family Services Cabinet Secretary Adam Meier in making the announcement.
"With the United Health Foundation as our partner, we will be able to provide life-changing services for children and families who need specialized mental health care," said Dr. Kimberly McClanahan, Chief Executive Officer of Pathways. "We will also be able to address the shortage of mental health care providers in rural Kentucky through our new telehealth technology."
According to America's Health Rankings, Kentucky has seen a 25 percent increase in teen suicides since 2016. The grant will enable Pathways to increase the number of children served by child and adolescent psychiatrists by 30 percent by 2021.
"We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Pathways to ensure children in Kentucky have access to mental health services," said Tracy Malone, president of the United Health Foundation. "By leveraging digital tools to expand access to child psychiatrists for people in rural areas, this partnership is helping more Kentuckians get access to the critical health care services they need when they need it most."
Since 1967, Pathways has provided community-based mental health care, substance use disorder treatments, and services for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Pathways operates more than 20 facilities across 10 counties in northeastern Kentucky and serves more than 15,000 individuals each year. It is the only agency in the 10-county region that employs child and adolescent psychiatrists. Pathways, Inc., serves Bath, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup, Lawrence, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, and Rowan counties.
Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts, the United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local communities. The 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, the United Health Foundation has committed $430 million to programs and communities around the world. We invite you to learn more at www.unitedhealthgroup.com/SocialResponsibility.