Partnership Aims to Expand Access to Behavioral Health Care in Washington State

July 28, 2021 | 4 min Read
  • Nationwide, behavioral and mental health challenges are rising and have been exacerbated by COVID-19. In Washington state, the mental and behavioral health needs of children and adults are an increasing concern.

Grant Partnership with North Olympic Healthcare Network

To help create more resources for behavioral health care in Washington, the United Health Foundation established a $3.3 million grant partnership with the North Olympic Healthcare Network (NOHN) – a federally qualified health center serving Clallam County. Over three years, the grant will help deploy community- and school-based interventions to extend care for the health and well-being of children and their families in the Port Angeles area.

“We are excited by this opportunity to leverage community collaborations and innovative mobile delivery models to bring much needed behavioral and primary care services to those in greatest need, wherever they are," said Dr. Michael Maxwell, CEO for North Olympic Healthcare Network. "This impactful grant funding and partnership with the United Health Foundation will help us address critical behavioral health needs in our students earlier and with fewer barriers, while also supporting community outreach to adults who are struggling with behavioral and chronic medical conditions.”

The Impact

NOHN will provide behavioral health and primary care services to 1,000 students, K-12, via a mobile medical unit and offer behavioral health education to students and parents. The partnership is expected to drive a tenfold increase in the number of students accessing behavioral health services and reduce the stigma about behavioral health among children and families.

Additionally, NOHN will expand the Port Angeles Community Paramedicine program to support individuals who frequently use the local emergency department (ED) for nonemergency behavioral health or substance misuse issues, and connect them to more personalized resources. The goal:

Proactively help individuals access the behavioral and medical resources they need

Prevent over 400 avoidable ED visits in the Port Angeles community

An Ongoing Commitment

UnitedHealth Group is committed to expanding access to care, improving health care affordability and achieving better health outcomes. Partnering with key stakeholders works to advance health equity, build healthier communities and support ongoing response efforts to COVID-19. Since 2019, UnitedHealth Group has invested over $36 million in strategic partnerships with nonprofit organizations and other community partners to improve behavioral health.

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