Specifically, the grant will be used to help increase screening and identification of individuals, specifically for substance use disorder, and increase referrals and access to substance use disorder treatment and services, and other behavioral health resources, the PPS said in announcing the grant. The program also aims to integrate behavioral health into primary care services and help make mental health routine, the announcement said. SI PPS is an alliance of clinical and social service providers focused on improving health care for Staten Island’s Medicaid and uninsured populations — more than 180,000 residents. The network comprises more than 70 partners, including skilled nursing facilities, behavioral health providers, home health-care agencies and a wide range of community-based clinical facilities, treatment centers, social service and community organizations, primary care physicians and medical practices across the Staten Island.
“At Empire, we are committed to improving the lives and health of everyone in the communities we support,” said Jennifer Kuhn, Empire’s Medicaid Plan president. “Through this partnership, we’ll continue to provide meaningful resources dedicated to addressing racial inequalities and health disparities that adversely impact communities of color.” “Staten Island PPS is grateful for this funding from Empire,’’ said Ashley Restaino, managing director of Strategy and Operations at SI PPS. “It will help us achieve our mission of not only improving overall health for Staten Islanders, but addressing racial disparities that negatively impact BIPOC communities. We are eager to understand health equity issues from the voices of community members and use our influence in the provider community to implement positive changes.”
SI PPS will also use this grant to fund and collaborate with organizations led by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) and address racial disparities, ensuring that health-care providers on Staten Island are providing culturally competent care. Source
“Our greatest strength is our comprehensive partnership network” said Dr. Joseph Conte, executive director of the Staten Island PPS. “Together, our work allows providers and CBOs to adjust to the changing conditions stemming from COVID-19 and mitigate the pressures on our health-care system, while still addressing the multitudes of health crises that we faced before the virus”. The focus of the grant will support collaborative health care by incorporating mental health into primary care services, improving access to mental health services and addressing social determinants of health needs, the announcement said.
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