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Date Published: Monday, May 25, 2020
Date Updated: Monday, July 18, 2022

WMCHealth Provides $1 million in Grants in Hudson Valley

$400,000 for programs in Ulster County focused on behavioral health and substance abuse.

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VALHALLA, N.Y. (May 28, 2020) - The Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) today announced $1 million in grants to 10 Hudson Valley organizations, with $400,000 in grants going to five programs with operations in Ulster County to support the expansion of behavioral health and substance use disorders services.

Part of the New York State "promising practices" initiative, these grants are designed to help WMCHealth partners develop sustainable models and services as they transition from the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment, or DSRIP, program, which was established to help improve patient outcomes and reduce avoidable hospital use.

"Increased and expanded outpatient behavioral health and substance abuse programming is a key part of WMCHealth's commitment to Ulster County," said WMCHealth President and CEO Michael D. Israel. "As one of the leading DSRIP programs in New York, WMCHealth and its partners have made considerable progress toward that goal over the last five years, including strengthening relationships between healthcare providers and community-based organizations. Much of our continuing work is now even more critical as we strive to address issues that have been exacerbated or elevated by COVID-19's impact on the Hudson Valley."

Joan Crawford, Chief Program Officer, Family Services, Inc., said, "Family Services is proud to partner with WMCHealth in Ulster and Dutchess counties to ensure that community members being discharged from the emergency department or inpatient psychiatric unit receive comprehensive and compassionate follow-up care through our Behavioral Health Centers. The Transition Promising Practice Program will provide timely access to collaborative, wrap around services that will strengthen opportunities for success."

"The Institute for Family Health is delighted to receive Transition to Promising Practices Funds from WMCHealth to support our shared commitment to the health and well-being of the residents of Ulster County," said Neil Calman, MD, President and CEO, The Institute for Family Health. "These funds will permit us to expand the use of telehealth even after the pandemic, enabling us to reach patients who have difficulty coming to the office due to chronic illness, disability or transportation challenges. The Institute is proud to have been one of the first health centers in the state to provide medical, behavioral health, care management and outreach services via telehealth, and appreciates WMCHealth's support to continue these efforts."

Steve Miccio, Chief Executive Officer, People USA said, "We are proud to partner with WMCHealth in providing outstanding service to the people in the Ulster community. Our partnership will strengthen the continuum of care while providing the appropriate service(s) for every individual we serve."

"Access: Supports for Living is proud to partner with the Westchester Medical Center Health Network to improve outcomes for people working toward behavioral health recovery in Ulster County and throughout the Hudson Valley," said Ronald Colavito, President and CEO, Access: Supports for Living Inc. "Making a meaningful connection to community-based care before a person leaves the hospital is critical, as is meeting them where they are immediately after discharge. It is through innovative, compassionate, person-centered programs, like this, that we demonstrate the value of partnership and the power of recovery."

WMCHealth has made a significant investment in mental health services in Ulster County through HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley (HealthAlliance), a member of the WMCHealth Network. This includes:

  • Behavioral health emergency services at the HealthAlliance Hospital: Broadway Campus
  • Inpatient substance use disorder treatment beds and services at the HealthAlliance Hospital: Broadway Campus
  • Launching a new behavioral health navigator program embedded in the emergency department at HealthAlliance Hospital: Broadway Campus
  • Adding mental health counseling services to the WMCHealth Physicians, Kingston (formerly Grand Street Medical Associates and Llobet Medical Group)
  • Supporting outpatient behavioral health services with 58,000 visits annually, including:
    • Adult and adolescent partial hospitalization programs.
    • Licensed addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs (Bridge Back).
    • Methadone clinic

The awardees with operations in Ulster County are:

Access: Supports for Living, Inc. -- $102,985

  • Provide a 48-hour outpatient transition of care with an intensive 30-day peer-supported retention program.

Family Services, Inc.  -- $133,000

  • Reduce emergency department utilization and inpatient admissions or readmissions and connect clients to community-based organizations in order to provide social determinants of health support.

People USA  -- $99,212

  • Provide patients being discharged from psychiatric ERs and inpatient units with intensive transitional care and wellness coaching services designed to ensure their continuity of care, prevent readmissions, and improve their health and social determinant outcomes.

The Institute for Family Health -- $75,000

  • Enhancing care management services for high-risk patients through telehealth video visits.

Israel noted that, in keeping with WMCHealth's effort during the pandemic to keep all of its own workforce employed, these grants will also provide resources for community organizations to keep jobs local while at the same time helping those in the Hudson Valley who are in need of these services.

Joshua Ratner, Executive Director, Center for Regional Healthcare Innovation and Senior Vice President for Network Strategy and Development at WMCHealth, said that these programs help patients connect with both medical and social services in their communities in order to avoid unnecessary emergency department visits and hospitalizations. Selected programs can be rapidly deployed (if not already underway), which will lead to sustainable benefits beyond the funding period and include quantitative metrics that allow the PPS, participating organizations, and other stakeholders to assess the project's level of engagement and utility.