i2i will partner with the Center of Excellence for Integrated Care (COE), a program of the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation (FHLI), on a grant from The Duke Endowment. The grant will allow FHLI to lead a three-year program focused on child and adolescent behavioral health. The emphasis of the project is on advocacy for mental health check-ups for children, as well as on training for behavioral health professionals to provide pediatric and family assessments and interventions.
“North Carolina’s health care workforce is doing amazing work every day with well-child exams and preventative services for children and adolescents,” said Dr. Amelia Muse, COE’s Program Director. “However, after the hardships of the past year, it’s time to answer the call for more support for providers, families, and communities on preventative and interventive behavioral health care.”
With the grant’s dual emphasis on advocacy and workforce development, partnerships include the i2i Center for Integrative Health and the North Carolina Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program.
The COE team will partner with i2i to convene a workgroup of family members, advocates in children’s welfare, and representatives of practitioners to develop a sustainability plan to embed annual behavioral health well-child checks into medical protocols and practices, with a focus on the need for insurance coverage. This additional focus on behavioral health during or in conjunction with the well-child check will bring North Carolina alongside other leadership states that have worked to support pediatricians, children, and families with additional behavioral health services.
I2i’s Executive Director Ann Rodriguez said, “With our extensive collaboration and advocacy experience addressing behavioral, I-DD, SUD, and primary healthcare, i2i is well-suited to lead this advocacy effort.” “We are excited to partner with FHLI, COE and NC AHEC on this critical initiative. The pandemic and North Carolina’s Medicaid transformation efforts have created an opportunity to ramp up integrated, preventative care practices across the state and strengthen whole-child care.”