State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

New grant will expand access to behavioral health care

by on November 21, 2019 1:30 PM

STATE COLLEGE — A new, one-year $125,000 Highmark grant will provide a new program to integrate behavioral health services with primary care for uninsured residents living or working in Centre Country.

On Oct. 7, Highmark Foundation representative Jane Brooks, program officer, presented a check to Cheryl White, executive director at Centre Volunteers in Medicine, to get the program started. The introduction of the AIMS (Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions) collaborative care model will bring much needed behavioral healthcare services to existing and new medical patients at CVIM, according to a press release.

CVIM Clinical Services Director Kristi Mattzela reported that through the patient health questionnaire CVIM’s behavioral health team has, in the first month of the program, identified 40 patients with high levels of trauma and abuse. Patients are showing anxiety levels off the charts, along with drug and alcohol issues and fleeting thoughts of self-harm.

“The need is great and we have hit the ground running,” said Mattzela, “We are thrilled to offer our patents life-changing collaborative care enabled by Highmark Foundation’s commitment.”

The grant has enabled adding parttime paid behavioral health professionals to the existing team of volunteer providers.

Centre Volunteers in Medicine is a free clinic providing Centre County residents and those working in Centre County with no health insurance a place to go for primary health care, emergency and restorative dental care, medication assistance and case management services. CVIM treats over 400 patients per year, who will receive the expanded AIMS support.


This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.
Disclaimer: Copyright © 2020 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.