SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass. – November 5, 2014 – Harrington HealthCare System has been awarded a $3.5 million grant from the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) to increase access to much-needed mental health and substance abuse services.
More than two dozen community hospitals in Massachusetts received funding from Phase II of the Community Hospital Acceleration, Revitalization, and Transformation (CHART) Investment Program. The grant makes phased investments for selected hospitals to enhance their delivery of efficient, effective care.
“The Health Policy Commission has provided us with a great opportunity,” said Ed Moore, President and CEO of Harrington HealthCare System. “The process was competitive, and we are pleased to have been recognized for making a strong case for Harrington’s participation. We look forward to using this grant to fill a community need and enhance our programs so local individuals and families can more easily access behavioral health services.”
Harrington’s proposal was centered around the implementation of the “Medical Home Model.” The model includes having licensed social workers who will work as part of the internal medicine and family practice offices to help to identify at-risk patients and to screen patients for mental health and substance issues. The social worker’s role also includes working as the patient Navigator/Case Manager to help patients receive a complete continuum of medical and mental health services.
A portion of the grant will also help fund a new inpatient psychiatric unit at Harrington’s Webster Campus.
In January 2014, Harrington received $490,000 as part of Phase I of the CHART program. The money was used primarily to connect providers to the state’s new electronic health information exchange and to help update mental health medical records.
Harrington was among the top five grant recipients to be chosen from a pool of hospital-specific proposals. Several joint proposals across healthcare systems also received funding. The Health Policy Commission awards up to $6 million per community hospital, with $60 million granted in total.
Representatives from Harrington and the HPC will work together over the next few weeks to structure a detailed plan for the grant-funded program.