The Pediatric Mental Health Training Award has been awarded to El Rio Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Tucson, Arizona, the REACH Institute has announced.
The Reach Institute is a nonprofit organization with the goal of helping children and families receive effective health care which has been scientifically proven effective. For winning the award, El Rio Health will be given free training on children’s mental health for their primary care providers (PCPs).
Organizations awarded with the Pediatric Mental Health Training Award receive health training for associated health care providers, local school, and family peer advocates. El Rio Health was unanimously selected to receive the award.
“The pediatric mental health crisis affects everyone, but especially impacts under-resourced communities,” said Lisa Hunter Romanelli, PhD, CEO of The Reach Institute. “By awarding this opportunity to El Rio Health, The REACH Institute hopes that these newly trained primary care providers will feel empowered to diagnose and support the children and families they serve.”
El Rio Health helps under-resourced neighborhoods in Tucson, Arizona, receive comprehensive and affordable medical care. It is the 21st largest FQHC in the United States, helping over 49,000 children receive care across 13 delivery sites.
While individuals may have to wait over 6 to 12 months to see a mental health professional, 50% to 75% of the children supported by El Rio Health have been enrolled in Medicaid.
“Even before the pandemic, behavioral health services in the community were not able to meet all of our patients’ needs in a timely manner,” said Andrew Arthur, MD, PhD, pediatrics medical director at El Rio Health.“The REACH award will allow El Rio pediatric and family medicine providers to better address children with mild mental health and behavioral needs.”
Most providers have little training opportunities beyond residency training. El Rio Health will be able to expand their PCPs knowledge and ability to recognize and manage children’s mental health thanks to this award. They will also be able to improve the mental health competency of future PCPs.
Pediatric mental health training award winner announced. The REACH Institute. December 8, 2022. Accessed December 8, 2022.