SAMHSA announces new grants to support expansion of health information technology

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is announcing up to $13.2 million in new grants to support the expansion of health information technology (HIT) in health care settings that serve people with mental and substance use disorders.

As part of this new initiative, 47 community health centers working to integrate primary care and behavioral health services will receive a one year grant for $200,000. The grant will be used to develop health information technology infrastructure and expand the use of electronic health records (EHRs). Once the EHR systems are in place, patients and providers can have ready access to the latest information on effective treatments and support systems, and exchange health information through secure means with appropriate patient permission.

In addition, SAMHSA is announcing a $3.8 million grant award to assist community health centers and state designated agencies with their efforts to implement electronic health records. The grant award is being made to the National Council on Community Behavioral Health Care to enhance SAMHSA efforts underway to integrate primary and behavioral health care in community based settings.

"Electronic health records improve quality, accountability, and cost effectiveness of health care services," said SAMHSA Administrator, Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. "Persons with behavioral health problems often have significant physical health issues as well. These grants are a critical down payment on the health information technology investment needed to ensure behavioral health service providers are fully interoperable with the general health system."

"Making meaningful use of EHRs represents the foundation for better health, improved care and lower costs," said National Coordinator for Health IT Dr. Farzad Mostashari. "EHRs offer providers the tools necessary to give patients, including those with mental health and substance use problems, the right care at the right time while protecting patient privacy and security."

These efforts support SAMHSA's strategic initiative on Health Information Technology. The actual awards are subject to the availability of funds and the grantees' performance. The grantees and their award amounts are as follows:

Grantees Award Amount

Community HealthLink, Mass. $199,999
Tarzana Treatment Center, Calif. $200,000
Prestera Ctr. for Mental Health Services, WV $200,000
Shawnee Mental Health Center, Inc., Ohio $200,000
Human Service Center, Ill. $200,000
Oklahoma. Dept. of Mental Health/Subs Abuse $200,000
Coastal Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. Fla. $200,000
Asian Counseling and Referral Service, Wash. $200,000
Southeast Center, Inc., OH $200,000
Centerstone of Indiana, Ind. $200,000
Lifestream Behavioral Center, Inc., Fla $200,000
Lifestream Behavioral Center, Inc., Fla $200,000
Native American Rehabilitation Assn., Ore. $199,997
Bridges, A Community Support System, Inc., Conn $200,000
CODAC Behavioral Health Services, Inc., Ariz. $200,000
Providence Center, Inc., R.I. $200,000
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton, N.J. $199,099
Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, N.Y. $200,000
Bronx-Lebanon Hops. Ctr., N.Y. $200,000
Care Plus NJ, Inc., N.J. $200,000
Washtenaw Community Health Org., Mich. $199,987
Glenn County Health Services Agency, Calif. $200,000
Community Health and Counseling, Maine $200,000
Apalachee Center, Inc., Fla. $200,000
Downtown Emergency Service Ctr., Wash. $200,000
Miami Behavioral Health Ctr., Fla. $200,000
Weber Human Services, Utah $200,000
Community Rehabilitation Ctr., Fla. $200,000
Southlake Community Hlth Ctr., Ind $200,000
Milestone Centers, Inc., Pa. $200,000
Community Mental Health Affiliates, Inc, Conn. $200,000
ICD-International Ctr. For the Disabled, N.Y. $200,000
Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Ser., Ohio $199,360
Kent Ctr. For Human and Org. Develop, R.I. $199,266
Family Services, Inc., Md. $200,000
Heritage Behavioral Health Ctr., Ill. $200,000
Asian Community Mental Health Services, Calif. $200,000
Adult and Child Mental Health Ctr., Ind. $199,966
Montrose Counseling Ctr., Inc. Texas $200,000
Horizon House, Inc., Pa. $199,293
San Mateo County Health System, Calif. $196,684
Pennyroyal Regional MH-MR Board, Ky. $200,000
Trilogy, Inc., Ill $200,000
Alaska Island Community Services, Ala. $199,997
Mental Health Center of Denver, Colo. $199,619
North Care Center, Okla. $200,000
Community Council of Nashua, N.H. $200,000
Center for Families and Children, Inc., Ohio $200,000



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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