Grant helps Oneida Health increase access to behavioral health services


Excellus BlueCross BlueShield won a $150,000 grant to Oneida Health to improve access to behavioral health services. From left to right, Shayna Keller, Excellus Community Investments and Partnership; Johnathan Schiller, president and CEO of Oneida Health; Stephanie Watkins, Care Coordinator for Women’s Health/Obstetrics, Oneida Health; Eve Van de Wal, Excellus Regional President; Eileen Kilgore, Registered Nurse and Practice Leader of Oneida Health; Taylor Duell, RN and Oneida Health Clinical Coordinator at Women’s Health; Dr. Krislyn Flint, medical director of the OB/GYN department of Oneida Health; and Kate Trombley, director of the Oneida Health Foundation. (PHOTO CREDIT: ONEIDA HEALTH)

ONEIDA – Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has won a $150,000 grant for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Members and Community Health Improvement (MACHI) to support increased access to behavioral health services at Oneida Health.

The grant will award the funds over a three-year period to establish services to address the mental health, addictions, or behavioral health issues of age-specific female Oneida Health patients receiving care at its health practice. for women, at the Lullaby center or at the emergency department. .

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the mental and behavioral health crisis we face in our communities,” Oneida Health President and CEO Jonathan Schiller said in a press release. “The need for coordinated behavioral health services has never been greater and represents an important clinical health improvement priority for our medical staff and clinical team. With the support provided by Excellus BCBS, we will be able to connect an essential network of services and resources that already exist within our communities to improve outcomes and the lives of our patients.

Oneida Health’s new Women’s Care Coordination Program helps bridge the gap between patients and access to mental health and addiction services through a coordinated care model. Through a single point of contact, patients can receive coordinated care from a range of community resources and services available to women, including mental health and addictions counselling, bereavement support, transportation, domestic violence, care management and other community services.

The program aims to increase the number of depression screenings among maternity and gynecology patients by 70% and reduce returning emergency room visits by 17% for people with behavioral and mental health problems. Achieving these goals will support the early detection and treatment of behavioral health issues and the reduction of unnecessary return visits to the emergency department.

“We thank Excellus BCBS for their shared vision in addressing opportunities to improve the overall health of our communities,” Schiller said. “This program would not be possible without their support.

The MACHI Grants Program provides funding to local nonprofit organizations that promote healthier communities and support initiatives with specific goals and measurable results to improve health.

“Providing access to high-quality health care is central to our mission as a nonprofit health plan,” said Eve Van de Wal, Excellus Regional Chair for the Valley Region. Mohawk. “We are thrilled to partner with Oneida Health to support this vital behavioral health program that meets the needs of our region by improving access to mental health and addictions services.”

Oneida Health is a regional health care system that includes a hospital, primary and specialty care, physical rehabilitation, and skilled nursing services.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and has over 1.5 million members in upstate New York.


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