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Carter Center Featured Partner: Healthcare Georgia Foundation

The Carter Center Health and Peace Programs appreciate the continued support of our foundation, government, and corporate donors and are pleased to highlight their contributions in these regular Web features. To view donor lists, click links at right.

Featured August 2011

The Carter Center is pleased to announce a new partnership to support the development of a Learning Collaborative on Integrated Care. The Carter Center Mental Health Program, in close collaboration with the Georgia Association of Community Services Boards (GACSB), will provide training, expert consultation, and peer support to its members throughout Georgia to improve the integration of primary care and behavioral care.

This project is funded by a grant from Healthcare Georgia Foundation. Created in 1999 as an independent private foundation, the Foundation's mission is to advance the health of all Georgians and to expand access to affordable, quality healthcare for underserved individuals and communities. This project supports the Foundation's goals of integrating and coordinating efforts to improve healthcare services in the state, with special emphasis on the safety net delivery system.

The Foundation's generous $75,000 grant is supporting the establishment and continued operations of an educational and relationship-building initiative for providers of mental health and substance abuse services – the Community Service Boards (CSBs) – and their primary care partners within the state of Georgia. This Learning Collaborative on Integrated Care will have two tiers and will provide both didactic and experiential training on evidence-based interventions to its members and their primary care partners. Over the course of 18 months, a comprehensive curriculum will be developed and rolled out, with concrete learning objectives and evaluations tools for each session. Participating CSBs will increase their knowledge on best practices in integrated care and will develop collaborative care partnerships with their safety net primary care partners. The use of distance and Web-based learning tools, such as Healthcare Georgia Foundation's HealthTech program also will be explored.

The recognition of need for such a collaborative is based on the widespread prevalence of mental health and substance abuse problems among the population of Georgia citizens who utilize safety net providers. A significant evidence base demonstrates that an integrated approach between primary care and specialty behavioral care delivers significantly better clinical outcomes. While a small number of CSBs in Georgia had previously begun to work with primary care partners, the vast majority of CSBs had made no such efforts and expressed concern over their lack of knowledge about how best to establish such programs. Therefore, in 2010, The Carter Center Mental Health Program and the GACSB launched the Learning Collaborative to provide both education about integrated care as well as ongoing consultation and support for participating CSBs.

Funding from Healthcare Georgia Foundation will support the implementation of this innovative approach, leading to better treatment outcomes for Georgians affected by mental and behavioral health issues. We thank the Foundation for their partnership and commitment to advancing quality healthcare for these underserved individuals and communities.

Featured donor and supported programs:

Healthcare Georgia Foundation

Carter Center Mental Health Program

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