Delta Center Awards More than $1.6M in Grant Funds to 14 State Associations Across the U.S.


April 15, 2021
Contact: Rachel Tobey

BERKELEY, CA – Last Fall, the Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net (Delta Center) received three additional years of support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to continue the initiative. The initiative seeks to advance payment, policy and practice change that ultimately cultivates health policy and a care system that are more equitable and better meets the needs of individuals and families. The Delta Center is excited to announce that it has awarded six grants totaling over $1.6 million to primary care and behavioral health state associations nationwide, as part of its second cohort of the State Learning & Action Collaborative. The second cohort expands the initiative’s reach to eight additional states, increasing the Delta Center’s impact. In addition, the Delta Center also awarded eight alumni grants to states that participated in the 2018–2020 cohort.

The project brings together state primary care associations (PCAs) and behavioral health state associations (BHSAs) to build relationships and take collective action to advance policy, payment and practice changes that will benefit millions of people served by health centers and community behavioral health organizations. The Delta Center is managed by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI) with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and the National Council for Mental Wellbeing (National Council), MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (MacColl Center), and Families USA as strategic partners.

Rachel Tobey, Co-director of the Delta Center noted that, “The past year’s events have confirmed the need to see state policy and local care changes as levers for advancing racial equity and shaping incentives and health system design to meet the needs of consumers and families. We are excited to work with primary care and behavioral health state associations as they build relationships with one another and work to change policy and practice while centering consumer voice in the process and advancing racial equity as a guiding goal.”

The Delta Center is proud to work with the selected organizations in the new cohort:

  • Alaska Primary Care Association
  • Alaska Behavioral Health Association
  • Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas, Inc.
  • Bi-State Primary Care Association (New Hampshire & Vermont)
  • Community Care Network of Kansas
  • Community Health Center Association of Mississippi
  • Louisiana Public Health Institute
  • Louisiana Primary Care Association
  • Mississippi Association of Community Mental Health Centers
  • New Hampshire Community Behavioral Health Association
  • Oklahoma Primary Care Association
  • Oklahoma Behavioral Health Association
  • Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers
  • Rehabilitation & Community Providers Association (Pennsylvania)

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, several states are centering telehealth in their projects, with a focus on developing equitable policies and practices. Other states bring a focus to behavioral health and primary care integration through implementation of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) model, engagement of state agencies and legislatures, and coordination of healthcare huddles between community health centers and community mental health centers.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the mental health, substance use and overdose crises in our country,” said Chuck Ingoglia, President and CEO of the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. “We must work together to find ways to provide equitable access to integrated mental and physical health care. We are proud to partner with state associations and to incorporate consumer voice and community-level needs to build a policy and infrastructure that provides comprehensive care to all people. We are proud to support the efforts of the Delta Center and look forward to working with the cohort to achieve our shared vision of ensuring health and racial equity in America.”

In alignment with Delta Center goals, grantees are elevating consumer voice in the design and implementation of their projects.

“RWJF is committed to pursuing a future in which healthcare is better positioned to coordinate with social services, public health, and to address community needs through integrated services. Through our work with the Delta Center, we have seen how passionately grantees are working towards that goal in service of improving patient outcomes and advancing racial equity.” said Andrea Ducas, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “We are excited to learn from the new cohort’s efforts over the next two years!”

Read more about the initiative and partners.

Source: John Snow, Inc.
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About The National Council

Founded in 1969, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing is a membership organization that drives policy and social change on behalf of over 3,400 mental health and substance use treatment organizations and the more than 10 million children, adults and families they serve. We advocate for policies to ensure equitable access to high-quality services. We build the capacity of mental health and substance use treatment organizations. And we promote greater understanding of mental wellbeing as a core component of comprehensive health and health care. Through our Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program, we have trained more than 3 million people in the U.S. to identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges.