HCRS receives $4 Million CCBHC grant

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Health Care and Rehabilitation Services (HCRS), southeastern Vermont’s non-profit community mental-health agency, announced today that they have been awarded the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) CCBHC Planning, Development, and Implementation grant designed to address health disparities in rural settings.

This significant funding of $1 million per year for four years will allow the mental health agency to prepare to become a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). CCBHCs are specially funded organizations that provide a comprehensive range of mental health and substance abuse services that are required to meet certain quality standards of care. The CCBHC’s goal is to expand access to, and the quality of, these services in rural settings such as southeastern Vermont.

For HCRS, certification will mean greater flexibility in service provision, expanded professional development of staff, greater care coordination and supports, and more collaboration with primary care. For the communities served by HCRS, this will mean expanded and higher quality mental health and substance abuse services as well as greater coordination with primary care. In addition, certification will allow for greater impact on social determinants of health for community members, such as safe and secure housing, transportation, food, and the like.

HCRS’ CEO George Karabakakis, Ph.D. said, “We’re honored to have this opportunity to work towards becoming certified as a Community Behavioral Health Clinic. The prospect of expanding our work and providing greater support for individuals and families across Windsor and Windham counties is exciting and something we’ve worked hard for.”

Anne Bilodeau, HCRS’ COO, will initially lead this effort until a CCBHC Project Director is hired. Bilodeau states, “This important funding will allow us to hire the additional staff and develop the new programming that is required, and we are eager to get started.”

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