Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic awarded national grant - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic awarded national grant

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YAKIMA, WA - Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic will soon expand its behavioral health services in Yakima County.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded more than $200 million to 1,178 health centers and 13 rural health organizations throughout the United States and its territories, which increases access to substance abuse and mental health services.  The expanded funding is part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ five-point strategy to fight the nation-wide opioid epidemic.

Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic was awarded $161,303.

The grant will help Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic support the expansion and integration of mental health and substance abuse access areas. These services focus on the treatment, prevention, and awareness of opioid abuse in the primary care setting by increasing personnel, leveraging health information technology, and providing training.  Additional staff will be hired to provide in-person and tele-health behavioral health services for clinic sites, including Wapato and Pasco, which do not currently have on-site access to these services.  Substance use screenings and assessments, and behavioral assessments, consultations and interventions, will be available as scheduled appointments as well as immediate access on the same day as regular visits to the clinic.  The funds will also go towards the purchase of tele-health equipment for multiple clinic sites, which will extend the availability of these specialty providers to rural areas and smaller clinic sites. Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic is currently recruiting for a Chemical Dependency Professional and a Behavioral Health Consultant to provide. 

"Nationally, about half of all care for common mental health conditions happens in the primary care settings," said HRSA Administrator George Sigounas, MS, Ph.D. "In health centers, where people are often most comfortable, staff with varied expertise have a unique opportunity to provide mental health and substance abuse services to patients who wouldn’t otherwise seek or have access to treatment.”

Rural states are more likely to have higher rates of overdose death, particularly from prescription opioid overdose. To address their unique needs, 496 of the health centers that received the Access Increases in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (AIMS) awards are located in rural communities. The tele-health services provided through this grant will increase access for many rural areas served by Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic. 

Currently, throughout the county Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic provides specialty behavioral health services to children, adolescents, and their families. These services include counseling, psychiatric care, connection and coordination with community resources, substance use disorder assessments and treatment; and other specialty programs.  Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic also provides behavioral health within its medical clinics to all primary care patients with behavioral health needs.

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