Monmouth Medical Center becomes certified community health behavioral clinic

Long Branch facility will use 2-year, $4M grant to expand behavioral health services

Monmouth Medical Center has received a $4 million, two-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to expand its behavioral health services and increase access to care among underserved populations throughout Monmouth County.

The grant will be used to establish a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic at Monmouth Medical Center’s campus in Long Branch. Monmouth Medical Center is an RWJBarnabas Health facility.

Services will launch in January 2022 and will include, but are not limited to individuals with serious mental illness, serious emotional disturbance, long-term chronic addiction, mild or moderate mental illness and substance use disorders, and complex health profiles.

Monmouth Medical Center CEO Eric Carney said the pandemic has further demonstrated the increased need for comprehensive mental health and substance use disorder treatment and support services.

“Through this grant, and our designation as a CCBHC, we’ll be able to quickly expand access to a full continuum of integrated care to anyone who needs it,” he said. “We thank SAMHSA for awarding us this grant, and to our dedicated staff and partners for their work in expanding access to behavioral health care at the community level.”

The overall goal of CCBHCs is to expand rapid access to quality community behavioral health services, integrated care and supportive social services for those who are uninsured, underinsured, have unaffordable insurance and/or gaps in insurance. This includes those who cannot afford insurance deductibles, insurance copayments and coinsurance payments. It will place special emphasis on increasing access to services for:

  • Adults with serious mental illness;
  • Those struggling with substance use disorders;
  • Children who recently experienced a mental health crisis or hospitalization.

The grant also will serve members of the armed forces and veterans.

“CCBHCs provide an effective and safe alternative to emergency departments for mental health and substance use disorder treatments and services, while still providing 24/7 access to care,” Stephanie Petrucha, the director of outpatient behavioral health for RWJBarnabas Health, said.

About Monmouth Medical Center

Monmouth Medical Center is a regional teaching campus for Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. As the first hospital in Monmouth and Ocean counties, Monmouth Medical Center offers the most experienced surgeons in robotics and other minimally invasive procedures, as well as bariatric and joint and spine surgery. Monmouth Medical Center also delivers more babies annually than all other hospitals in Monmouth and Ocean counties combined, and the fourth-most in the state.

“As a CCBHC, Monmouth Medical Center will eliminate barriers to accessing treatment and provide life-saving assistance to anyone who needs it. Equally as important, we’ll be able to provide ongoing care and coordination of integrated clinical and social support services to ensure each individual seeking help receives a comprehensive continuum of care.”

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics were created through Section 223 of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act, which established an initiative to expand access to and improve the quality of community mental and substance use disorder treatment services in community-based settings.

As part of the CCBHC grant, Monmouth Medical Center officials said they will work in collaboration with community partners to provide access to a greater variety of critical services, with an emphasis on the provision of 24-hour crisis care, evidence-based practices, care coordination with primary care and specialized community-based care with rapid access to hospital based acute health needs.

Monmouth Medical Center estimates that care will be provided to upward of 600 currently underserved individuals annually, with an emphasis on delivering comprehensive and coordinated care. As a CCBHC, Monmouth Medical Center will provide services to any individual in need of care regardless of their ability to pay.