Training and Support Services to Facilitate the Integration of Behavioral Health into Primary Care in Six New Jersey Clinics

Cherokee Health Systems
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Primary Care
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Cherokee Health Systems is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and state-approved Community Mental Health Center that operates 23 “brick and mortar” clinics and 23 telemedicine health clinics in Knoxville, Tennessee, and surrounding counties in East Tennessee, Chattanooga, and Memphis. Cherokee is the largest FQHC in the state and serves more than 60,000 patients a year. It uses a multi-disciplinary, integrated team model of care consisting of primary care providers, psychologists and clinical social workers, behavioral health consultants, psychiatric providers, dentists, and community health coordinators. Cherokee also is a national leader in integrating behavioral health services and primary care, through its model, which embeds behavioral health specialists within primary care teams. 

This project builds upon a previous pilot project in which Cherokee provided technical assistance to two FQHCs—the Henry J. Austin Health Center, in Trenton, and the Center for Health Education Medicine and Dentistry (CHEMED), in Lakewood—to help them integrate behavioral health into their primary care services. 

This project supports Cherokee in providing technical assistance and related services to six primary care clinics and practices in New Jersey that serve a high percentage of Medicaid patients. Cherokee is providing intensive hands-on training, support, and clinical supervision to each of the organizations to help them operationalize the Cherokee model. Cherokee also is working with the clinics’ leadership and administrative staff, including those responsible for coding and billing, to help ensure the sustainability of this model.

The six organizations are:

AtlantiCare Special Care Center

Eric B. Chandler Health Center

Hackensack Meridian Family Health Center

Kennedy Family Health Services

Metropolitan Family Health Network

Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey

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Cherokee Health Systems