Press Release: N.J. Pediatric Psychiatry Collaborative Care Initiative

NJPA Becomes an Approved Subcontractor of the N.J. Pediatric Psychiatry Collaborative Care Initiative

Program designed to expand children’s access to mental healthcare

Westfield, N.J. — The New Jersey Psychiatric Association (NJPA) has just been named an approved subcontractor of the New Jersey Pediatric Psychiatry Collaborative (NJPPC) as a Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center partner. The patient centered care model aims to improve children’s access to mental healthcare.

The NJPPC is a state-funded grant program that brings Hackensack Meridian Health System, Cooper University Health System, and the Atlantic Health System together in partnership to provide quick access to psychiatric consultation and facilitates referrals for ongoing behavioral health care. Developed in response to the growing challenges families face in accessing mental health treatment for their children, the program brings pediatricians into the fold in a collaborative partnership with child and adolescent psychiatrists to support a triaged approach to delivering evidence-based care based on the severity of the child’s needs. “As of date, nearly 700 pediatricians enrolled in the program have screened over 14,000 youth for behavioral health concerns because of their participation with the NJPPC,” said Jose L. Posos, LPC, NJPPC Clinical Operations Manager, HMH “Patients have truly benefited from this collaborative partnership as more and more youth are provided psychiatric and mental health services sooner instead of waiting to secure an appointment.”

“The New Jersey Psychiatric Association has been a longstanding champion of the collaborative care model and has advocated for policies to support the implementation and sustainability of the NJPPC,” said Debra Koss, MD, DFAACAP, DFAPA, Chair, NJPA Council on Advocacy, NJPA. “As a partner working with Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center, the NJPA will be able to provide members with additional information and resources to support and engage with the NJPPC.” 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated longstanding challenges faced by families trying to access mental health services for their children,” said Dr. Koss. “To help combat the issue, the collaborative care model allows child and adolescent psychiatrists to play a critical role in providing pediatricians with education and training to develop new behavioral health knowledge and skills and offer timely consultation to assist in diagnosis and treatment planning.”  

NJPPC services are offered through nine regionalized hubs across 21 counties in NJ and is available to children, adolescents, and young adults age 18 or older if they remain under the care of an NJPPC-registered pediatrician.

About NJPA

The New Jersey Psychiatric Association is a professional organization of approximately 850 NJ psychiatrists who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illness and substance use disorders. The NJPA is a district branch of the American Psychiatric Association and is the official voice of organized psychiatry in NJ. Our mission is to serve our members’ professional practice needs, foster physician wellness as the foundation of successful practice, educate the public and lawmakers on the science of psychiatry, support the development of psychiatrists in training, promote the professional standards of psychiatric care and advocate to protect the interests of patients and their families.

For more information, visit us at njpsychiatry.org or on LinkedIn.

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