Baptist Health Foundation Corbin awarded $1.2 million Grant to expand Behavioral Health Services

Baptist Health Foundation Corbin. July 10, 2023

CORBIN, KY (July 10, 2023) - The Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded Baptist Health Foundation Corbin $1.2M over a four-year period through the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy’s Rural Health Network Development (RHND) Program. The purpose of the funded project is to expand capacity to address behavioral health and / or substance use disorder / opioid use disorder (SUD/OUD) for primary care patients in Knox, Whitley, and Madison counties in southcentral and southeastern Kentucky. These counties represent large populations of mental health underserved residents who also experience high rates of complex health conditions including diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

“Families in Knox, Whitley, and Madison counties have been greatly impacted by substance abuse, compounded with other major life stressors such as complex health conditions, poverty, and unemployment,” said Anthony Powers, President at Baptist Health Corbin. “Having this team approach of resources in place for patients located in rural communities will ease their travel burden, and improve their ability to seek out healthcare to take a proactive approach in their own health.”

Using a collaborative approach, RHND partners including Baptist Health Corbin, Grace Health, Barbourville Family Health, and Dr. Gaurang Shah, will increase access to integrated primary care and behavioral health substance use disorder treatment services over the four-year project period. Baptist Health Corbin’s Behavioral Health Virtual Care HUB will be a key component for increasing integration. Integrated Care can be defined as the care that results from a practice team of primary care and behavioral health clinicians, working together with patients and families, using a systematic and cost-effective approach to provide patient-centered care for a defined population. This care may address mental health and substance abuse conditions, health behaviors (including their contribution to chronic medical illnesses), life stressors and crises, stress-related physical symptoms, and ineffective patterns of healthcare utilization. Integrated care, specifically behavioral health integrated with primary care, is increasingly recognized as a best practice and there is a multitude of evidence supporting this model of care.

The grant award will support efforts to achieve the following outcomes over the four-year project period:

  • Address the gap in knowledge about substance use disorder treatment in primary care by adding an Addiction Specialist to provide education and consultation for primary care providers.
  • Address the behavioral health workforce shortage by adding a Family Nurse Practitioner.
  • Reduce Social Determinants of Health barriers, especially those related to transportation, by offering telehealth services.
  • Increase access and awareness of the Resource Connection Line to help address social determinants of health, increase access to behavioral health services, and provide information to community members and patients.  

The Network will utilize a system of care approach to increase care coordination across the network by establishing shared referral and care coordination processes, shared data for quality improvement and shared savings. This level of collaboration will produce sustainable processes that can be maintained beyond the project period. Project outcomes will improve patient access to high quality health care in the communities we serve and result in better outcomes for patient health.

Baptist Health Corbin has long been a regional leader in behavioral health, with service such as its detox recovery unit, intensive outpatient program, Hepatitis C clinic and inpatient care with a strong community education program.