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Grant Provides Healthcare Navigators and Wellness Coaches to Two Federally Qualified Health Centers in Michigan

Contact: Angela Minicuci (517) 241-2112

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 29, 2012

LANSING - The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Administration received a Transformation Transfer Initiative (TTI) award totaling $221,000 from the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors. The grant will be used to provide two Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in Michigan with Certified Peer Support Specialists (CPSS).

"Opportunities such as these help support MDCH's efforts to be a healthier, stronger state," said Olga Dazzo, Director of the MDCH. "In line with Governor Snyder's health and wellness message, this grant provides MDCH with tools that will allow us to support community programs that provide patient centered care."

The project will improve the integration of physical and mental health care by placing Certified Peer Support Specialists as healthcare navigators and wellness coaches at two FQHCs in the state. The Hackley Community Care Center in Muskegon and the Center for Family Health in Jackson will work in collaboration with the Michigan Primary Care Association and MDCH in implementing the integration.

Peer specialists will work with individuals receiving services at the Muskegon and Jackson FQHCs to develop self-management skills for healthy lifestyles as well as navigate complex health systems. The TTI grant will provide a framework for integrating peer to peer services in an FQHC, medical home and other models of integrated care for replication. The funding will also provide the opportunity to develop measurements and collect data to evaluate the effectiveness of peer to peer support.

Michigan is recognized nationally for its CPSS initiative. Certified Peer Support Specialists are adults who are in a journey of mental health recovery and are trained to help individuals who have a serious mental illness served by the community mental health system. Started in 2006, there are currently more than 900 CPSS in the state.

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