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Community Health Network Foundation receives $2,454,400 grant for psychiatry residency program

For release on September 07, 2016

North Central Health Services funding will help address state’s shortage of psychiatrists, better meet mental health needs

Indianapolis, IN---Community Health Network Foundation has received a $2,454,400 grant, distributed over the course of eight years, from West Lafayette-based nonprofit North Central Health Services (NCHS). The funding will support Community Health Network’s psychiatry residency program launched in July of 2016, addressing the psychiatrist shortage in Indiana and meeting the mental health needs of individuals in underserved communities across Central Indiana.

An estimated one in four Hoosiers experience a medically diagnosable mental health condition each year. Yet, last year, Indiana had 43 counties without a practicing psychiatrist, and, in 2013, Indiana had only 356 psychiatrists when the state’s population requires 650 psychiatrists.

To begin to address these issues, Community established a psychiatry residency program—only the second in Indiana—using its broad continuum of behavioral health services to train the next generation of psychiatrists. The program received accreditation in 2015, and the first class began in July of 2016.

Over the course of eight years, the NCHS grant will support this newly-launched residency program, including funding for residency program costs not covered by current Medicare funding sources.  The program will train up to four residents per class, with each cohort lasting four calendar years. Community has been approved for up to $286,800 for the first year, renewable annually at this level for three additional years, and up to $326,800 per year for four subsequent years. The support will include funds for additional faculty from practicing psychiatry and other specialties; faculty from other mental health disciplines; and community-based participation.

Community’s residency program emphasizes clinical hands-on learning at Community sites of care, including Gallahue Mental Health Services, which offers outpatient care, and the Behavioral Health Pavilion, which serves a highly underserved population. Community is Central Indiana’s largest provider of behavioral health services, including inpatient and outpatient programs, 24/7 crisis services, efforts focused on individuals with serious mental illness and school-based therapy for youth and teens.

In 2015, Community was awarded a contract with the State of Indiana to develop the Indiana Neuro-Diagnostic Institute and Advanced Training Center on Community Hospital East’s campus. The Institute, currently under construction, will serve as the flagship of Indiana’s network of state-operated mental health facilities, offering residents another site for training, research and patient service experience.

Kathy Zoppi, PhD, MPH, Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer at Community, said that the physician shortage has driven the need to find new and creative ways to care for patients and populations in the future.

“As our state and nation face a shortage of psychiatrists, the demand for mental health services continues to grow,” said Zoppi. “Community is dedicated to addressing these needs by training the next generation of psychiatry residents, preparing them to succeed at the forefront of the ever-evolving role of psychiatry in the delivery of healthcare. This funding will go far in making that workforce development goal a reality while also better meeting the current need for mental health services across Central Indiana.”

Frank Covington, MD, MBA, Community’s psychiatry residency program director, and Ann Cunningham, DO, the program’s associate director, said this grant funding also will significantly impact the health of our communities in the long-term.

“Funding from this grant will also address the future mental health needs in our communities,” said Dr. Covington. “We aim to attract residents of the highest caliber who are passionate and dedicated to the field of psychiatry. Through their training, our residents will support critical services for individuals across Central Indiana, increasing the reach and impact of Community’s mental health care for years to come.”

“This grant funding is all about helping to connect more Hoosiers with the resources they need for renewed health and healing,” said Dr. Cunningham. “Our psychiatry residency offers participants the advantage of learning through Community’s behavioral health care programs. Excellent training will translate into exceptional care for more men, women and children who turn to Community in their time of need.”

Joyce Irwin, Community Health Network Foundation’s president and CEO, said the NCHS grant also allows Community Health Network to expand its outreach to those in need of psychiatric support.

“This multi-million dollar investment will provide top-notch training to psychiatry residents, who will serve patients regardless of where they live or what circumstances they endure,” Irwin said. “We are grateful for this funding, which will address a critical Indiana healthcare issue with an eye on the future.”

Community is currently recruiting its second class of psychiatry residents, set to begin in July of 2017. To learn more about the Community Health Network Psychiatry Residency Program, please visit the program’s webpage.

About Community Health Network Foundation
Community Health Network Foundation is the not-for-profit philanthropic organization of Community Health Network, Central Indiana’s leader in providing convenient access to exceptional healthcare services, where and when patients need them.  Donations support patients, caregivers and Central Indiana communities.  For more information, visit eCommunity.com/foundation or call (317) 355-GIVE.

Bridget Cleveland, Development Communications Coordinator, Community Health Network Foundation
Bridget Cleveland
Development Communications Coordinator, Community Health Network Foundation