The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health to create a national model to improve integrated health care for racial and ethnic minorities and people who speak languages other than English.
The Office of Minority Health has awarded a one-year, $180,000 cooperative agreement grant to the Hogg Foundation to conduct the project.
"We are excited to be working with the Hogg Foundation, which was chosen for this project because of its staff expertise, philanthropic focus and track record in funding integrated health care and culturally and linguistically competent mental health services in Texas," said Dr. Teresa Chapa, project liaison and senior policy advisor for mental health in the Office of Minority Health.
People's minds and bodies are inseparable, except in health care. For years, physical and mental health conditions have been treated independently. That's changing as public and private health care providers increasingly integrate, or systematically coordinate, physical and behavioral health care to treat the whole person, with more positive outcomes.
"The integration of behavioral health and physical health is an important concept whose time has come, and it must be delivered in a culturally and linguistically competent manner to ensure healthy outcomes for all our communities. Partnering with OMH will help bring all these vital components of clinical care front and center," said Dr. Octavio N. Martinez Jr., executive director of the foundation.
Martinez is principal investigator and Program Officer Rick Ybarra is director of the project.
The project will begin this spring with a series of interviews of innovative leaders in integrated health care and an online survey of integrated health care providers across the nation. The foundation also will review academic articles and other publications to identify widely accepted principles, components and best practices in integrated health care that address racial and ethnic minorities and cultural and linguistic competency.
In the summer the foundation will host a meeting in Austin of state and national experts to review the findings of the literature review, interviews and online survey. The group will develop a model and a set of recommendations to be submitted in a report to the Office of Minority Health.
The foundation will bring Texas and national stakeholders together in the fall to discuss how to begin implementing the model and recommendations. Participants will include policy makers, consumers and family members, health care providers, advocates and state agencies.
The foundation also plans to meet with other state and national foundations to discuss strategies for philanthropic organizations to financially support integrated health care with a focus on reducing disparities for racial and ethnic minorities and people with limited English proficiency. An issue brief will follow that outlines funding strategies and recommendations that can be implemented locally, regionally, statewide and nationally.