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Montefiore in the News

Innovation Fund Grant Will Establish Home Health Services for Clients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

October 21, 2014—(BRONX, NY)—Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center, in collaboration with Developmental Disabilities Health Alliance of New York (DDHA) and Community Resource Center for the Developmentally Disabled, Inc. (CRC/DD), have received a $2.4 million grant to integrate medical and mental healthcare for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The grant was provided by the New York State Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) Innovation Fund, which was established by the New York State Department of Health to expand and improve access to community-based services for people with disabilities.

The grant was awarded to the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC), the clinical arm of the Rose F. Kennedy Center. The funding will allow Einstein, Montefiore, DDHA and CRC/DD to establish three integrated “one-stop-shops” for clients with IDD, particularly those who live with their families or in other community settings.  The three centers to be located in the Bronx and Westchester will provide primary care, mental health and specialty health services, behavioral support and case management. 

“Montefiore, Einstein and CERC have a long history of caring for some of the most vulnerable patients in New York,” said Judy Aschner, M.D., physician-in-chief, The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, professor and Michael I. Cohen, M.D., University Chair of Pediatrics at Einstein. “This grant presents a new opportunity to apply our comprehensive approach to tackling complex health problems for the benefit of patients with these distinct challenges. These centers will meaningfully extend our commitment to providing coordinated and compassionate care by integrating services across our institutions.”

“Families who live with someone with intellectual and developmental disabilities face unique challenges,” said Theodore Kastner, M.D., president of DDHA, adjunct clinical associate professor of pediatrics at Einstein, and project director of the grant at CERC. “There are times when families need additional support, particularly when challenging behavior occurs. During these crises, families are forced to rely on emergency room and inpatient psychiatric care, primarily due to a lack of viable alternatives. We want to establish a model that provides appropriate, community-based care not just to individuals with IDD, but to their families as well.  The fact that these services can be offered at lower cost than emergency room and inpatient care is a real win-win for everyone.” Crisis stabilization and respite services will be provided by CRC/DD.

The Innovation Fund Grant will allow the consortium to expand the number and scope of its current locations. Each of the three proposed locations will include a community-based primary care practice, integrating mental and specialty health services. The project will also support case managers, who will assist clients in accessing appropriate care. Each location will have a behavioral specialist and access to residential respite care.

“Children and adults with IDD benefit enormously when their physical and mental health is managed within a comprehensive program by clinicians and support staff that has been specifically trained to treat them,” said Dr. Kastner. “This home health approach has been shown to address the triple aim of healthcare reform by improving the patient experience of care, improving the outcomes of care and reducing the costs of care.”