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Montefiore in the News

January 29, 2024

Montefiore gets $7M to expand mental health treatment for adults and kids in the Bronx


Montefiore Health System has been designated as a state Office of Mental Health Behavioral Health Center of Excellence and granted $7 million to expand services in the Bronx, Montefiore announced Thursday.

Montefiore convened clinicians to brainstorm how to boost its behavioral health care services and then submitted a quality improvement plan to three insurers: Fidelis Care, Healthfirst and MetroPlusHealth, said Salimah Velji, unified executive administrator of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Montefiore Health System and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The insurance companies then submitted the plan to the state.

Clinicians proposed creating a comprehensive psychiatric emergency program for adults to serve patients who require acute care for short periods of time, Velji said, as well as bringing in cross-campus discharge coordinators to enhance planning.

The insurers selected Montefiore as an excellence center and provided the $7 million based on the strength of the proposals, she added. The funding is intended to help the system execute three improvement measures: growing inpatient psychiatric bed capacity, increasing outpatient capacity and bettering intensive case management for patients with high-risk mental health needs.

Montefiore plans to use the funding to enhance care at its adult psychiatric observation suite at its Moses Division emergency department in Norwood with up to six extended-observation beds, according to Velji. Patients in the suite can access specialized care for up to 72 hours.

According to Montefiore, the health system aims to add a mobile crisis team and case management services to its adult comprehensive psychiatric emergency program. Hospital leadership hopes the improvements will facilitate calmer care than patients would receive in the often-stressful emergency rooms, Velji said.

Planning has begun for all of the improvement measures Montefiore aims to use the funding for, she added. Both the state and the health system will evaluate the impact of the projects over time.

Montefiore Health System encompasses 10 hospitals and more than 200 outpatient ambulatory care sites throughout the Bronx and the Hudson Valley. —Jacqueline Neber