News & Notes

CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health to Open Behavioral Health Center for Children in Lancaster County

CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health, a community-based nonprofit dedicated to the health and well-being of children in Lancaster County, is proud to announce plans to open a Behavioral Health Center this fall, which will provide mental and behavioral health services for children in Lancaster County regardless of insurance or ability to pay.

The new Center will serve as the cornerstone of the Patchwork Quilt Project, an innovative children’s behavioral health and psychiatric program being developed by CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health in partnership with Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation. The Patchwork Quilt Project will provide services and support to families and children through traditional office-based appointments at the new Center, school-based services and technology-assisted strategies, such as video conferencing. The variety of delivery methods will offer families flexible options to best meet their needs. CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health is currently conducting a nationwide search for two psychiatrists, two counselors, a director of behavioral health and a program coordinator to lead at the new Center.

According to the Children’s Mental and Behavioral Health in Lancaster County Needs Assessment published by the Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation in January 2015, 50 percent of respondents reported challenges accessing appropriate services in the local community because of costs, accessibility/availability and/or the lack of specialists addressing children’s mental and behavioral health needs. In addition, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reported that (as of 2014) the ratio of mental health professionals in Lancaster County was 1,379 residents to one provider, compared to the ideal healthy community ratio of 521 residents to one provider.

“The Lancaster community is facing a behavioral health crisis,” said Philip Goropoulos, president of CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health. “A shortage of mental and behavioral health providers combined with increasing pressures and stresses in the community are creating a toxic mix that presents significant challenges to children, families, schools and communities looking for this type of critically important care. As a nonprofit focused on all aspects of children’s health, this is an opportunity for us to make a difference.”

A part of Catholic Health Initiatives, CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health was formed in 2000 as the nationwide Catholic healthcare system transitioned its local purpose from the provision of acute care (through the former St. Joseph hospital) to development and implementation of communitybased programs and services designed to improve the health of the Lancaster community. Since 2004, the nonprofit has focused its programming and resources on efforts to improve the health and well-being of children.

The new Behavioral Health Center will be located at 1929 Lincoln Highway East in East Lampeter Township. Behavioral Health services will be available to children up to age 26 regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. Many insurance plans will be accepted, including Medicaid and CHIP. In addition, a discount program based upon household income will be available to uninsured families. School-based services will initially be offered at Lampeter-Strasburg, Penn Manor and Pequea Valley School districts with plans to expand to all districts as needed and as the program builds capacity.

The Patchwork Quilt Project will be funded in part by an $855,000 grant awarded to CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health from the local nonprofit’s national organization, Catholic Health Initiatives. The grant will be distributed to the nonprofit over the next three years.

“We’re embracing the legacy of CHI’s Founding Sisters – The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia – by seeing a great need and challenging ourselves to do more and to grow as needed to meet the health and wellness challenges of children and families in the Lancaster Community,” said Goropoulos.

Families in need of service at the new Behavioral Health Center should call 717.397.7625 for more information or visit www.stjosephchildrenshealth.org.

About CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health

A part of Catholic Health Initiatives, CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health is a community-based organization dedicated to the health and well-being of children in Lancaster County. The organization works in collaboration with community partners to assure access to appropriate, quality health services and benefits for every child in the Lancaster community. This mission in children’s health began with the development of Brush.Brush.Smile!®, a mobile dental clinic program, and it now includes multiple efforts, programs and services committed to improving the health of children and expanding healthcare access for children and families throughout the Lancaster community. To learn more about CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health, visit www.stjosephchildrenshealth.org.