BayCare Behavioral Health Awarded $200,000 Grant to Develop Veteran, Family and Community Network|
CLEARWATER, FL - Nov. 17, 2010 - BayCare Behavioral Health today announced that it has been awarded a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in the amount of $200,000 to develop the Veteran, Family and Community Network (VFCN). The VFCN will provide enhanced and expanded behavioral health care intervention and outreach services for veterans and families in Pasco County.
The program is designed to support the families of active and inactive military personnel with a primary focus on warriors from Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom. The VFCN is targeted for at risk veterans and their families in need of intervention, brief intervention, counseling, peer navigation and outreach services.
As part of the VFCN, BayCare Behavioral Health has created a resource center, which will be housed at 6819 Massachusetts Avenue in New Port Richey. The resource center will have a clinician who will be providing counseling as well as on-site support groups. In addition, a peer navigator will be available to explain the resources available to veterans through the military, Veteran's Administration and other community sources. The navigator will also:
- Introduce VFCN participants to the local community of other families to help them develop a social support network
- Refer families to food banks or respite day care centers for the newly single-parent household
- Help families apply for financial assistance, employment, housing or other needs
"As an organization, BayCare Behavioral Health has been working to meet the behavioral health needs of the Tampa Bay Area for more than 30 years," said Doug Leonardo, Executive Director, BayCare Behavioral Health. "We are dedicated to improving the overall quality of life for area veterans and the VFCN grant will enable us to provide additional behavioral health counseling, vocational services and housing assistance for these important members of the community. We would like to thank Congressman Gus Bilirakis for his generous support of this initiative."
Incidental funds available through VFCN will be utilized to aid families with financial emergencies that are barriers to treatment.
BayCare Behavioral Health Veteran Services
In addition to the VFCN program designed specifically to help veterans, BayCare Behavioral Health also operates the Veterans Initiative, which provides clinical, recovery and support services to veterans and their families. This initiative includes 20 no-fee patient slots at BayCare Behavioral Health facilities in Pasco County, and the program has been continuously full since its initiation in 2008.
Also, as part of the Veterans Initiative, BayCare Behavioral Health's Veteran Family and Support Network offers emotional support and assistance to past and present service personnel and their families who are dealing with the effects of deployment and issues involving re-integration. The network hosts free weekly support groups to provide emotional support and assistance to all veterans and their families.
In September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration awarded BayCare Behavioral Health with a $1.75 million grant to launch the Veteran and Inebriate Program (VIP). This new program, which provides services for homeless Pinellas County veterans and chronic inebriates with behavioral health disorders, will expand and strengthen treatment resources for 420 individuals.
About BayCare Health System
BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. Composed of a network of 10 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and services such as imaging, lab, behavioral health and home health care, BayCare provides expert medical care throughout a patient's lifetime. With more than 219 access points conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay, BayCare connects patients to a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for any health care need.
BayCare's family of hospitals are: Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony's, St. Joseph's, St. Joseph's Children's, St. Joseph's Hospital-North, St. Joseph's Women's, and South Florida Baptist. For more information, visit BayCare on the Web at www.BayCare.org.
Contact: Stephanie Sampiere, Communications Manager