Leona, 58, never expected to be raising her granddaughter, whose parents are incarcerated in Lancaster County Prison. Her 10-year-old granddaughter wrestles with emotions of being separated from her parents. “I’m encased in a life without my parents,” she recently told LNP which highlighted their story. Thanks to The Family Services Advocate Program—facilitated by Compass Mark and partially funded by a grant from LOHF that supplements county funding—this family is receiving the support it needs, including visits between the jailed mother and her child.

The Family Services Advocate Program helps Lancaster County children of incarcerated parents heal and connects them to resources to meet their basic needs. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, children 5 years old and younger are most affected by trauma (including sudden loss of a parent or caregiver), and are more likely to end up in prison themselves without appropriate support. National studies prove that programs like this also reduce recidivism of parents.

Our Mission

When a parent is behind bars, the whole family is affected. That’s why LOHF is proud to support this program and others helping local children with behavioral health needs. LOHF is positioned as a safety net, providing collaboration and resources for programs supporting parents, physicians and behavioral healthcare providers, nurses, and schools as they work together for the mental wellbeing of Lancaster County children and teens.

“At LOHF, our mission is to strengthen behavioral health services for children and families so that all children and teens have access to healthcare—for mental health, substance use disorder, or behavioral health needs—as soon as possible,” Executive Director Anna Kennedy said. “The grants we provide help children and teens, their families, providers, and teachers. We invite all community benefit organizations to join us in learning about how we can improve children’s behavioral health for all families in Lancaster.”

Our Grants

Our Children’s Behavioral Health Grants Program seeks to strategically fund programs of tax-exempt community benefit organizations serving Lancaster County. Funded activities should focus on any or all of the following: care coordination, parent/caregiver education, and access (improve capacity of providers to treat children). Thanks to LOHF’s endowment and generous donors, $100,000 is available annually. Grants are awarded in the Spring and Fall each year.

We will host an info session with an opportunity to hear from current and past grantees, Executive Director Anna Kennedy, and to ask questions. The info session will be held this Wednesday, June 14, 2017, 9:00-11:00 a.m. at Rodgers & Associates, 2025 Lititz Pike, Lancaster. RSVP is requested but not required.

You may also learn more here about LOHF Children’s Behavioral Health Grants and how you can support the mission of improving behavioral health for children in Lancaster County.

Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation (LOHF) awards $32,500 in grants to improve access to behavioral healthcare and mental wellbeing for Lancaster County children and teens. Another $67,500 in grants will be awarded this fall.

Contact: Anna Brendle Kennedy, Executive Director
Phone: (717) 397-8722
E-mail: akennedy@lohfoundation.org
Address: 128 E. Grant St., Ste. 104, Lancaster, PA 17602
Website: www.lohf.org

Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation (LOHF) today announced that three nonprofits in Lancaster County were awarded grants totaling $32,500 to improve access to behavioral healthcare for children and teens in Lancaster County. The funds were awarded to Samaritan Counseling Center, Lancaster Public Library, and SouthEast Lancaster Health Services.

LOHF will host an informational event for those interested in applying for the additional $67,500 in funding offered this fall. This Grants Info Session will be held Weds., June 14, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m., at Rogers & Associates, 2025 Lititz Pike, Lancaster. RSVP is requested online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lohf-grants-info-session-tickets-34890981866?aff=es2, or by phone, (717) 397-8722.

In a study of Lancaster County healthcare needs, LOHF confirmed that child and adolescent behavioral health services exist, but care systems are fragmented. This leaves families overwhelmed and confused, and providers without tools to adequately refer families for therapy, counseling, and treatment.

With this information as a foundation, LOHF has built a grant-funding approach that invests in practical solutions to make children’s behavioral health information and services more accessible. The Community Grant program targets support toward evidence-based programs advancing mental wellness of Lancaster County children and teens.

LOHF is positioned as a safety net, providing collaboration and resources for programs supporting parents, physicians and behavioral healthcare providers, nurses, and schools as they work together for the mental wellbeing of Lancaster County children and teens. Recognizing the current challenges of healthcare access—especially behavioral healthcare for children and teens—LOHF hopes to increase fundraising so that no child falls through the cracks. LOHF Community Grants represent 26 percent of LOHF’s annual program budget, with $100,000 total funds available annually thanks to LOHF’s endowment and generous donors.

Tax exempt community benefit organizations serving Lancaster County are eligible to apply for LOHF grants, which are issued twice annually. Funded activities should focus on the following: care coordination, parent/caregiver education, and/or access (improve capacity of providers to treat children).

“At LOHF, our mission is to strengthen behavioral health services for children and families so that all children and teens have access to healthcare—for mental health, substance use disorder, or behavioral health needs—as soon as possible,” Executive Director Anna Kennedy said. “The grants we provide help children and teens, their families, providers, and teachers. We invite all community benefit organizations to join us in learning about how we can improve children’s behavioral health for all families in Lancaster.”

Therefore, LOHF was pleased to award grants this month to support the following programs:

Samaritan Counseling Center – Teen Hope Program Research & Development
• Awarded: $15,000
• Will serve 6,400 family members, 1,600 children, and 200 community members
• Funds will provide research and development to advance the Teen Hope program
Teen Hope is a mental health awareness program for middle and high school students. The vanguard of the program is a screening to identify students at risk for anxiety, depression and suicide. The primary goal is to reduce suffering and disruption in the lives of teens. Teen Hope addresses the need to reach students who are suffering alone—unrecognized. Our intervention connects them with their parents and, whenever possible, with treatment.

Lancaster Public Library – Family Place’s Parent-Child Workshops
• Awarded: $7,500
• Will serve 1,550 family members, 750 children, and 10 community members
• Funds will be used to provide speakers, trainers, take-home items for families, and proper promotion of sessions.
Family Place Parent/Child Workshop is a 5 week program for babies, toddlers, and their parents and caregivers; features local professionals who serve as resources for parents; emphasizes the role of parents as the first teachers of their children; facilitates early intervention; and teaches strategies for healthy child development and early literacy. This creates the network families need to nurture their children’s development during the critical first years of life and helps ensure all children enter school ready and able to learn.

Southeast Lancaster Health Services – Reach Out and Read
• Awarded: $10,000
• Will serve 8,312 children
• Funds will be used to increase family competency
At routine health checkups from infancy through 5 years of age, Reach Out and Read providers:
• Talk with parents about how important it is to read aloud and engage with their young children
• Demonstrate how best to look at books and talk about the stories with their children
• Encourage them to cuddle up and read together at home and build routines around books
At the end of the program, every child has a home-library of books, given with advice to parents that they are their child’s first and most important teacher. SELHS tailors outreach to suit families’ specific needs. In Lancaster, this includes provision of additional languages to support our growing refugee population. This intervention is simple but powerful.

For additional information regarding grant opportunities through the Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation, please visit www.lohf.org/grants.

In September, we celebrated nursing in Lancaster County by honoring 17 new nurse scholarship recipients and 11 continuing nurse scholars. Since 2003, LOHF has invested more than $750,000 to educate 336 nurses who care for us and our loved ones in Lancaster County. We are especially grateful to the 35 donors who contributed almost $3,000 to nursing scholarships during the November ExtraOrdinary Give. Your generosity allows us to add two nurse scholarships in 2017. Meet our nursing scholars at lohf.org/category/nursing. 

Last month, Community Services Group and College Avenue Family Medicine became the first pilot sites for NavWell, joining LOHF in a revolutionary approach to improving children’s access to behavioral healthcare. We look forward to piloting NavWell with these practices and welcoming others to do the same in 2017. NavWell: Pathways to Wellbeing is a Web-based system to increase the capacity of primary care providers to screen, refer, and manage behavioral healthcare for children and their families. In 2016, LOHF commissioned Advanced Metrics and coLAB to design NavWell. And we are grateful to our 14 Advisory Council members for their guidance and leadership in its development.

To learn more about pilot site opportunities, contact us at info@lohfoundation.org or (717) 397-8722.

Our successes are the result of partnerships with local organizations, the contributions of volunteers, and donors who share our mission to advance resources for healthier outcomes for children. Together, we made a significant impact in 2016, launching us into 2017 with momentum!

In the past year, LOHF awarded 7 program grants totaling $85,800 to Lancaster County organizations to help children and their families. The combined outcomes are impactful. Care coordination improved for 96 children and their families; grants provided new access to behavioral health services for 16 children and 40 family members. Our partners offered strengths-based parent education impacting 164 children, 255 family members and 6 community members.  Primary care and behavioral health care providers are collaborating so that 40 more children and their families received behavioral health screenings.

We also helped 28 nursing students work toward nursing degrees with a combined $61,066 in scholarships. Of these scholarships, 11 were awarded to previous recipients continuing their degree programs. The remaining 17 were granted to new scholars. And thanks to nearly $3,000 in donations received during the ExtraOrdinary Give in November, we’ve added two extra nursing scholarships in 2017. Thank you!

With your partnership, we also invested more than $100,000 in the design and development of NavWell to increase the capacity of primary care providers to screen, refer, and manage behavioral healthcare for children and their families. In just one year, we moved from concept, through development, to launching the first NavWell pilot sites! (See related article.)

We also invested in the future of Lancaster County healthcare by offering a Continuing Medical Education series for over 93 medical students, residents, and physicians, in partnership with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and Heart of Lancaster Regional Medical Center. We will offer a new series in 2017. We also were pleased to continue support of the DO residency program at Heart of Lancaster Regional Medical Center by contributing to a new simulation lab and providing medical software subscriptions to residents.

We’re eager to continue these impactful efforts in 2017. With your continued support, we are advancing resources to ensure that all children and families have the resources they need to achieve mental well-being and lead healthy, productive lives.

Subscribe to our e-news at www.lohf.org/news to follow our progress throughout 2017.

At LOHF, the power of partnership means that with only two staff but many compassionate and dedicated volunteers, we can accomplish great improvements in the lives of children and families here in Lancaster County. As we look back at 2016 and start a new year, we thank all of our volunteers for their service to our community.

Emily Pressley, DO, psychiatrist at LGH/Penn Medicine, has completed a full term of service as our board chair. We will truly miss Emily’s leadership. Thankfully, she will stay involved as a member of the new NavWell Advisory Council. We welcome Shawn Barron as our succeeding board chair. Shawn led our recent rebranding and outreach efforts with his experience in marketing. We also welcome to the board Kristen Loose, MSN, of Willow Valley, who brings her nursing background in clinical systems integration to our team. Sean Post, CPA, of Trout, Ebersole & Groff, also joins the board, bringing his experience in auditing and financial statements. To learn more about our volunteer leadership, visit www.lohf.org/about.

If you have a passion for volunteering and improving behavioral health for children and families in Lancaster County, we welcome your involvement. LOHF is seeking volunteers to join committees and the board of directors. Most board members join a committee first, and we invite all volunteers to join us at community events in partnership with the organizations we support. Thank you for joining us to help advance mental wellness for children and youth in Lancaster County!

Do you have some of the specific skills LOHF is seeking? Visit www.lohf.org/involved to learn more.

The Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation is committed to supporting programs and streamline access to resources that help families, educators and healthcare professionals achieve healthier outcomes. We facilitate children’s access to healthcare by providing grants and scholarships, and offering valuable education and resources.

Interested in learning more about our program? Browse our 2016 Winter Digital Newsletter. Inside this issue:

  • 2016: The Power of Partnership
  • Message from the Director
  • NavWell Pilots Launched
  • Trainings Help Healthcare Professionals
  • Meet our 2016 Nurse Scholars
  • LOHF Welcomes Jeannette Scott

To subscribe to our e-news, please join us at www.lohf.org/news.

Check out this short video celebrating the impact you made in 2016 by supporting LOHF in improving children’s behavioral health and strengthening the capacity of healthcare providers in Lancaster County. We are grateful for your support and excited about our new and continued partnerships in 2017.

Phil Hess, Philhaven

As Executive Director and CEO of Philhaven—a non-profit behavioral healthcare organization offering services for children, adolescents, adults and older adults in south central PA—Phil Hess recognizes the benefits of quality care. The activities which the NavWell initiative contributes towards improving mental wellness of the community is what led Phil to join the effort. Today, he serves as a member on the NavWell Advisory Council.

As both CEO and Executive Director, Phil often sees a need for an initiative such as NavWell during his day-to-day work, saying, “‘How do I access care?’ is one question that I most frequently receive from the community.” Without an answer, Phil realizes the possibilities NavWell has to provide the community with access to proper mental and behavioral health care. With reliable assessment tools in place, NavWell can exchange information between physical, behavioral, and social service providers giving accurate and efficient access to care.

NavWell is completely customized to address the gaps in integrated health care by informing all systems involved in the care or a child or family. Bringing together an accurate assessment and access to care creates a platform which the community will benefit from.

“NavWell will improve access to care, information about services in our community, and improved coordination and communication between providers,” Phil explains . “It should improve understanding and access to mental health services. I may also identify gaps in services and system issues that create barriers to care.”

Primary care providers and specialists also benefit from NavWell with an improved understanding and access to the mental health provider system. NavWell’s scientifically backed assessment tools have been requested by physical health providers to assist in understanding and treating behavioral health problems for a long time now.

NavWell creates a space for the community to work together in creating better access to complete coordinated care.

To learn more about the NavWell initiative, please visit lohf.org/navwell.

Jo Ann Lawer, LGH

Jo Ann Lawer, LGH

On a daily basis, Jo Ann Lawer—Director of Government Affairs and Grants for Lancaster General Health—works to keep important medical issues at the forefront with local legislators. Among the issues Jo Ann fights for, mental health issues in Lancaster County’s child and adolescent populations are critical in bringing attention to. Recognizing this call for action Jo Ann joined the NavWell Advisory Council Board, in order to create change in the community.

The intense commitment to mental healthcare that NavWell represents, alongside its value of collaboration—bringing multiple voices to the discussion surrounding mental health care for children—keeps the initiative both authentic and thoughtful.

“The remarkable aspect of Navwell is its potential to help corral and lead multiple efforts across the Lancaster region,” Jo Ann explains. “This is important. Doing good is not enough. It has to be consolidated with leadership.”

NavWell works to bring varying points of view together to test and resolve differences in the most effective ways. The collaboration through the communication that NavWell facilitates creates advantages for the community that have not been seen before. NavWell has the ability to create an elevated level of awareness of mental health issues in children and attract broader support and engagement with other partners.

Navwell represents a resource for patients, physicians, and families that has long been needed. Beginning as a very open approach, NavWell reaches across various disciplines—listening carefully and vetting new ideas—to create a system which changes the way mental health is currently viewed, diagnosed, and treated.  

“The openness of this process is its strength,” Jo Ann explains. “I am confident that even when we falter, we will take the lessons learned, revamp and move forward—for as long as it takes.”

Ultimately, NavWell promotes change for the well-being and health care of children across Lancaster County and beyond.

For more information, please visit lohf.org/navwell.

 

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