Delta Center Awards More than $2.4M in Grants

July 10th, 2018 | News


The Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net recently announced that it has awarded 10 grants totaling $2.4 million to primary care and behavioral health state associations nationwide, as part of its first cohort of the Delta Center State Learning & Action Collaborative. The Collaborative will bring grantees representing community health centers and behavioral health organizations together to learn from experts and peers with the goal of advancing value-based payment and care in the safety net. 

Health centers and community behavioral health organizations are a cornerstone of the U.S. health care system, serving more than 27 million and 10 million Medicaid and uninsured patients, respectively, each year. The Delta Center, a newly formed initiative supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is a national training and technical assistance center that aims to inspire innovation and change in value-based payment and care at national, state, and provider levels. The Delta Center is led by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI) in collaboration with the Center for Care Innovations, and the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute. The National Council for Behavioral Health, the National Association of Community Health Centers, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) are strategic partners for the initiative. 

“Safety net providers—in both primary care and behavioral health—are acutely aware of what their communities want and need to be healthy,” said Andrea Ducas, senior program officer at RWJF. “We want to position them as leaders in transforming the health care system so that it can best meet the needs of patients and their families.” 

For many participating states, this initiative has sparked collaboration between primary care and behavioral health state associations. Joan Miller, senior policy analyst at the Washington Council for Behavioral Health, noted, “Historically, we [primary care and behavioral health state associations] have not worked together. Applying to be a part of this learning collaborative created a new relationship with our counterpart. We’re already working on a sustainability plan to make sure our collaboration continues after the two-year grant.”  

Delta Center activities will focus on building state association capacity in state-level policy and advocacy, fostering novel collaboration between primary care and behavioral health at the state level, and augmenting associations’ ability to support their members with technical assistance and training in the skills to succeed in value-based payment and care.  

The cohort will convene virtually and in-person over the next two years to discuss successes and challenges as they pursue value-based payment and care in their states. Rachel Tobey, director of JSI’s California office and co-director of the Delta Center, commented, “Patient-centered care that results in improved outcomes is facilitated by a supportive policy environment and ongoing training for providers. By building capacity of state associations that provide ongoing training and influence how providers are paid, the Delta Center hopes to build a stronger safety net that results in better care and health for patients, happier staff working in primary care and behavioral health, and improved total costs and reduced health disparities across the whole population.”

The Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net is proud to work with the following organizations:

  • Community Mental Health Association of Michigan
  • Texas Council for Community Centers
  • Washington Council for Behavioral Health
  • New York State Council for Community Behavioral Health
  • Association of Oregon Community Mental Health Programs
  • North Carolina Community Health Center Association
  • Colorado Community Health Network
  • New Mexico Primary Care Association
  • Maine Primary Care Association
  • Missouri Primary Care Association
  • Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers (participating with funding from the Safety Net Advancement Center, another RWJF initiative)

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