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New Facility Will Allow Children's Home to Expand Services

Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky (CHNK) and Deaconess Associations Foundation today announced a new, centralized Deaconess Health Check location in Covington that will lead to better health outcomes for Northern Kentucky children.

Fueled by a $318,000 grant from Deaconess and operated by CHNK, the 5,266 square foot facility, located on the second floor of the Fifth Street Center at 525 West Fifth Street, increases the capacity of CHNK’s existing Champions school-based behavioral health services. These services will now expand beyond the five Northern Kentucky school districts presently benefiting from Champions and allow for a dual school and community-based approach. During the 2013-2014 academic year, 116 students participated in services; for the 2015-2016 academic year, as many as 700 youth and family members will receive services.

Funding from Deaconess will support the expansion of CHNK’s Champions services into the new Fifth Street location, including technology and infrastructure needs, and operations for the first year. Previously, Champions services were offered only in a school or home setting, limiting access to CHNK’s team of licensed therapists and other behavioral health professionals.

The central location means more youth will have easier access to services and a more comprehensive continuum of care. This is crucial given that an increasing number of youth referred for behavioral services have one or more substance use issues. Clinical assessments completed at the onset of services during the 2012-2013 academic year found 86 percent of youth had some type of exposure to substance use, either directly or via a family member; last year, the number jumped to 93 percent.

“Partnering with Deaconess will address a critical community need to help youth who require addiction treatment and other behavioral healthcare services,” explains Rick Wurth, Chief Executive Officer at CHNK. “Now, two long-standing institutions will combine our strengths to respond more quickly to families in need. Establishing a Deaconess Health Check in Northern Kentucky will have a tremendous impact on our ability to reach at-risk youth.”

Launched in 2012, Deaconess Health Check is a patient-centered initiative designed to improve access to healthcare for at-risk patients. Five locations in Cincinnati are planned or already serving public school students and their families, children, and people who are homeless. The partnership with CHNK marks the first location in Kentucky.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that at a national level, only 10 percent of young adults (between 12 and 17 years old) in need of substance use treatment actually received treatment in 2014. Within the state of Kentucky, only 38 percent of those young adults receiving treatment for drug use were able to successfully remain clean for 12 months post-treatment, according to the Adolescent Kentucky Treatment Outcome Study (AKTOS). Deaconess and CHNK believe their strategic collaboration will contribute to increases in those percentages.

“Deaconess is committed to making healthcare more accessible to people whose options are limited,” said Tony Woods, Deaconess Associations, Inc. Chairman. “Our partnership with Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky will help many more at-risk youth receive better, more comprehensive behavioral health treatment services through the new Deaconess Health Check center.”

“Our Champions services are so effective, in part, because we provide services in a setting that is most convenient for participating youth and their families,” said Lisa Wilson, LCSW, CHNK’s Director of Community-Based Services. “But many schools simply do not have the space to accommodate individual therapy sessions, much less group or family sessions. And some families aren’t comfortable holding sessions in their home. So having this space, centrally located to multiple school districts and easily accessible via public transportation, helps us reach more kids and families in crisis.”

The new facility addresses each element of healthcare’s “Triple Aim”: improving the individual’s care experience, improving the health of the population, and reducing the cost of healthcare. CHNK provides a continuum of behavioral health care ranging from prevention to residential treatment, if needed. 

Staff report/Image: CHNK logo (provided)

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