Access made possible thanks to $400,000 generous grant from Larry & Helen Hoag Foundation
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Feb. 17, 2023 – MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach is expanding services for the mental health care of patients thanks to a $400,000 grant from The Larry & Helen Hoag Foundation. With these funds, Miller Children’s & Women’s has increased its capacity to provide critically needed mental health screening, assessment and targeted mental health intervention by licensed psychologists.
Yair Katz, chief executive, MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, says, “We are very grateful for this gift which will provide our patients with more immediate access to specialized behavioral health services in our neurology, pulmonology and endocrinology outpatient clinics.”
“Children and teens with serious acute and chronic health conditions are at an increased risk for mental health issues, which can negatively impact underlying health issues by affecting treatment and self-care habits,” says Graham Tse, chief medical officer, MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital. “The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the mental health challenges experienced by this vulnerable population, and the need for proper mental health is growing.”
Patients who visit the outpatient centers for neurological, pulmonary, and endocrine related needs typically visit their physician regularly to receive follow-up treatment or to monitor their chronic health condition which can be a lot for a growing child or adolescent. The health issues faced by patients of these clinics are very impactful and many have an increased risk of developing mental health needs.
This project is a collaboration between Miller Children’s & Women’s and The Guidance Center (TGC), a community-based organization that provides comprehensive mental health treatment to the community’s most disadvantaged children and their families.
“This partnership with The Guidance Center will ensure that our patients receive the mental health care they need,” says Christina Bell, executive director, outpatient specialty, MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach. “This project will introduce a full-time licensed psychologist and full-time post-doctorate psychologist, which will help us provide integrated mental health services to our outpatient population.”
Patients who visit Miller Children’s & Women’s psychologist and need additional care will be transitioned to The Guidance Center for continued treatment to avoid delays or gaps in care.
“The Long Beach area suffers from a shortage of psychosocial specialists, so we’re thankful that the Larry & Helen Hoag Foundation are helping us to provide these services,” says Bell. “This program will fill the current gap that exists in the outpatient environment, which is a significant improvement over the brief, intermittent, fragmented and insufficient care received by most children in this area.”
“Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital’s role as the primary resource for the health of the region’s children and teens has only increased,” shared Rob Gunsalus, president, MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach Foundation. “Support from generous organizations like the Larry & Helen Hoag Foundation and others is more essential than ever to our ability to not only meet growing needs, but to do so with extraordinary care.”