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Humana Announces $500K Investment in the Virginia Health Care Foundation to Boost Behavioral Health Workforce Development and Support

2023-12-06 09:00 ET - News Release

Expanded programs will increase access to behavioral health services and resources for all Virginians


Company Website: https://www.humana.com/
RICHMOND, Va. -- (Business Wire)

Leading health and well-being company Humana today announced a meaningful investment of $500,000 in the Virginia Health Care Foundation (VHCF). This funding will bolster crucial behavioral health workforce development programs and resources, which will in turn support access to mental health services for underserved communities throughout Virginia.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20231206369536/en/

L-R Linda Hines, Medicaid Market President, Virginia – Humana and Deborah Oswalt, Executive Director, Virginia Health Care Foundation (VHCF) commemorate Humana’s investment dedicated to supporting Virginia’s behavioral health workforce. (Photo: Business Wire)

L-R Linda Hines, Medicaid Market President, Virginia – Humana and Deborah Oswalt, Executive Director, Virginia Health Care Foundation (VHCF) commemorate Humana’s investment dedicated to supporting Virginia’s behavioral health workforce. (Photo: Business Wire)

Virginia, like so many areas of our country, is experiencing a mental health crisis due to surging demand for services and a dearth of licensed professionals. The number of Virginia adults reporting symptoms of depression and/or anxiety has skyrocketed from 10% before the COVID-19 pandemic to 33% today. Most Virginia localities are federally designated mental health professional shortage areas (MHPSAs) - 83% of Virginians reside in them, and hospitals throughout the state report accessibility of behavioral health services as one of their top unmet needs.

“Humana is committed to reducing the barriers underserved communities throughout Virginia face when seeking behavioral healthcare, and access is critical to that mission,” said Linda Hines, Medicaid Market President, Virginia - Humana. “By investing in VHCF, we can support providers and be part of a solution that brings empathetic, equitable care to those who need it most.”

VHCFwill address the shortage of licensed behavioral health professionals by expanding two VHCF programs, Boost 200 and the Psych Nurse Practitioner Scholarship Program, that have proven success in producing more Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners (Psych NPs), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs). The program will focus on including more people of color, which is especially critical to reducing the reluctance and stigma around seeking mental health treatment within the Black community. The program will also provide additional support dedicated to the mental health and wellbeing of the clinicians and teams working in Virginia’s health care safety net.

“As a public/private partnership, VHCF is creating programs dedicated to cultivating and nurturing a strong, stable provider workforce so that all Virginians have access to behavioral healthcare,” said Deborah Oswalt, Executive Director, VHCF. “We are grateful to Humana and our other partners for investing in our work and making positive change throughout the Commonwealth.”

VHCF has been focused on increasing access to basic behavioral health (BH) services for the population it serves since 2010. With the crisis precipitated by the pandemic, VHCF has made BH a priority. The area of greatest focus and most urgency is tackling the tremendous shortage of BH professionals. VHCF is implementing several programs to increase the number of therapists and authorized prescribers who are people of color.

About Humana

Humana Inc. is committed to putting health first – for our teammates, our customers, and our company. Through our Humana insurance services, and our CenterWell health care services, we make it easier for the millions of people we serve to achieve their best health – delivering the care and service they need, when they need it. These efforts are leading to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, Medicaid, families, individuals, military service personnel, and communities at large. Learn more about what we offer at Learn more about what we offer at Humana.com and CenterWell.com.

Contacts:

Angie Weiss
Humana Corporate Communications
(404) 747-7712
e-mail: aweiss3@humana.com

Source: Humana Inc.

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