February 12, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. (Feb 11, 2020) – The Medical Society of Virginia Foundation (MSVF) has been named the program administrator for the Virginia Mental Health Access Program (VMAP) by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS).  The Virginia Mental Health Access Program is a statewide program designed to provide access for children to mental health services including child psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and care coordination.  As program administrator, MSVF will coordinate among 23 other VMAP partners to expand the program statewide through the establishment of five regional hubs.

"We see the integration of behavioral health services into primary care settings as a needed step in the direction of reducing stigma and increasing access to needed mental health services,” said Alison Land, commissioner of the DBHDS. "This partnership with the Medical Society of Virginia Foundation will expand access to early screening and management of behavioral health needs through pediatric and psychiatric partnerships."

Pediatricians, family physicians, and nurse practitioners across Virginia will have access to a phone number, website, and telephone or video consults with their regional VMAP psychiatrist and other team members. Care coordinators at each regional location will identify local, community mental health resources for children who need them.

“The Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is excited about the future collaboration with the Medical Society of Virginia Foundation.  VMAP is providing increased access to mental health services through primary care providers in our state.” Dr. Sandy Chung, President of Virginia Chapter of AAP and VMAP Medical Director, affirms, “With MSVF’s help, we can support all providers who take care of children and adolescents, including pediatricians, family physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.”

According to the 2019 State of Mental Health in America report, Virginia currently ranks 41 out of 51 for mental health workforce availability.  This program will ensure more children have access to providers who are better able to screen, diagnose, manage and treat mental health.

"With this program, we will be better able to serve children and adolescents in their communities with their trusted providers and be able to more quickly identify emerging concerns and linkage to resources and services," said Nina Marino, director of the DBHDS Office of Child & Family Services. "The Medical Society of Virginia's capability to develop and sustain programs and health initiatives will be vital as we work to create a Mental Health Access Program across the Commonwealth."

To learn more about VMAP visit https://www.vmapforkids.org/.

About the Medical Society of Virginia Foundation 

Placing an emphasis on the needs of the uninsured and underserved, the MSV Foundation advances opportunities for physicians to participate in health improvement efforts in Virginia including educational programs for physicians and health care providers across the Commonwealth. For more information, visit www.msvfoundation.org