Our Grantees

Grant Healthcare Foundation exists to support organizations dedicated to improving the health and well-being of individuals and families in Chicago. We support healthcare services that have long-term positive effects on the health of the community. Our featured grantees and their programs are highlighted below.

Illinois Collaboration
on Youth

Medicaid Technical Assistance Center 2019 Grantee

Since the advent of Medicaid expansion in the state of Illinois, there has been a movement to encourage social service agencies who provide health services to vulnerable individuals and families, particularly behavioral health treatment, to position themselves to bill Medicaid. For many organizations this is easier said than done as there is a fair amount of infrastructure that needs to be developed in order to tap into a new source of revenue that is often times complex and fraught with bureaucratic hurdles. Yet, as state grant funding decreases and the state of Illinois' finances continue to be in peril, leveraging federal dollars through Medicaid can bring more money to Illinois and potentially decrease annual budget uncertainty both to the state and social service agencies who decide to participate.

To assist with this revenue transition, the Illinois Collaboration on Youth (ICOY) set out to develop a Medicaid Technical Assistance Center which will exist to help social service providers build the administrative and technical infrastructure to bill Medicaid managed care and prepare for the future of value-based payment. What does this mean? As written in the most recent report published by ICOY, Bridging the Gap to Medicaid Managed Behavioral Health Care in Illinois, at a minimum, providers must be able to contract with Managed Care Organizations (MCO's), deliver Medicaid-billable services, gather client and service information in electronic health record systems, submit bills through a Medicaid-compatible billing system, and-importantly-get paid for their work. Representing more than 90 providers who deliver community-based services to young people and their families, ICOY has the relationship, trust and connection to many of the organizations that could benefit from the MTAC. Additionally, ICOY has a history of providing training and technical assistance aimed at improving the quality of service delivery.

After developing and issuing their report, ICOY has been on the road providing trainings across the state to providers in their membership and beyond, on how to bill Medicaid managed care. As well, ICOY continues to provide technical assistance for current Medicaid providers within the child welfare space who are having difficulties with medical claims, denials and overall communication with the Medicaid managed care organizations. A longer-term goal of ICOY is to advocate for the establishment of a Medicaid Technical Assistance Center sustained and housed within the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.


School-Based Behavioral Health Treatment Services and Social Emotional Learning

Alternatives, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Children's Research Triangle, Communities in Schools of Chicago, Gads Hill Center, Luster Learning Institute, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago Center for Childhood Resilience, and UCAN

The above organizations represent a cohort of selected grantees who were funded between the years of 2018-2021 and are actively providing direct mental health services and/or social emotional learning for children and youth within the Chicago Public School system.  

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study has shed light on the direct correlations that exist between exposure to violence in childhood and subsequent development of adult mental health disorders, substance abuse, dysfunctional coping strategies and high-risk behavior, and other adverse effects to health (Felitti, V.J. et al, Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 1998).

Children with complex trauma histories may be easily triggered or "set off" and are more likely to react very intensely. The child may struggle with self-regulation (i.e., knowing how to calm down) and may lack impulse control or the ability to think through consequences before acting. As a result, complexly traumatized children may behave in ways that appear unpredictable, oppositional, volatile and extreme. As they grow, they may engage in high-risk behaviors, including alcohol and substance use, assaulting others, stealing, running away, or prostitution, thereby making it more likely that they will enter the juvenile justice system. Moreover, aggravated levels of trauma may impair a child's capacity for partnering and parenting later in life, continuing the cycle of violence into the next generation (Finklehor et. Al., Children's Exposure to Violence, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2009).

In Illinois, only 38.4% (31,000) of adolescents (12-17) needing treatment for depression actually received it. 13% of Chicago youth attempted suicide at least once within the past year. Equally troubling, the National Center for Children in Poverty reports that Latino children and youth are less likely to receive services for their mental health problems than other ethnic groups - an astounding 88% have unmet mental health needs. Gaps in access to services also exist for African American youth. In fact, only 13% of children from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds receive mental health services, compared to 31% of white children (Children's Mental Health: Facts for Policymakers, 2006).

We do know that of those children/youth who did seek help for mental health needs, a majority of them (70-80%) sought services through a school-based mental health provider. At Grant Healthcare Foundation, we have always recognized the importance of meeting individuals and families where they are and making access to needed services easy and turn-key. Community mental health providers such as those within the GHF grantee cohort, provide consistent and comprehensive services to children and youth within the school building and make accommodations outside of normal school hours should the need arise. The organizations are grounded in the communities they serve and GHF is proud to support their important work.

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