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Northwell Health invests $350 million into pediatric mental health

The health system says it will create a new model of care and build a center of mental health excellence as part of its effort.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

As the number of children and adolescents in need of mental health support continues to increase, New York-based healthcare giant Northwell Health is investing $350 million over the next five years听and launching a $150 million fundraising campaign to expand pediatric behavioral health services across its footprint.

The health system said it will be creating a new model of care and building a center of mental health excellence intended to bridge the gap between physical and mental health services for children.

The plan includes a $350 million investment from Northwell toward capital, programs, services and operating costs, as well as a goal to fundraise $150 million through philanthropy.

The future Child and Adolescent Mental Health Pavilion will be connected to Cohen Children's Medical Center and Zucker Hillside Hospital, Northwell's adult mental health facility, in Queens, New York.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT

In the U.S., is diagnosed with a behavioral, emotional or mental health disorder, but only 20% of those diagnosed receive specialized treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among children ages 10 to 14, and the third-leading cause among those 15 to 24.

Northwell said the roughly 200,000-square-foot building will fully integrate physical and mental healthcare for children and serve as a destination program for patients across the country. The new pavilion will include more than 100 inpatient beds designed for and dedicated to children and adolescents, and will also be home to specialty ambulatory clinics treating a variety of disorders.

Through Cohen Children's Medical Center, Northwell currently operates pediatric behavioral health urgent care centers in Nassau and Suffolk counties. The centers are working directly with Long Island school districts and parents to deliver short-term treatment to young patients while connecting them with long-term assistance when needed.听

Northwell's school-based programs reach 200,000 students in more than 330 Long Island schools and have reduced emergency room visits for mental health issues by 61%, the system said.

THE LARGER TREND

A recent 40th Birthday Party for Cohen Children's raised $4 million for pediatric mental health services, including a $1 million gift from principal event sponsor the Blumenfeld family. This brings the total to $27 million raised toward the $150 million fundraising goal.

The effort is part of Northwell's comprehensive campaign, a $1.4 billion philanthropic initiative. The campaign's objectives include improving hospitals and clinical programs, accelerating research and funding endowment.

Twitter: @JELagasse
Email the writer:听Jeff.Lagasse@himssmedia.com