Rural Health Network Development Grant Funded!

May 2008 - April 2010



HRSA/ORHP/Rural Health Network Development Grant


Integrating Professionals for Appalachian Children (IPAC)


Ohio University (IPAC network member)

Jane Hamel-Lambert, PhD, MBA

Ohio University, 070 Grosvenor Hall

Athens, OH 45701 (740) 593-2289,

Integrating Professionals for Appalachian Children (IPAC) will use the RHND grant to improve access and quality of health and mental health services. Across the next three years, IPAC will (1) implement our strategic plan to improve our ability to identify, to refer and to provide coordinated care, and comprehensive care for young children in our community with special needs through clinical and functional integration across partners, and (2) IPAC will strengthen infrastructure of its network and develop its capacity to become a self-sustaining network capable of developing innovative sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our community. Two SAMSHA model programs, Circles of Care and Starting Early Starting Smart, have guided our proposal for transforming the delivery of services to children between 0 – 6 years of age.

To accomplish the first goal, IPAC will (a) improve early identification by training frontline providers in 11 early childcare programs and 4 primary care practices to routinely screen young children for developmental and socio-emotional risk; (b) establish a Family Care Navigator program to improve care coordination and empower families; (c) develop the infrastructure to co-locate service providers creating a sustainable interprofessional behavior and development assessment clinic, and (d) develop the infrastructure to support co-locating mental health providers in four primary care settings (Both c and d improve coordination and comprehensiveness of services).

IPAC is a newly incorporated entity, with an independent Board of Directors. To strengthen its capacity to function effectively as a rural health network, IPAC will (a)operate within the adopted governance structure, create functional committees to achieve our goals, strengthen community participation, file for 501c3 status, write policies, evaluate the network and write a comprehensive sustainability plan; (b) pursue staff development to to support integration efforts, interprofessional teams, and clinical expertise; and (c) develop a communication strategy for internal and external stakeholders including a web site and a narrative awareness campaign.

The service area for this project includes four Appalachian counties: Athens, Meigs, Hocking and Vinton Counties, where over 7,000 children between 0 and 6 years of age live.All are single county MHPSA; Vinton is whole county HPSA, Meigs and Hocking are Low Income HPSA. Vinton and Meigs County are whole county Medically Underserved Areass (MUA); Athens and Hocking are Partial County MUAs. Additionally, Athens, Vinton and Meigs Counties are designated distressed by the Appalachian Regional Commission.

IPAC is a community-consumer-university partnership. Our membership includes 11 community service partners, including consumers, and five University-affiliated service partners. Community partners comprise nearly 70% of our membership. IPAC is a mix of “doers” and “directors,” informed by “consumers,” transforming the way our community delivers health and mental health services through network integration.