Katy Trail Community Health has received a federal grant to further its behavioral health services in the area.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, announced last week that Missouri will receive more than $14.7 million in grant funding through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help communities address the opioid epidemic. 

According to a news release, the grant funding includes $4.5 million in Integrated Behavioral Health Services Grants that will be provided to 27 health centers to expand access to mental health and substance use disorder services. Katy Trail received $163,600.

Katy Trail CEO Chris Stewart said the funding will be used primarily in two areas: expanding behavioral health services in local school districts and expanding the center’s chronic pain program.

According to Stewart, Katy Trail has offered behavioral health services in the Versailles, Stover and Marshall school districts for about a year. Starting later this year, Cole Camp will be added to the list and Katy Trail has been talking with Green Ridge about providing services.

The grant funding would allow Katy Trail to hire an additional licensed clinical social worker to help with those services.

“The therapy services are designed to meet both educational objectives and family objectives,” Stewart explained. “We want to make sure   are able to stay in school and are able to manage their behavior so that they can continue their education and the best place for us to deliver those therapeutic services, we still over them at our sites, but if we can go to the children and provide it that makes it much easier for families.”

Stewart said Katy Trail is in Versailles three days a week and in Stover two days a week, which she said seems to work based on the size of the schools. However, she said that could change if the need increases, based on Katy Trail’s ability to fund additional positions.

She said so far the best data regarding the services is from Stover.

“They’ve provided subjective feedback that it is clear their students, at least the students they thought were experiencing difficulties, are experiencing less difficulties, fewer students sent to the office for classroom disruption, expelled for whatever reason,” she said.

The funding will also be used to hire another social worker who will serve as the behavioral health specialist for Katy Trail’s chronic pain program. Stewart said this will be a new endeavor, creating partnerships with local providers for services Katy Trail doesn’t offer. She said it was prompted by Medicaid’s announcement that it will begin reimbursing health care providers for physical therapy, chiropractic care and acupuncture that is used for chronic pain.

“We wanted to make sure we were able to provide some treatment for chronic pain that was essentially evidence-based. Medicaid providing this reimbursement from these three different disciplines helps us to do that effectively,” she explained. “... We know that chronic pain, for some folks prescriptions of opioids does not result in a decrease of pain so we needed to figure out and do some research about how we can help these patients manage their pain. We know those three are methods, as well as injections like steroids, that can help people manage chronic pain. We wanted to expand that.”

Stewart noted Katy Trail applied for $141,000 in funding, so the center will be working to decide how to utilize the additional $22,000.

Editor

Nicole Cooke is the editor for the Sedalia Democrat, overseeing all newsroom operations and assisting with news coverage of Sedalia and Pettis County. She can be reached at 660-530-0138 or on Twitter @NicoleRCooke.

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