The White Salmon Valley Education Foundation (WSVEF) has been selected by Southwest Washington Accountable Community of Health (SWACH) to receive funding for a Medicaid Transformation Project (MTP) focused on bringing mental health and substance use services directly to students and families in the district for the upcoming 2019-20 school year.

A portion of the $75,000 that the foundation will receive will support a coordinator position that will aid the integration of a new school-based Health and Wellness Center in the district, according to a press release.

The coordinator will develop and manage programs to educate school staff on care pathways and processes, and support other professional development opportunities related to mental health, substance use disorder risks and early intervention, said a press release. The project will be conducted in collaboration with local partners, including NorthShore Medical Group, Comprehensive Healthcare, Skyline Family Medicine, Klickitat County Public Health and the White Salmon Valley School District.

“We’re thrilled to join SWACH and other organizations around the region in implementing new and collaborative approaches to meeting critical healthcare needs within our schools,” said Amanda Lawrence, executive director of the White Salmon Valley Education Foundation. “The team that has come together to make this happen has been incredible to work with, and we are grateful to be able to support these services in the district.”

The WSVEF is one of 29 organizations in Clark, Klickitat and Skamania counties participating in the regional MTP, which is part of the state-wide Healthier Washington Medicaid Transformation. These cross-sector organizations will implement a wide range of innovative projects and partnerships to support whole-person health for Medicaid recipients, said a press release. Projects seek to address regional needs such as healthcare access, housing and homelessness services, behavioral health, food access, substance use disorder treatment, mental health and more.

“SWACH is excited to support the White Salmon Valley Education Foundation’s focus on student health in the White Salmon area,” said Barbe West, executive director with SWACH. “The root causes of health inequities in our region are complex and interconnected, and organizations like WSVEF are essential partners in our work to create lasting changes and a healthier future.”

Washington State’s Healthier Washington Medicaid Transformation is paid for through a 1115 Medicaid Waiver, a five-year agreement between the state and the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

To learn more about the Wellness Center and this project or WSVEF, contact info@wsvef.org.

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