House Study Committee

Children’s Mental Health House Study Committee

The Georgia House Study Committee on Children’s Mental Health held their second meeting on October 20, 2015.  They heard presentations from Amerigroup Georgia, Georgia Department of Community Health, Peach State Health Plan, and Well Care Health Plans, Inc.  Study Committee members include Rep. Katie Dempsey, chair, Rep. Joyce Chandler, Rep. Pat Gardner, Rep. Rick Jasperse, Rep. Randy Nix.

 

Earlie Rockette, Regional Vice President, Special Programs
Amerigroup Georgia

 

Marcey Alter, Assistant Chief, Medicaid
Georgia Department of Community Health

 

Jeff Luce, LPC, Clinical Director
Peach State Health Plan

 

Dauda Griffin, MD, Behavioral Health Medical Director
Remedios Roderiguez, Senior Director, Behavioral Health Operations
Well Care Health Plans, Inc.

 

The House Study Committee on Children’s Mental Health was created by the following resolution:

1 Creating the House Study Committee on Children’s Mental Health; and for other purposes.
2 WHEREAS, the Georgia General Assembly is concerned with the early intervention and
3 prevention of mental health problems in children and adolescents in Georgia and the
4 resulting impact this has on these children, their families, and the citizens of this state; and
5 WHEREAS, mental health problems in children can impact their ability to learn and function
6 successfully in educational settings, their future job performance and productivity as adults,
7 and their families and others; and
8 WHEREAS, the resources for children and adolescents with mental health problems face a
9 number of challenges concerning funding and other issues which strain their ability to deliver
10 optimal care for these children and adolescents; and
11 WHEREAS, available funding is divided among multiple state agencies and other entities
12 which must compete with each other for such funding; and
13 WHEREAS, the support of early intervention and prevention programs of the Department
14 of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities to identify and treat children with
15 mental health issues before such problems are deeply manifested should be encouraged; and
16 WHEREAS, it would be beneficial to study the issue of available resources for children with
17 mental health issues in this state and identify possible solutions or improvements in the
18 delivery of services, particularly concerning early intervention and prevention services.

 

Capitol 2 edit thumbnailMore information on the House Study Committee on Children’s Mental Health, including additional presentations and agendas of upcoming meetings, can be found on their website.

House Study Committee on Health, Education, and School-Based Health Centers

During the 2015 General Assembly session, the Georgia House approved HR 640 creating the House Study Committee on Health, Education, and School-Based Health Centers.  This study committee is exploring ways to expand Georgia’s school-based health centers to meet the needs of under served children and youth in our schools. The study committee met on September 15, 2015 at the State Capitol and heard the following presentations.

 

Presentation by Dr. Veda Johnson, Director of Partners for Equity in Child & Adolescent Health, Emory Univ School of Medicine

 

 

Presentation by Shea Ross, Director of Development and Government Affairs, with Global Partnership for Telehealth

 

 

Presentation by E Fener Sitoff with Voices for Georgia Children

 

 

The House Study Committee on Health, Education, and School-Based Health Centers was created by HR 640.  It reads:

HR 640

WHEREAS, there is a profound connection between a student’s health status and educational

achievement; and

 

WHEREAS, improving and maintaining health so that students are present, engaged, and

hopeful is critical to their academic success; and

 

WHEREAS, school-based health centers are an evidence-based model of health care that

address the complex health care needs of underserved children and adolescents; and

 

WHEREAS, school-based health centers support improved education outcomes; and

 

WHEREAS, school-based health centers improve academic achievement by improving the

physical and mental status of students, thereby raising attendance rates, increasing seat time,

reducing dropout rates, and improving classroom attention and behavior, all of which

improve school climate; and

 

WHEREAS, school-based health centers promote positive youth development by helping to

reduce risky behaviors, such as alcohol and drug abuse; and

 

WHEREAS, school-based health centers are organized through collaboration among schools,

communities, and health providers; and

 

WHEREAS, school-based health centers utilize an interdisciplinary team approach to

providing access to coordinated primary health care within the context of family and

community; and

 

WHEREAS, school-based health centers operate exclusively for the purpose of providing

health services, such as primary care, preventive health care, management and monitoring

of chronic health conditions, behavioral health care, oral health care, and health promotion

services; and

 

WHEREAS, school-based health centers can be the first, and at times the only, access point

for continuous and comprehensive care for children with a variety of complex medical,

behavioral, and social needs; and

 

WHEREAS, school-based health centers can reduce emergency room use and

hospitalizations and provide access to and increase use of primary care, especially among

children with chronic diseases, such as asthma; and

 

WHEREAS, school-based health centers have been proven to reduce costs to the Medicaid

program through reductions in pharmacy costs, emergency department visits,

hospitalizations, and use of non-emergency transportation; and

 

WHEREAS, Georgia ranks 42nd among the states in its development of school-based health

centers.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

There is created the House Study Committee  on Health, Education, and School-Based Health Centers.

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