Healthcare Initiative Foundation Grant Supports MobileMed and Aspire Collaborative Program: Integrated Behavioral Health Services for Underserved Montgomery County Residents

Bethesda, MD—Mobile Medical Care, Inc. (MobileMed) and Aspire Counseling are pleased to announce that they were jointly awarded a $100,000 grant by the Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF) that continues support for integrated behavioral health services for MobileMed’s low-income primary care population. HIF funds will enhance quality of patient care by ensuring proactive screening and treatment for behavioral health conditions. HIF, a 501(c)(3) private foundation, is known for its commitment to improving safety net services in Montgomery County, funding programs that are typically underfunded and represent significant service gaps.

The MobileMed/Aspire collaboration started as a pilot program six years ago. Recognizing that mental health and physical health are interrelated, the program’s initial goal was to increase the number of patients screened for anxiety and depression when they visited one of MobileMed’s primary care clinics. As this collaboration has evolved and expanded, the program now has three overall goals: to move closer to the goal of universal behavioral health screening for all MobileMed patients; to ensure that patients whose behavioral health screening indicates that they are at risk are assessed and linked with appropriate follow-up treatment; and to provide effective onsite therapy services by Aspire staff to as many MobileMed patients as possible. HIF’s support is integral to developing a sustainable model that achieves significant outcomes for underserved patients.

For over 45 years, MobileMed’s mission has been to improve the health of low-income people who face the greatest barriers to care access to a community health center. A 501(c)(3), MobileMed provides high quality, comprehensive primary and preventive care, delivered in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner. Each year, MobileMed serves over 4,000 of Montgomery County’s most vulnerable adult residents through 14,000 medical encounters. Aspire Counseling’s vision is to be an active partner in a community in which all people have access to needed, effective, evidence-based mental health and wellness services. Based in Gaithersburg, Aspire, a 501(c)(3), serves more than 1,500 people each year through office-based and community-based programs. Its community programs are designed to meet the mental health needs of low-income, uninsured and underinsured people within Montgomery County.

More information on MobileMed is available at www.mobilemedicalcare.org or by contacting info@mobilemedicalcare.org or 301-841-0825. More information about Aspire Counseling is available at www.we-aspire.org or by contacting main@we-aspire.org or 301- 978-9750.

Healthcare Initiative Foundation Awards Grant for Scholarships to Support Students in Nursing & Social Work Programs at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG)

The Healthcare Initiative Foundation of Montgomery County awarded The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) a $648,900 grant, which will fund 112 scholarships over five years to support students at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Social Work program and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) School of Nursing. A primary goal of the Healthcare Initiative Foundation is to enhance and expand the workforce development in the healthcare field within Montgomery County. The scholarships will provide needed pathways to the degrees and careers that will directly power tomorrow’s healthcare workforce. 

In addition, the grant will support four innovative initiatives to help prepare the scholarship recipients to meet the health and wellness needs of the community and connect them with future employers in their professional fields. The first initiative will help students learn interdisciplinary practices, rules, and responsibilities, and gain experience at the Mercy Health Clinic. The Mercy Health Clinic is a free, not-for-profit, non-sectarian, community based primary healthcare provider serving uninsured, low-income adult residents in Montgomery County. The second initiative will place students in clinic rotations at Montgomery County non-profits in the healthcare field which will enhance the students’ knowledge of community health and develop a greater understanding of the community.

In an effort to respond to the pressing need for culturally competent social workers with experience serving children under the age of 12, social work scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to complete their field placements with non-profits serving this age group. The third initiative will establish a Bilingual Writing Mentor Program to support the academic success of 20 students whose first language is not English.