Pediatric Mental Health Training Award Winner Announced

More Trained Providers Equals Better Access for Hundreds of Thousands of Suffering Families

New York, Dec. 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The REACH Institute, a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to ensuring the most effective, scientifically proven mental health care reaches all children and families, announces the recipient of their first-ever Pediatric Mental Health Training Award. El Rio Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Tucson, Arizona will receive free children’s mental health training for their primary care providers (PCPs).

The award provides a non-profit organization and/or Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves low-income communities with free pediatric mental health training for its healthcare providers, local schools, and/or family peer advocates. After reviewing dozens of qualified applications, the REACH Executive Review Committee unanimously selected El Rio Health.

“The pediatric mental health crisis affects everyone, but especially impacts under-resourced communities,” said REACH CEO, Dr. Lisa Hunter Romanelli. “By awarding this opportunity to El Rio Health, The REACH Institute hopes that these newly trained primary care providers will feel empowered to diagnose and support the children and families they serve”.

El Rio Health provides comprehensive and affordable medical care to underserved neighborhoods of Tucson, Arizona’s south and west sides located along the interstate highway corridors. As the nation’s 21st largest FQHC, El Rio provides care to more than 49,000+ children at 13 service delivery sites. Of those children, 50-75% are enrolled in Medicaid. The waitlist to see a mental health professional in this area can reportedly exceed 6-12 months.

“El Rio pediatric and family medicine providers have noted a dramatic increase in the mental health and behavioral needs of children since the start of the COVID19 pandemic,” said Dr. Andrew Arthur, Pediatrics Medical Director at El Rio Health. “Even before the pandemic, behavioral health services in the community were not able to meet all of our patients’ needs in a timely manner. The REACH award will allow El Rio pediatric and family medicine providers to better address children with mild mental health and behavioral needs. This will improve the timeliness of care and leave our pediatric psychiatry colleagues more available to treat children with severe illness.”

It’s well known that most primary care providers have limited ongoing training opportunities for children’s mental health beyond residency training. The training provided through this award will increase El Rio’s primary care providers’ knowledge and comfort with identifying and managing children’s mental health issues. As an active Teaching Health Center, with 8 separate residency and clinical learner programs, it will also provide El Rio an opportunity to impact the mental health competencies of future pediatric primary care providers. 

Since 2006, REACH has been training pediatric PCPs, therapists, and health care institutions nationwide, on the most advanced evidence-based children’s mental health therapies. Led by experts in child psychiatry, psychology, and pediatrics, REACH’s flagship training course, Patient-Centered Mental Health in Pediatric Primary Care (PPP) teaches clinicians how to correctly diagnose and treat common pediatric behavioral health problems such as ADHD, anxiety states (including PTSD), depression, bipolar disorder, oppositional and conduct disorders, and psychosis. Participants also learn how to effectively manage psychopharmacology and create treatment plans. Training programs offered by The REACH Institute increase the nation’s capacity to help families who are suffering from mental health conditions faster.

To learn more about REACH’s scholarship opportunities and other training programs for pediatric PCPs, mental health clinicians, educators, and caregivers throughout the U.S. and Canada, or to schedule a PPP training for your healthcare facility, visit:

The REACH Institute is a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that the most effective, scientifically proven mental health care reaches all children and families. Led by national experts in child psychiatry, psychology, and pediatrics, REACH has been increasing the nation’s capacity to help families with mental health issues since 2006. Their evidenced-based training programs equip primary care providers, mental health clinicians, health care institutions, educators, and caregivers on the most advanced therapies to better diagnose, treat and manage child and adult mental health issues. REACH’s flagship course, Patient-Centered Mental Health in Pediatric Primary Care (PPP), has trained over 5,000 pediatric PCPs to date. More trained providers means better access for hundreds of thousands of suffering families. To learn more about The REACH Institute and their training programs, visit:



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