FHR announces receipt of grant to advance services

Published 12/10/2014

Behavioral healthcare organization awarded quarter-million dollar grant from Commonwealth Corporation

Lincoln, RI – December 10, 2014 – Fellowship Health Resources, Inc. (FHR), a non-profit organization providing services to individuals with mental illness and addiction disorders across seven states, has been awarded the Health Care Workforce Transformation Fund Training Grant of nearly $250,000.

The grant, awarded by Commonwealth Corporation, has been established as part of the Massachusetts’ healthcare cost containment law aimed at improving the quality of healthcare and reducing costs. The fund supports a wide spectrum of employee training within the healthcare industry.

“FHR is pleased and excited to be a recipient of the Health Care Workforce Transformation Fund Training Grant,” said FHR President & CEO Debra M. Paul. “Funds will be used to train employees and individuals enrolled in our transitional age youth programs on techniques to monitor and track primary care health measures.”

With the awarded funds, FHR will implement an integrated training program developed by executive leadership for Massachusetts staff. The program will focus on addressing key health care issues for individuals 18 to 25, developing wellness habits during a pivotal stage in their lives.

“A cross section of staff members in FHR’s Fall River, New Bedford, and Cape Cod and Islands regional offices will be trained in a multitude of techniques to cultivate wellness habits among individuals served by the organization,” said FHR Senior Director of Professional Development and Operations Nancy Murray. “Topics will include smoking cessation, weight management, and nutrition management, as well as instruction on how to take and measure blood pressure, Body Mass Index (BMI), and cholesterol.”

According to statistics by the NASMHPD (National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors), individuals living with a serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than other Americans, and have an increased risk of chronic medical conditions.

Through these holistic and individual-centered programs, FHR’s goal is to reverse this trend, increasing life expectancy while reducing hospitalization rates.

“Research has shown it is easier to help individuals establish new health habits than it is to undo already existing unhealthy habits,” explained FHR Director of Peer Recovery Services Bob Rousseau. “This grant provides FHR with additional opportunities to make a crucial impact in the lives of a high risk population.”

Trainings will begin in December 2014 and conclude in October 2015. FHR plans to utilize a portion of the funds to acquire equipment to train staff remotely, enabling the organization to expand trainings and offer programs to additional client populations.

“Being able to incorporate a whole health approach with the addition of physical health education to our behavioral health programs is the direction and goal that our organization has set forth,” said FHR Fall River Regional Director Denise Silvia. “We are very excited to provide holistic quality care to the individuals we serve.”