Chase Brexton Receives Grant from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield to Support Pediatric Care and Gender-Expansive Youth Program

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Published: Jan 11, 2023

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Chase Brexton has been awarded $300,000 over three years to increase access to the organization’s behavioral health programs for “at risk” youth, as well as the Gender JOY program for gender-expansive youth.

The grant is part of a larger $7.9 million investment from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst), the largest not-for-profit health plan in the mid-Atlantic region, to improve behavioral health outcomes for youth across its service areas in the region.  

With the support from CareFirst, Chase Brexton will provide Behavioral Health screenings and referrals to vulnerable youth, including access to wraparound support services to address social determinants of their health and reduce their barriers to care. By the end of the three-year grant period, Chase Brexton will have engaged 450 youth and adolescents with behavioral health care.

To identify needs and challenges impacting behavioral health in the region, CareFirst conducted key interviews with community-based organizations. This process informed its priority areas for the funding, which include: 

  • Addressing disparities for at-risk youth of color and LGBTQ youth, or supporting programs that address the root causes leading to higher prevalence of mental health and substance use disorders and reduce barriers to services.  
  • Expanding the behavioral health workforce, or increasing the availability of trained behavioral health providers through recruitment, retention and incentives to expand access to qualified mental health professionals in areas with limited access.

Special considerations were given to organizations serving Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), disconnected youth, persons experiencing homelessness, populations with limited English proficiency (LEP), structurally disinvested communities, justice-involved individuals, LGBTQ populations, low-income communities, rural communities and other marginalized communities.  

“CareFirst recognizes that behavioral health is an essential part of overall health, which includes a continuum of conditions ranging from severe mental health disorders to the emotional, psychological, and social factors that affect a person’s overall wellbeing,” said Dr. Destiny-Simone Ramjohn, Vice President of Community Health and Social Impact for CareFirst. “We are proud to invest in 19 dynamic organizations who will minimize behavioral health disparities among young people and dramatically increase the number of trained health professionals that provide culturally responsive and trauma-informed behavioral health care.”

To learn more about Chase Brexton’s Behavioral Health services, visit www.chasebrexton.org/therapy