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Martinsburg company nets $3M grant for mental-health, substance-abuse services

The Herald-Mail - 12/6/2017

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Martinsburg-based outpatient mental-health and substance-abuse treatment provider has been awarded a $3 million state grant to also provide residential addiction treatment.

The funding awarded to Mountaineer Behavioral Health PLLC is among $20.8 million in grants awarded to nine programs across the state as part of an effort to expand residential treatment services, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources said in a news release.

The grants are supported by the Ryan Brown Addiction Prevention and Recovery Fund, which was created earlier this year by the West Virginia Legislature.

"As West Virginia fights this battle against addiction, these projects will allow for continued expansion of treatment beds and improved resources across the state," West Virginia Health Secretary Bill J. Crouch said in the release. "We are pleased to support these grantees as they work to address the substance-use epidemic on a community level."

Jonathan Hartiens, who started Mountaineer Behavioral Health in December 2015, said the grant funding is "a stepping stone" to filling the need for residential treatment in the Eastern Panhandle, which currently lacks such services.

Hartiens, a clinical psychologist, said his practice's goal is to establish a 48-bed facility, which he has proposed to be located in Berkeley County.

The nearest such in-patient facility in West Virginia currently is in Bridgeport, which Hartiens said is a logistical challenge to providing continuous care.

Mountaineer Behavioral Health currently works with the county's day-report center, and Hartiens said he believes the provider has a pretty good model to provide effective inpatient treatment.

Hartiens' practice currently provides psychological testing to individuals, families and groups, as well as intensive outpatient treatment.

The Ryan Brown Addiction Prevention and Recovery Fund, aka House Bill 2428, mandates that the state health department identify needs and allocate additional treatment beds in the state to be operated by the private sector, the state agency said Monday.

The beds are intended to provide substance-use disorder treatment services in existing or newly constructed facilities, the release said.

The application by Mountaineer Behavioral Health was among 23 received by the state for funding, according to the state health department and the West Virginia Secretary of State's office.

Spread across six regions, the grant recipients were selected by the health department's Office of Drug Control Policy based on a scoring procedure measuring public-health indicators by region.

"As this fight is far from over, West Virginia plans to continue to explore additional funding sources from the federal government to complement these projects," Crouch said in the release. "We anticipate the additional treatment beds added to be sustained by (the state health department's) Medicaid Substance Use Disorder waiver, which will cover the long-term cost of treatment for Medicaid enrollees."

 
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