WASHINGTON — Recognized for their continuing focus on strengthening families, Lutheran Services in America and Genacross Lutheran Services have been awarded a grant from Aetna Better Health of Ohio to develop a framework to strengthen families, prevent unnecessary child welfare custody and improve health equity in 10 targeted communities throughout Ohio.

The framework, to be completed in the first quarter of this year, will be the first major step in creating what will be the new and scalable Partners in Treatment Preservation Program (PTPP). PTPP will be designed to achieve key objectives of Ohio’s Medicaid Support for Children’s Services Transformation, including implementing evidence-based practices to prevent child welfare custody, opening access to behavioral health care coordination and improving equitable health outcomes.

“PTPP will build on a successful program Genacross currently offers, the Partners in Treatment Program, which provides family preservation and reunification programming along with individual family therapy, multi-family group therapy, and Community and Psychiatric Supports and Treatment for youth and their families,” said Rick Marshall, president and CEO of Genacross Lutheran Services.

The holistic approach expands family preservation and reunification to include an evidence-based, family-centered approach to develop skills to prevent crises, manage behaviors and promote self-care. To improve equitable health outcomes, the program addresses social determinants of health by connecting the family to social supports in their community to access healthy nutrition, employment, housing, financial planning and transportation.

“When you consider that nearly three million Ohioans receive health care coverage through the Ohio Department of Medicaid – and combine this with how over 840,000 people served by Medicaid received behavioral health services last year alone – you see the necessity of developing and expanding initiatives to help lower-income families,” said Maureen Pero, an executive with Aetna Medicaid. “Given the results we’re seeing from Genacross’s work with at-risk children, youth and families here in Ohio, we felt they were a natural fit to team with in our efforts to strengthen more families in Ohio.”

Increasingly, Lutheran Services in America is attracting notice for its groundbreaking programs and collaborations that promote the inherent value of helping all people grow, thrive, and live independent, productive lives — regardless of where they were born, their income, gender, faith, skin color or ZIP code. The Washington, D.C.,-based organization works alongside trusted organizations such as Genacross Lutheran Services to improve the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds.

“The PTPP initiative with Aetna is a tremendous opportunity to design a family preservation model to meet the needs of families in Ohio – one that can scale not only throughout Ohio, but elsewhere,” noted Charlotte Haberaecker, president and CEO of Lutheran Services in America. “The fact that our national network of 300 health and human services organizations is deeply embedded in the fabric of over 1,400 communities throughout the U.S. gives us an up-close understanding of the efforts that actually work and why.”

(Information courtesy of Genacross Lutheran Services.)

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