St. Margaret Foundation receives $265,000 in funding

St. Margaret Foundation is pleased to announce that it has received four foundation grants totaling $265,000 over two years to implement an Integrated Behavioral/Physical Health Program at the UPMC St. Margaret Family Health Centers in Bloomfield/Garfield, Lawrenceville and New Kensington where nearly 70 percent of the patients are underserved - uninsured or Medicaid. Funders include Richard King Mellon Foundation ($100,000), The Pittsburgh Foundation ($65,000), The Fine Foundation ($50,000), and Staunton Farm Foundation ($50,000) to support the implementation over two years.

St. Margaret Foundation secured these grants to integrate on-site behavioral health support in a setting where trust in the physician and professional staff has already been established—the UPMC St. Margaret Family Health Centers. When these patients are referred to outside behavioral health providers, they frequently do not keep those appointments and do not receive the care they need, resulting in a worsening of both their mental as well as physical problems. Funding will support the addition of a Part time Psychiatrist, a Full-time Behavioral Specialist, and training for staff.

“Many of our patients suffer from depression and other behavioral issues, in addition to other chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart and lung disease,” said Dr. Jonathan Han, Medical Director at UPMC New Kensington Family Health Center. “We know that treating both the physical, as well as the behavioral issues greatly improves their quality of life, as well as helping them avoid hospitalizations and worsening illness. By offering our patients on-site behavioral health care, in addition to the high quality physical health care we have always provided, we are dramatically improving the lives of our patients and their families.”

St. Margaret Foundation’s mantra is “filling in the gaps with hope,” said Mary Lee Gannon, president of the Foundation which funds a number of programs at the Family Health Centers. “This program exemplifies exactly what the board is focused on. We know that our disadvantaged patients trust the physicians and caregivers at the Family Health Centers. If we can provide support in this setting to keep people well, out of the hospital and at peace from depression, we have met our mission.”

The Richard King Mellon Foundation contributes to a variety of endeavors to stimulate business development, to promote economic health in rural areas, to leverage the economic impact of the regional health care, education and cultural assets, and to attract and retain talented people to Southwestern Pennsylvania.

The Pittsburgh Foundation, one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the U.S., last year awarded grants of nearly $42 million to support critical nonprofit programs in the regional community. The Foundation comprises more than 1,600 individual donor funds, with total assets of $821 million.

The Fine Foundation supports arts and culture, Jewish life and science and medicine with a particular focus on the Pittsburgh region.

Staunton Farm Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of people who live with mental illness and/or substance use disorders. The Foundation works to enhance behavioral health treatment and support by advancing best practices through grant making to non-profit organizations in ten southwestern Pennsylvania counties.

This funding for behavioral health support at the three UPMC St. Margaret Family Health Centers will ensure that patients who need behavioral health support will receive it, subsequently improving their physical health, and their ability to serve their families and their communities.