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The Cambridge Health Alliance (Alliance) is the recipient of a new $1.2 million, 3-year grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to expand mental health services to housebound elderly residents in Malden, Everett, Revere, and Medford, MA. Awarded by the US Department of Health and Human Services, the "Targeted Capacity Expansion (TCE): Meeting the Mental Health Services Needs of Older Adults" grant was one of 11 nationwide.


Crucial to its success will be the Alliance's experience with community outreach, proven ability to integrate mental-health services with primary care clinics, and back-up capacity in hospital psychiatry. The services will be provided by a newly formed Geriatric Mental Health Service (GMHS) to do outreach based on the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT or PACT) model used by the Alliance for 25 years in Cambridge and Somerville. These resources will work with the Alliance's facilities at Whidden Memorial Hospital in Everett, Revere Family Health Clinic, and the Alliance-staffed Everett Community Health Improvement Partnership (E-CHIP), as well as team up with community partners via agreements with Tri City Mental Health Center, Inc, and Mystic Valley Elder Services. Community members and municipal leaders will serve on all advisory boards. The project aims to reach more than 80% of the primary care doctors in the area, to provide home visits and clinic referrals for underserved elderly patients and to coordinate councils on aging, health departments, housing authorities, and transportation systems in the four cities.


Cambridge Health Alliance is a regional healthcare system with three hospitals and more than 20 primary care practices in Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston's metro-North communities. As a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, Cambridge Health Alliance offers medical residency/training programs and undergraduate learning experiences in hospital and community settings. Cambridge Health Alliance also includes the Cambridge Public Health Department, CHA Physician's Organization (CHAPO), and Network Health, a managed Medicaid plan.