$300,000 grant awarded to Evergreen Behavioral Services

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FARMINGTON – Evergreen Behavioral Services has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the Maine Health Access Foundation to address primary care needs of children with pervasive developmental disorders and their families in greater Franklin County through integrated training and services.

In all, the Maine Health Access Foundation has announced the award of nearly $3 million in grants to 17 nonprofits and collaboratives across Maine to improve the integration and delivery of mental and behavioral health services with primary health care services.

Integrating health care received from physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, and other health professionals ensures that all the needs and preferences of individual patients and their families are addressed for improved health and well-being, according to a release from MeHAF.

“We are very excited about the awarding of the MeHAF grant for the Evergreen Child Development Center. The funds will enable our staff to work with pediatricians and other primary care professionals to develop strategies for early identification of developmental issues in children so that treatment can begin early in life. Research proves that treatment is greatly improved when family, primary care, and specialists work together as a team,” said April Guagenti, Evergreen Behavioral Services executive director. “The grant will also assist Evergreen in reaching out to parents with affected children with educational programs and support.

According to Guagenti there is a huge unmet need for medical diagnostic and treatment services for children with special needs. An estimated 800 children in greater Franklin County are affected.

To address this need, EBS opened its Child Development Center in August 2008 to promote the optimal development and abilities of children and adolescents with a wide range of developmental and behavioral concerns including: autism, autism spectrum disorders, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, and difficulties with learning and school performance.

Dr. Iris Silverstein, a pediatrician with additional board certification in developmental-behavioral pediatrics, leads the program. For more information, call Evergreen Behavioral Services at 778-0035.

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