ATLANTA – Georgia is one of six states to be awarded participation in a Learning Community grant that will develop strategies to improve integration of primary care and behavioral health care for people with disabilities. The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) and the Department of Community Health (DCH) pursued the grant as a collaborative partnership to further efforts by both agencies to promote efficient and effective health delivery systems.

“It is an honor to partner with Commissioner Cook and DCH on this exciting grant,” said Commissioner Berry. “By working together, we can explore options of how to best address people’s comprehensive health care needs and improve the quality of life of the people we serve.”

Technical assistance from national experts will allow leaders in both departments to explore opportunities regarding Medicaid Health Homes, a strategy that promotes increased coordination for individuals with chronic conditions for a “whole person” approach to care.

"Treating the whole person is the most effective way to provide health care," said DCH Commissioner David A. Cook. "Being awarded this joint grant with DBHDD will help Georgia thoroughly identify opportunities to deliver cost-effective quality health care."

The learning opportunity will begin in January and run through June 2013, convening national and state leaders with targeted expertise to assist with Georgia’s unique goals for services to people with behavioral health needs. Participants will review several elements of service delivery models, including clinical components, financial models, key outcome measures and policy and regulatory challenges. In partnerships with leaders from Community Service Boards (CSB) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) that are engaged in this work at the ground level, Georgia can identify new opportunities for infrastructure development that ultimately leads to improved quality of care for vulnerable populations.

For more information on the State Integration & Medicaid Health Homes National Council Learning Community, please visit

Contact Information:

Kristie N. Swink ( or Pamela A. Keene (