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Legacy Community Health Receives Episcopal Health Foundation Grant for Behavioral Health

HOUSTON – Legacy Community Health, Houston’s largest non-profit community health system, has received a $370,000 grant from Episcopal Health Foundation to expand its behavioral health services. The grant expands Legacy’s Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) initiative, which integrates mental health and primary care services, with the addition of four behavioral health specialists.

“This is the future of health care,” said Dr. Chad Lemaire, Legacy’s medical director of behavioral health. “Having behavioral health specialists embedded in our primary care clinics helps destigmatize and treat mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Thanks to the Episcopal Health Foundation, many in our communities will get the care they need — instead of going without.”

Under the IBH model, primary care physicians actively screen each patient for indicators of depression, anxiety and substance use, and, if needed, provide an immediate referral to a Legacy psychiatrist, therapist or substance abuse agency during the same patient visit.

Three years ago Legacy began its IBH pilot program at two clinics in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood and Baytown. The Episcopal grant expands the IBH initiative to additional clinics with the greatest need, including Legacy campuses in Beaumont and Houston’s Fifth Ward neighborhood.

A 2017 report by the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute found that more than 310,000 children and youth alone in Harris County suffer from mental health and substance use disorders.

Legacy Community Health, a not-for-profit Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), provides comprehensive care to over 150,000 community members, regardless of their ability to pay, at more than 30 clinics in Southeast Texas. A United Way agency, Legacy provides adult primary care, pediatrics, OB/GYN and maternity, behavioral health, HIV/AIDS care, and dental/vision.