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HUNTINGTON — Prestera Center for Mental Health Services was awarded a two-year, $3,921,559 federal grant via the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to become a Certified Community Behavioral Health Center.

This award will allow Prestera to improve access to services, integrate behavioral health and primary care services, expand adult and child mental health services and grow community services to improve social determinants of health, including transportation, employment and housing.

Funding will be used to obtain technical assistance, support data system improvements, implement additional evidence-based practices and provide services and supports for military personnel and veterans.

Specific areas of focus will include but are not limited to ensuring immediate access to services; providing specialized services to active-duty military and veterans and homeless individuals, expanding medical staff, collecting data on the quality of care through standardized national quality measures and adding primary care to behavioral health care locations in Huntington and Charleston.

The CCBHC designation will result in a sustainable and restructured reimbursement model that is different from the traditional fee-for-service methodology; one that will stabilize funding and improve the center’s ability to recruit and retain quality staff to continue to provide comprehensive and quality services to our communities.

“Prestera is honored to have been awarded grant funds to allow us to become nationally recognized as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Center,” Prestera CEO Karen Yost said in a news release. “Many people do not realize the diversity and quality of services that Prestera has provided for many years. I hope that this designation will help reduce the stigma that is often attached to community behavioral health services.”

For more information on Prestera Center, visit prestera.org, like Prestera on Facebook, or call toll free 877-399-7776.