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Herkimer County HealthNet & Bassett Healthcare Network Partner to Increase Access to Mental Health Services in Herkimer County


February 3, 2012

Herkimer, NY – Herkimer County HealthNet has provided funds to Bassett Healthcare Network to develop and submit grant applications to local foundation sources to expand the supply of mental health professionals locally in Herkimer County.


The proposed project would recruit a full-time mental health practitioner to the Bassett Healthcare Network’s Herkimer Health Center. The practitioner will train and support the health center’s primary care team in performing initial screenings for mental or behavioral health issues, provide more comprehensive screenings and provide direct care services in the health center. They will also make referrals to prescribers and/or psychiatrists as needed.


Bassett Medical Center Chief of Psychiatry Dr. Celeste Johns said, “There is a tremendous unmet need for quality mental health services across Central New York, and so we’re appreciative that HealthNet has made this a priority in Herkimer County by providing the seed money to get this effort off the ground.”


The proposal is modeled after a project Bassett is implementing in Schoharie County, and works to improve the integration of physical and behavioral health care and to improve the coordination and collaboration among primary care and behavioral health care providers. The Schoharie County project has been awarded a multi-year grant by the New York State Office of Mental Health.


“Herkimer County HealthNet is proud to be able to partner with Bassett in this effort. Both Herkimer County HealthNet and Bassett Healthcare Network recognize the importance of increasing access to quality healthcare in Herkimer County,” Thomas Curnow, Executive Director of Herkimer County HealthNet said. “This is a real opportunity to improve the health and well-being of those who live, work, play and learn in Herkimer County.”




Karen Huxtable-Hooker, Public & Media Relations Director
Bassett Healthcare Network
Phone: 607-547-4581

About HealthNet

The HCHN has been in existence since 1990. Its membership has continuously expanded and has served as an effective forum for Herkimer County providers to identify, discuss, and resolve health and social service issues and concerns. As a direct result of grants by the New York State Department of Health: Office of Rural Health, the Network significantly increased levels of coordination and collaboration among health and social service providers.

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