State Grant Awarded to Cardinal Innovations for Youth Crisis Services

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, Monarch — January 20, 2015
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Jan. 20, 2015 – As part of its Crisis Solutions Initiative, the North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services (DMH/DD/SAS) has awarded Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions with grant funding for a new Child and Adolescent Facility-Based Crisis Service to be based in Mecklenburg County.

Cardinal Innovations’ Mecklenburg Community Operations Center and Monarch developed a proposal with other children’s advocates and stakeholders to address the unmet crisis needs of children and youth in Mecklenburg County. Cardinal Innovations is a managed care organization that oversees Medicaid and state funding for mental health, intellectual and developmental disability and substance use disorder services for more than 2.4 million people in 16 counties.

During the 2013-2015 Legislative Interim, the N.C. Crisis Solutions Coalition studied access to crisis services in the state and determined that there was a lack of crisis capacity. North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) leadership presented Coalition findings to the North Carolina General Assembly and, as a result, $2.2 million was appropriated during the 2014 Legislative Session to enhance crisis service capacity. In accordance with requirements of the General Assembly, DHHS issued a series of Requests for Proposal (RFPs) for the enhancement or development of crisis services.

In response to the RFPs issued by DHHS, Cardinal Innovations – in partnership with providers of crisis services and community stakeholders – prepared four applications that reflect local priorities for crisis care across its 16 counties. In addition to the Mecklenburg Region proposal that received the grant, Cardinal Innovations also proposed working with organizations in its Southern and Northern regions to expand walk-in crisis capability and add observation chairs, allowing for monitoring or treatment of individuals while placement is located or the crisis is deescalated.

Daniel Brown, Monarch’s Chief Clinical Officer said, “We are extremely excited about the opportunity to partner with Cardinal Innovations and others to develop North Carolina’s first child-adolescent Facility-Based Crisis program. This innovative facility will serve as a diversion point for children and adolescents away from emergency departments and inpatient hospitalization and is a critical addition to the system of care in Mecklenburg County. This partnership is an example of the way a community can work together to provide the necessary care for individuals with very complex needs.”

Approximately 13 percent of youth live with a serious mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Only about 20 percent of these youth get the treatment they need. Instead, they often end up in the juvenile justice system, where 70 percent of youth are living with one or more psychiatric disorders.

Nicole McKinney, Cardinal Innovations’ Vice President of Community Operations for the Mecklenburg Region, said, “We have spent the last few months extensively examining ways to strengthen our crisis continuum of care here in Mecklenburg County for both children and adults. We are so excited to be given the opportunity to pioneer the launch of a child and adolescent facility based crisis center here in Mecklenburg County and in North Carolina. It will add a critical piece to our crisis continuum puzzle. We are very fortunate to partner with committed community stakeholders that have supported this effort with us. I especially commend Monarch for their leading efforts with the new center and look forward to fitting more community pieces into the puzzle that will support Cardinal Innovations’ purpose to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and their families.”

Monarch is a nonprofit organization that supports thousands of people statewide with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance use disorders. The agency provides services and supports to people of all ages, skill levels and backgrounds. Monarch is nationally accredited by The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) and is certified by the DHHS as a Critical Access Behavioral Health Agency (CABHA) for mental health and substance abuse services. Monarch also operates The Arc of Stanly County, a chapter of The Arc of North Carolina and The Arc of the United States. To learn more about Monarch, visit or call (866) 272-7827.


About Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions
Cardinal Innovations provides access to high-quality services through a comprehensive network of the best providers across the state. Cardinal Innovations is a community-focused organization with a history of sustained partnerships with consumers, local stakeholders and elected officials designed to create quality solutions for individuals who rely on the public system for care. Cardinal Innovations is headquartered in Kannapolis and operates five Community Operations Centers throughout the state.
Cardinal Innovations has a 40-year history and is proud of its 10-year track record of proven success in the operation of a Medicaid Managed Care waiver, which includes significant savings to taxpayers, positive consumer outcomes and reinvestment in additional services for the people and the communities it serves. The North Carolina General Assembly endorsed the Cardinal Innovations model as the basis for the statewide expansion of the Medicaid Managed Care waiver.

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