Over the past six years, with support from the NJ Governor’s Office and funding from the NJ Department of Children and Families, Hackensack Meridian Health, along with Cooper University Health Care and Atlantic Health System, has successfully established the New Jersey Pediatric Psychiatry Collaborative (NJPPC) across 20 counties in New Jersey, comprising 8 regional Hubs throughout the state. The ninth Hub, in Essex County, is managed by Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, ensuring that every county in the state has improved access to pediatric mental/behavioral health care.
As a mental/behavioral health and substance use consultative and referral support program, the NJPPC has aimed to improve the comfort and competence of pediatric primary care clinicians to screen, identify and care manage their patients with mental/behavioral health concerns. Participating pediatric primary care and specialty care providers now have quick access to mental/behavioral health consultative and referral services for the children and families in their care.
The program is available for children and adolescents up to age 18 (or up to 21, if patient is still being seen by the pediatric practices) and requires participating primary care providers (PCP) to universally provide standardized mental/behavioral health and substance use screenings at each well visit. Participating pediatricians and pediatric clinicians can consult with the NJPPC Hub Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists (CAPs) and behavioral health staff for consults. They can also refer patients with identified concerns to the Hub behavioral health staff for intake and referral to services in their community. As of 2020, patients who are referred to the Hub can also access psychiatry evaluation services via tele-psychiatry. Below you will find a list of the counties and their corresponding NJPPC Hubs, as well as the leadership teams for each.