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Funding Extension Granted for CCBHC Planning Process in Vermont 

Submitted by Jessica.Whitak… on
Press Release


For Immediate Release: May 6, 2024

Media Contact:  
Alex Frantz, Communications Director 
Vermont Department of Mental Health 

 Funding Extension Granted for CCBHC Planning Process in Vermont 

Bolstering Resources for Comprehensive, Integrated, Community-Based Programming 


Waterbury, VT— The Vermont Department of Mental Health (DMH), in collaboration with the Vermont Department of Health (VDH), have been granted a one-year no-cost extension for the CCBHC Planning Grant until March 2025.  


In March of 2023, DMH and VDH secured federal funding through Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support the planning of Certified Community-Based Integrated Health Centers (CCBHC) programs in Vermont communities. CCBHCs provide comprehensive, whole-person services by integrating mental health, substance use and some physical health screenings within existing community health provider locations. Additionally, CCBHCs offer mobile crisis, care coordination, and peer support services. These community-based programs serve individuals regardless of diagnosis or insurance status. 


The one-year no-cost extension, granted in March of 2024, provides an additional year for the State to leverage its planning grant effectively. Throughout the extension period, DMH and VDH intend to prioritize strengthening the certification process, conduct research on rate-setting methodologies, analyze the financial implications for the state, and plan for the certification of additional sites across Vermont. 


"This one-year extension gives us the opportunity to be even more deliberate and thoughtful in shaping what CCBHC services look like in Vermont," remarked DMH Commissioner Emily Hawes. "Our new, extended timeline allows us to gather additional feedback from partners and community members while fine-tuning CCBHC processes. Ultimately, our goal is to provide Vermonters with more access to integrated, community-based care." 


The SAMHSA federal guidelines refer to the program initiative as “CCBHC: Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics.” However, the term “behavioral health” does not align with DMH values. Therefore, in partnership with state government departments and the Vermont CCBHC Steering Committee, the name “Certified Community-Based Integrated Health Centers” has been selected as the CCBHC program title in Vermont. This name reflects ongoing integration efforts across the state. 


Vermont's Designated Agencies (DAs) have shown significant interest in providing CCBHC programming, with five securing SAMHSA grants to support this endeavor. These agencies—Clara Martin Center, Health Care and Rehabilitation Services, Howard Center, Northeast Kingdom Human Services, and Rutland Mental Health Services—have been awarded either CCBHC Planning, Development, and Implementation grants or CCBHC Expansion grants. These grants are instrumental in conducting thorough community assessments to identify specific needs, which in turn inform the creation of new staff roles such as cultural liaisons, additional mental health therapists, elder care professionals to serve aging Vermonters, and outreach staff for individuals who are experiencing housing instability. These five sites are currently undergoing the process of meeting SAMHSA’s 2023 CCBHC criteria or have already achieved compliance. However, it's essential to recognize that only the state holds the authority to officially certify a site's compliance with the certification criteria. 


“We are hopeful that the CCBHC model will be transformative for our agency and those we serve,” stated Christie Everett, Director of Operations at Clara Martin Center. “CCBHC programs breakdown healthcare silos and provide person and family-centered care that keeps individuals in their communities and decreases the need for higher levels of care. We’re excited for the opportunity this extension brings to refine CCBHC programming with even greater intention and purpose.” 


For more information on CCBHC services and service providers, please visit the Department of Mental Health CCBHC webpage: 


Click here to access the DMH CCBHC webpage 


About the Department of Mental Health 

Vermont Department of Mental Health (DMH) has a critical mission to improve the conditions and well-being of all Vermonters across the state and protect those who cannot protect themselves.