For Immediate Release: July 14, 2017

AtlantiCare receives $225,000 grant from
The Nicholson Foundation

Funds to support integrated behavioral healthcare

AtlantiCare has earned a $225,000 grant from The Nicholson Foundation. The grant will support the integration of behavioral health services into primary care services AtlantiCare delivers at its Special Care Center in Atlantic City using a model developed at The Cherokee Health Systems in Knoxville, TN.

“Behavioral health is an important aspect of overall health and well-being,” says Sandy Festa, executive director, AtlantiCare Special Care Center. “The Special Care Center treats patients with chronic medical conditions. These patients can be at greater risk for depression and other mental health issues. Enhancing the coordination of the mental healthcare we provide patients – including by identifying potential issues early - will help us care for them more efficiently and effectively.”

The Cherokee Health Systems’ model is an integrated, team-based approach to patient care that has been proven to improve patient health outcomes and to be financially sustainable. It embeds a behavioral health consultant within a primary care team to address patients’ behavioral and physical health issues

Through the grant, AtlantiCare will receive training and technical assistance from Cherokee Health Systems. The grant will also provide funding for additional staff.

“Our ultimate goal is to make integrated care ‘the new normal’ throughout the state of New Jersey,” said Arturo Brito, executive director, The Nicholson Foundation. “Our intention is to continue supporting the expansion of the Cherokee model to more clinics in the future, thereby transforming the way care is delivered to vulnerable populations in New Jersey.”

“We are grateful to the Nicholson Foundation for choosing us as a grantee,” said Samantha Kiley, executive director, The AtlantiCare Foundation. “The Special Care Center has been acknowledged for its ability to implement healthcare changes to better address patients’ needs. This opportunity will allow us to continue on that path of improving patient care and outcomes in a financially sustainable model.”

About the AtlantiCare Special Care Center
The AtlantiCare Special Care Center (SCC) is a nationally recognized comprehensive care program which provides individualized and efficient care for adult patients with chronic medical conditions such as heart failure, diabetes, asthma, COPD and cardiovascular disease. A team of care providers, including physicians, personal health coaches, nurses, counselors, and social workers, among others, provide comprehensive healthcare to help patients manage chronic health conditions. Patients can access appointments, prescriptions, lab work and more, at one location, making this a convenient and efficient approach to health management.

In the decade since it opened in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 2007, and in Galloway, New Jersey in 2011, the SCC has provided more than 122,900 visits to more than 5,450 patients and has received state, national and international attention for its best practices.

For more information about AtlantiCare’s Special Care Centers or other AtlantiCare programs and services, call the AtlantiCare Access Center at 1-888-569-1000 or visit www.atlanticare.org.

About The Nicholson Foundation: The Nicholson Foundation is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of vulnerable populations in New Jersey. The Foundation’s approach emphasizes partnerships and performance-based grant making; its goal is sustainable systems reform. For more information about the Foundation, visit http://thenicholsonfoundation.org.


Jennifer Tornetta, (O) 609-569-7010, (C) 609-335-3446, jennifer.tornetta@atlanticare.org 
Betsy Woerner, (O) 609-677-6016, (C) 609-385-6361, betsy.woerner@atlanticare.org
Carly O’Brien (O) 202-683-3163, carly.obrien@mslgroup.com



AtlantiCare, a member of Geisinger Health System, is an integrated system of services designed to help people achieve optimal health. It includes AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, AtlantiCare Health Engagement, the AtlantiCare Foundation, and AtlantiCare Health Services. Its more than 5,500 employees and more than 900 physicians serve the community in nearly 90 locations. A 2009 Malcolm Baldrige Award winner, AtlantiCare was also included in Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare in 2010. ARMC became the 105th hospital in the nation to attain status as a Magnet™ designated hospital in March of 2004 and was redesignated a Magnet™ hospital in 2008 and 2013.


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