BHECN completes ARPA funding allocation with second group of awardees

Marley Doyle, MD, and Jessica Buche

Marley Doyle, MD, and Jessica Buche

The Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN) has awarded more than $3 million in cycle-two American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) awards to 27 projects to develop, expand and train the behavioral health workforce across the state.

These awards come on top of the nearly $20 million in ARPA dollars that BHECN granted to 83 projects in January as part of the first cycle of ARPA awards. With this latest round of awards, BHECN has allocated all the ARPA funds that the Nebraska Legislature charged it with distributing.

BHECN received 150 cycle-two applications requesting more than $25.3 million across the four award categories, which are behavioral health training opportunities, telebehavioral health support in rural areas, behavioral health workforce projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic and funding for supervision of provisionally licensed behavioral health providers.

“We are excited to support these amazing projects that will help address our state’s critical shortage of behavioral health workers,” said Marley Doyle, MD, director of BHECN. “As was the case in cycle one, we were overwhelmed once again by the number of applications we received, which truly highlights how much need there is for behavioral health services in Nebraska.”

About 40% of the projects selected for cycle-two awards will be conducted by organizations in rural parts of the state, while about 60% will be conducted by organizations in urban areas. All the projects awarded in the telebehavioral health category have a specific focus on expanding services in rural areas, per category requirements. 

The urban-rural project distribution through both cycles of awards was even as 55 BHECN-ARPA awards went to organizations in urban areas and 55 others went to organizations in rural parts of the state.

“The COVID-19 pandemic particularly exacerbated behavioral health workforce issues in rural Nebraska and we are grateful to be able to provide needed support to organizations looking to address these vital issues,” Dr. Doyle said.

Along with providing funding to groups in rural parts of the state, BHECN also is providing ongoing training and assistance to groups in both rural and urban Nebraska that have limited experience in receiving grant funding, said Jessica Buche, BHECN’s ARPA award director.

“Our awardees are providing vital services and helping to address crucial issues in their communities,” Buche said. “Administering federal funding can be burdensome for some of these agencies – especially smaller organizations with limited staff and resources. We hope to lessen that burden so these agencies can continue to do the important work of helping care for the people in their communities.” 

While this latest round of awardees prepares to receive funds and start their projects, Dr. Doyle noted that the majority of the 83 cycle-one awardees already have started to execute their projects. UNMC and BHECN, she said, are working diligently to ensure that all the ARPA funding is administered successfully to expand the behavioral health workforce across the state.

“The legislature presented us with a meaningful opportunity to improve behavioral health care in Nebraska and we are dedicated to making sure this funding benefits as many people as possible,” Dr. Doyle said.

For the most updated information regarding BHECN’s ARPA awards, visit the BHECN website.

Cycle 2 awardees and award amounts by category:

Behavioral Health Training and Education Opportunities
Funding to metropolitan organizations: $287,000 or 72%.
Funding to rural organizations: $113,000 or 28%.

  1. Completely Kids, Omaha, urban, $71,000
  2. Mary Lanning Healthcare, Hastings, rural, $58,000
  3. Mid-Plains Center for Behavioral Healthcare Services, Inc., Grand Island, rural, $55,000
  4. CenterPointe, Inc., Lincoln, urban, $72,000
  5. AM Counseling and Consulting, Bellevue, urban, $72,000
  6. Siena Francis House, Omaha, urban, $72,000

Telebehavioral Health in Rural Areas 
Funding to metropolitan organizations: $1,453,828 or 66%.
Funding to rural organizations: $746,171 or 34%. 
*All projects have rural components.

  1. Silver Sun Mental Health, dba Nebraska Mental Health Centers, Lincoln, urban, $13,911
  2. Banisters Leadership Academy, Omaha, urban, $500,000
  3. CEDARS Youth Services, Inc., Lincoln, urban, $114,965.12
  4. Health Center Association of Nebraska, Omaha, urban, $800,000
  5. Boone County Health Center, Albion, rural, $44,199
  6. Pender Community Hospital District, Pender, rural, $556,326.91
  7. Compass, Kearney, rural, $145,645
  8. For All Counseling Services Inc, Omaha, urban, $24,952

Behavioral Health Workforce COVID-19 Projects
Funding to metropolitan organizations: $260,000 or 65%.
Funding to rural organizations: $140,000 or 45%.

  1. Silver Sun Mental Health, dba Nebraska Mental Health Centers, Lincoln, urban, $50,000
  2. Options in Psychology, LLC, Scottsbluff, rural, $20,000
  3. University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, urban, $50,000
  4. Midtown Health Center, Norfolk, rural, $19,898.95
  5. University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kearney, rural, $50,000
  6. Heartland Counseling Services, Inc., South Sioux City, rural, $50,000
  7. UNMC – Wellness Center, Omaha, urban, $50,000
  8. Lincoln Medical Education Partnership, Lincoln, urban, $10,000
  9. Heartland Family Service, Omaha, urban, $50,000
  10. Nebraska Alliance of Child Advocacy Centers, Omaha, urban, $50,000

Funding for Supervision of Provisionally Licensed Providers
Funding to metropolitan organizations: $0.
Funding to rural organizations: $300,000 or 100%.

  1. Inspirit Counseling, PC, Chadron, rural, $100,000     
  2. Mid-Plaines Center for Behavioral Healthcare Services, Inc., Grand Island, rural, $100,000
  3. Cirrus House, Inc., Scottsbluff, rural, $100,000

Photo captions:

Marley Doyle, MD, director of the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska

Jessica Buche, BHECN ARPA award director

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