The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors today awarded $16 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to Valleywise Health to expand mental health care services in the nation’s fastest-growing county. It’s part of the Board’s broader plan to use available federal dollars as efficiently as possible to address public health and economic recovery needs relate to the COVID-19 crisis.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has increased demands for mental health care across our county,” said Jack Sellers, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, District 1. “These new resources, provided by Valleywise Health, reflect our commitment to expanding access to behavioral health services to everyone in need.”
Maricopa County aims to distribute ARPA funds in an equitable way across the community with a focus on areas disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The $16 million, administered through an inter-governmental agreement, provides for:
- Expansion of Valleywise Health’s services for individuals challenged by serious mental illness to the West Valley. Valleywise Health currently operates an SMI Direct Care clinic and an Assertive Community Treatment program in the East Valley, with services such as case management, psychiatric appointments and rehabilitation services. The new funding will allow for expansion of these services to the West Valley.
- Expansion and renovations at the Valleywise Health Behavioral Health Center – Mesa (previously known as Desert Vista). The expansion will allow for additional outpatient behavioral health services such as a First Episode Center like the one operated by Valleywise Health in Avondale, and exterior renovations that would allow for additional recreational space and improved patient and family access.
“Every Arizonan deserves access to mental health services in the communities where they live,” said Mary Rose Wilcox, Chairman of the Maricopa County Special Health Care District Board of Directors, which provides oversight of Valleywise Health. “We recognize the need to strengthen these services for minority populations and in economically disadvantaged communities. We are thankful for the support of Maricopa County and look forward to working with them to address these local needs, which have become even more urgent in the past 18 months.”
Valleywise Health has been a leader in behavioral health in Maricopa County for decades. Last year, Valleywise Health provided nearly a quarter of the total inpatient behavioral stays throughout Maricopa County in three inpatient behavioral health facilities in Mesa, Phoenix and Maryvale. Valleywise also provides outpatient integrated behavioral health services at its 11 Federally Qualified Health Centers located in medically underserved areas across the county.
The five-member Maricopa County Special Health Care District Board unanimously approved the inter-governmental agreement at a meeting last week.