VHHA Foundation Partners with Inova Health System on Program Addressing Mental Health Services for Health Care Providers on the COVID-19 Frontlines

October 28, 2020

VHHA Foundation and Inova Health System Utilize $180,000 Grant Awarded by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services for New Program Aimed at Providing Mental Health Services for Frontline Health Care Providers at Inova

RICHMOND, VA – Inova Health System is establishing a new program with specialized mental health supports for health care professionals and caregivers as part of a collaboration with VHHA Foundation, the charitable, non-profit division of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA).

Development and implementation of the Care for Caregivers program, which will provide an array of services for health care workers who may need support for behavioral health needs including traumatic exposure, family strain, burnout, and more, is supported with a $180,000 grant awarded to VHHA Foundation by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS). That award is provided through a $2 million federal grant to the Commonwealth. The grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is an emergency award (SAMHSA Grant Award H79FG000285) to help address the impact of mental health and substance use disorders during COVID-19.

“Helping to make Virginia the healthiest state in the nation requires a focus on physical health and emotional health,” said VHHA President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton. “So many people have experienced new and sometimes unexpected emotional responses to the many difficulties caused by factors related to the coronavirus pandemic. That includes dedicated health care professionals providing high-quality medical care to patients while witnessing firsthand how serious, and even deadly, this virus can be. This new program at Inova that is focused on serving the dedicated caregivers on the COVID-19 frontlines is consistent with the ongoing work by hospitals and health systems to enhance behavioral health care in Virginia.”

“Inova is pleased to announce Care for Caregivers, recognizing the unique demands on all of today’s health care professionals in the context of COVID-19,” added Michael Clark, MD, MPH, MBA, Inova Health System’s Chairman of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Services. “In partnership with VHHA and DBHDS with the generous support of SAMHSA, Inova Behavioral Health Services will provide the services to enable the heroic commitments of all of us in health care to continue caring for our patients. We achieve the best for our patients when we are the best of ourselves. Care for Caregivers is the means to achieving that end.”

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it’s more important than ever that we make sure our frontline health care workers have the behavioral health support they need to deal with the stress and demands of their jobs,” said DBHDS Commissioner Alison Land. “These workers give so much of themselves to the people and communities they serve. Making sure they have the resources they need to take care of themselves and cope with the challenges of these unprecedented times will ensure they are able to maintain the high level of care we have come to expect from Virginia’s health care community.”

The Care for Caregivers program will help address the emotional toll associated with COVID-19 experienced by hospital and health care employees through offerings such as behavioral health screening assessments, individual and group therapy opportunities, educational workshops, and co-pay assistance. Program activities will be available virtually via telehealth platforms due to COVID-19. Visit this link for more information about the program.

About VHHA: The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association is an alliance of 110 hospitals and 26 health delivery systems that develops and advocates for sound health care policy in the Commonwealth. Its mission is to achieve excellence in both health care and health to make Virginia the healthiest state in the nation. Its vision is through collaboration with members and stakeholders, to ensure the sustainability of Virginia health care system, transform the delivery of care to promote lower costs and high value across the continuum of care, and to improve health for all Virginians. Connect with VHHA through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

About Inova: Inova is Northern Virginia’s leading nonprofit healthcare provider, recognized in 2019 and 2020 by U.S. News & World Report, which named Inova Fairfax Hospital the #1 hospital in the Washington, DC region. All five Inova hospitals were awarded ‘A’ grades for the spring 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, recognizing Inova’s achievements in protecting patients from harm and providing safer healthcare. Each of Inova’s five hospitals holds a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), distinguishing Inova as the highest-rated large health system in the U.S., and the only system to have all hospitals receive five stars. Inova Fairfax Medical Campus was named to the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals list, ranking in the top 10 nationwide among Major Teaching Hospitals. Our mission is to provide world-class healthcare – every time, every touch – to each person in every community we have the privilege to serve. Inova’s 18,000 team members serve more than 2 million individuals annually through an integrated network of hospitals, primary and specialty care practices, emergency and urgent care centers, outpatient services and destination institutes. Inova is home to Northern Virginia’s only Level 1 Trauma Center and Level 4 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Its hospitals have a total of 1,936 licensed beds. More information and statistics about Inova can be found at

Julian Walker
Vice President of Communications
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