Oneida County Mental Health Department Launches Innovation & Improvement Fund

Local News

ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) — The Oneida County Department of Mental Health has launched its 2021 innovation and improvement fund, which will distribute $600,000 in awards to community organizations for innovative and improvement-oriented projects. The money was awarded from DSRIP -Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Programs. It was created to redesign New York’s Medicaid System. The county is now redistributing these funds back into the community.

The Oneida County Innovation and Improvement Fund was established to support projects that:

• Address needs in the areas of Mental Health, Substance Use and/or Intellectual/Developmental Disability.

• Improve the system of behavioral healthcare for patients with Medicaid and/or no insurance.

• Foster cross-sector collaboration between the behavioral health care sector and CBOs and non-traditional partnerships such as the corrections/judicial and school systems.

• Decrease unnecessary hospital utilization by Medicaid/uninsured patients.

• Address local priorities, service gaps, needs and outcomes identified in the Oneida County Department of Mental Health’s Local Services Plan.

• Address social and behavioral determinants of health and community health needs.

• Increase primary and preventive service utilization by Medicaid/uninsured patients.

• Promote collaboration and practices that align with the Oneida County Department of Mental Health’s mission, vision and values.

“The requirements for the award are extremely broad. basically they just need to be providing services within Oneida County or be prepared to provide services to the residents of Oneida County if they are awarded the grant dollars.” – Ashlee Thompson, Commissioner of the Oneida County Department of Mental Health

There is no cap on the amount of funds that eligible organizations can request, nor a set limit on the number of proposals they can submit. However, there will be a maximum limit of two successful awards per eligible organization and a preferred maximum proposed amount of $200,000 per proposal.

“Either project can be either innovative or an improvement. the innovative one is either something new or creative based. and then the improvement oriented one is something that they can just add to current programs that they’re providing within their organizations.” – Ashlee Thompson, Commissioner of the Oneida County Department of Mental Health

All proposals will be reviewed and scored by a Technical Review Committee in accordance with the process laid out in the RFP, which can be found here. The County encourages applicants to submit collaborative/joint proposals, as well as proposals for lesser amounts ($5,000, $20,000, etc.), and invites proposals from minority groups.

“Due to how significant the pandemic has negatively impacted our community, we’re really hopeful that this money will really help bring some relief to our community members. so we’re really looking to see how this can help fill some of those service gaps that are starting to exist.” – Ashlee Thompson, Commissioner of the Oneida County Department of Mental Health

Prospective applicants are required to first submit Letters of Intent, subject to the conditions contained within the formal RFP, to the Oneida County Department of Mental Health no later than 5 p.m. on July 2, 2021. Upon its review of these Letters of Intent, the County will decide whether to invite organizations to submit full proposals for award consideration and selection. Full proposals will be due in mid-September.

A virtual kick-off webinar will also take place on June 10, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. to provide organizations and the public with more information about this funding opportunity. Staff from the county Department of Mental Health will provide an overview of the 2021 Innovation & Improvement Fund, review important deadlines, and answer any questions that prospective applicants have. You can register for this webinar here.

Please direct any questions related to this fund to Ashlee Thompson, Commissioner of the Oneida County Department of Mental Health, at or (315) 768-3660.

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