Athol Hospital Awarded $1,050,000 Health Resources and Services Administration Evidence Based Tele-Behavioral Health Network Program Grant

November 9, 2018

Athol Hospital has been awarded a $1,050,000 Evidence Based Tele-Behavioral Health Network Program Grant which will bring tele-behavioral counseling services to students at Athol High School and RC Mahar Regional High School for the next three years. This project supported by the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is part of an award financed with non-governmental sources.

The project is a partnership between Athol Hospital, Athol Regional School District, Ralph C. Mahar High Regional School District, Pioneer Valley Regional School District, Heywood Healthcare’s Quabbin Retreat, and the Northeast Telehealth Resource Center. Athol Hospital and network partners will deliver and evaluate school-based tele-behavioral health services at Athol High School and RC Mahar Regional High School compared with behavioral health treatment provided as usual to students at the Pioneer Valley Regional High School. This collaborative model program will leverage interactive video conferencing technology to increase access to behavioral health services for school aged children and their families in a convenient and non-threatening setting. The goals of this project are to deliver high quality and effective tele-behavioral health services that demonstrate improvements in clinical outcomes and functional performance of students with social-emotional problems and behavioral health conditions while reducing costs and minimizing use of more expensive health services.

Athol Hospital has established working relationships with each of the partners and this funding will strengthen and support scaling up our school based tele-behavioral health pilot project in Athol High School and Narraganset Regional High School, previously funded by the Health Policy Commission This initiative shifts the traditional model of behavioral health treatment from being isolated in medical settings and moves it out into the community reaching children in a familiar setting where there is a support system to assist. Tele-behavioral health services directly accessed in the school break down some of the existing barriers by offering timely access, reducing costs and time constraints, and filling service gaps inherent in our rural area.

For more information about this project, please contact Mary Giannetti, Project Director, at (978) 630-5797 or Maureen Donovan, Program Manager, at (978) 724-0010 ext 207. 


The contents provided in this press release are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.


Pictured: Representatives from Athol Hospital, Athol Regional School District, Ralph C. Mahar High Regional School District, Pioneer Valley Regional School District, Heywood Healthcare’s Quabbin Retreat, and the Northeast Telehealth Resource Center at the Kick Off Event on November 5th.