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JCESC opens OhioRISE CME facility in Canton

STEUBENVILLE — The doors are now open for a new care management entity in downtown Canton to accept participants in the new OhioRISE program.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house were held July 29 on the lower floor of the Key Bank Building at 100 Central Plaza North and area agencies were invited to mark the occasion, including the Family and Children First Council, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and community officials. The facility is offered through the Jefferson County Educational Service Center in Steubenville, which was designated one of 20 regional providers for Ohio Resilience through Integrated Systems and Excellence. OhioRISE is a specialized Medicaid managed care system for children and youth with complex behavioral health and multisystem needs with Aetna Better Health of Ohio serving as the managed care partner. The initiative went live July 1 with JCESC serving an eight-county region including Jefferson, Belmont, Harrison, Carroll, Columbiana, Monroe, Tuscarawas and Stark.

CME Program Director Linda Trushel said the site includes 22 employees with 15 care management coordinators on hand to aid families in the Stark County area. Trushel said the coordinators help complete a child and adolescent needs and strengths assessment to determine eligibility and offer referrals for counseling and therapy. Assistance is rendered for mental health and substance use while youth with multisystem needs are often involved in multiple community systems such as juvenile justice, child protection, developmental disabilities, education and addiction.

“OhioRISE is the new generation of Medicaid to serve children with behavioral health needs,” she said. “It’s so exciting. The setting is very conducive for families and we’re located near the other agencies we work with to provide resources.”

Trushel noted that children covered by Medicaid will obtain assistance and those with private insurance can receive a waiver for help. Currently, there are 345 children in the databank within the eight-county area, but OhioRISE would ultimately serve 2,335 youth across the region and an estimated 60,000 statewide. JCESC received an estimated $1.1 million to establish two start-up locations in Stark and Jefferson counties and the Canton facility operates weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a crisis hotline available 24/7.

“The facility is for families to have a safe place to meet with our care coordinators,” added assistant director Lindsay Brandon. “I think it’s really great because it’s going to let us reach the community and help families in the area. We have a presence in Jefferson County and this will help us in the northern area to serve them the best way we can.”

Meanwhile, Trushel said the program would offer centralized care in one location.

“All of the services will be conducted through Aetna and there is only one stop, so all children in Ohio will have the same benefits for their mental health needs and there will be more respite care providers for the families.”

JCESC Superintendent Chuck Kokiko said he was excited to see the facility operating in an effort to support youth, which aligns with the ESC’s mission.

“JCESC has been working to create the tools necessary to support the successful implementation of the OhioRISE program in our catchment area,” Kokiko said. “The Canton office will be a great resource to both our employees and the children and families we will serve. We are excited about officially opening the office and look forward to working with the community.”

Plans are underway for the Steubenville CME facility, which is scheduled to open in the fall.

The remaining CMEs provide community mental health and substance abuse, specialty care coordination, hospital and educational services. They include Unison Health, Harbor, National Youth Advocate Program, Choices Coordinated Care Solutions, CareStar, Lighthouse Youth and Family Services, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Healvine, Integrated Services for Behavioral Health, the Village Network, the Buckeye Ranch, I Am Boundless Inc., Wingspan Care Group, Coleman Health Services, OhioGuidestone, Positive Education Program, Ravenwood Health and Cadence Care Network. Some of those organizations are in partnership with the Child and Family Health Collaborative.

For information about public and partnership opportunities, contact Kokiko at (740) 283-3347 or ckokiko@jcesc.org and Trushel for children’s referrals to the program at ltrushel@jcesc.org or (740) 792-4011, ext. 502. Information also is listed at jcesc.org/CareManagementEntity. For general inquiries about OhioRISE, contact Jill Tayfel, CME relationship manager for Aetna, at TayfelJ@aetna.com. The 24-hour crisis hotline is available at (740) 792-4012.

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