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NEOMED Receives Record $7.5 Million Grant from Peg’s Foundation

Largest privately-funded grant for mental health ever given in Ohio

Funder and partner, Peg’s Foundation, presented Northeast Ohio Medical University with a $7.5 million grant for its Department of Psychiatry in the College of Medicine. The foundation works in partnership with the department to help advance community organizations in the dissemination of best mental health treatment practices. The grant is the largest ever given specifically for mental health treatment by a private foundation in Ohio.

NEOMED has worked in partnership with Peg’s Foundation for more than 12 years. With multiple grants from the foundation, the partners established the Margaret Clark Morgan Endowed Chair in Psychiatry and the Best Practices in Schizophrenia Treatment (BeST) Center. Peg’s Foundation also provided support for the creation of the Ohio Program for Campus Safety and Mental Health (OPCSMH) and the Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence (CJ CCoE) within the Department of Psychiatry.

“The more than $20 million that the NEOMED has received from Peg’s Foundation since 2005 has allowed for the development and enhancement of the Department of Psychiatry’s centers of excellence,” said Jay A. Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D., president of Northeast Ohio Medical University. “But just as important, NEOMED’s partnership with Peg’s Foundation has allowed for hundreds of individuals served by dozens of community-based organizations to have access to effective treatments and interventions that they would have otherwise not received.”

The event was held in the University’s Grand Ballroom with several regional and national mental health advocates in attendance. Rick Kellar, president of Peg’s Foundation since 2005, made the special announcement, which has both personal and professional significance to him.

“Mental health challenges touch all families. I am grateful for the impact this partnership is having locally and across the state,” said Mr. Kellar. “Early identification, best practice treatment, integrated care and medication management are all necessary to reducing the 25-year shortened life expectancy of those suffering mental illness. We scanned the country for a better place to invest in this work – work that not only improves care, but more importantly gets treatment fielded and is made accessible to those who need it the most.”

The $7.5 million grant will help the Department of Psychiatry’s three centers of excellence ― BeST Center, OPCSMH and CJ CCoE ― further enhance ongoing efforts to assist many community partners in multiple systems across Ohio. “These treatments may also prevent or reduce incarceration, homelessness, suicide and violent acts that can result from untreated serious mental illnesses,” noted Mark Munetz, M.D., The Margaret Clark Morgan Chair in Psychiatry.

Dr. Munetz added two additional announcements: The first was the creation of the Drs. Fred and Penny Frese Annual Lecture Series at NEOMED. “In recognition of the couple’s contributions and tireless advocacy for people with mental illnesses and their families, and the open and engaging ways in which they share how serious mental illness has affected their own lives.”

He then introduced a national leader in improving systems of care for people with serious mental illnesses ― Anita Smith Everett, M.D., chief medical officer, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and immediate past president of the American Psychiatric Association, who is the University’s 25th Visiting Professor in Community Psychiatry.

The mission of the Department of Psychiatry at NEOMED’s College of Medicine partnership with Peg’s Foundation is to promote innovation and restore lives for people with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

And the partnership’s significance to medical education was made clear in closing remarks by Elisabeth H. Young, M.D., vice president for health affairs and dean of the College of Medicine.

“The grant will allow NEOMED and the College of Medicine to train all medical students and residents in the very best mental health practices and interventions, Dr. Young added. “ALL of our graduates – regardless of chosen specialty –  will treat people who have mental illness with competence, compassion, dignity and respect.”

The announcements were streamed live on Facebook.

For more than 40 years, Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) has worked in collaboration with its educational, clinical and research partners to successfully train health professionals and medical researchers who serve and impact the region and beyond. The University trains students in a team-based, interprofessional environment and offers Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) and Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degrees, in addition to master’s and doctoral degrees and research opportunities in other medical areas.

About Peg’s Foundation
Peg’s Foundation, the largest mental health funder in Northeast Ohio, believes in relevant, innovative, and at times, disruptive ideas to improve access to care and treatment for the seriously mentally ill. Peg’s Foundation promotes the implementation of a stronger, more effective, compassionate and inclusive health care system for all. Since 2001, Peg’s Foundation has granted over $45 million to mental health, education, and the arts. Guided by Founder, Peg Morgan to “Think Bigger,” Peg’s Foundation understands recovery from mental illness is the expectation, and mental wellness is integral to a healthy life.

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