Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development Receives $17 Million Grant To Improve Child and Adolescent Mental Health Care

Posted in News Release

Washington, DC – A Georgetown University Medical Center program that works in every state to improve the lives of children coping with mental health challenges has received a $17 million grant from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The program, the National Technical Assistance for Children’s Mental Health – known as the TA Center – is part of the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development.

The five-year grant was awarded by SAMHSA, which was established in 1992 and charged by Congress to provide effective mental health services to people most in need.

The Georgetown TA Center was first established in 1984 with a small $20,000 grant. Funding for the program grew and today, the TA Center is recognized as the gold standard of program implementation in the field of childhood and adolescent mental health.

The TA Center is dedicated to working in partnership with families, communities, states, territories and tribes across the country to transform systems and services for children, adolescents, and young adults who have, or are at risk for, mental health problems and their families. It focuses on building effective systems of care, collaborating across agencies and sectors with the workforce and leadership, and by incorporating cultural and linguistic-appropriate materials to improve early childhood mental health.

Phyllis Magrab, MD, has served as principal investigator of the TA Center since its founding in 1984 and is also director of the Center for Child and Human Development. She holds the inaugural Phyllis R. Magrab Endowed Chair.

“Our programs range from intensive to universal,” says Magrab. “We work in some capacity with every state in the country. With generous funding, we’ve been able to dramatically change how mental health in childhood and adolescence is addressed.”

Howard J. Federoff, MD, PhD, executive vice president for health sciences and executive dean of the School of Medicine says Magrab’s lifelong dedication to children is the driving force behind the TA Center.

“Dr. Magrab is recognized as international champion for children with disabilities,” says Federoff. “Through the initiatives of the Technical Assistance Center, thousands of children and families have benefited. Dr. Magrab’s tireless dedication has led to a state-of-the-art approach to childhood mental health adopted by communities across the nation.”

Using a multifaceted approach, the TA Center provides information, technical assistance, and training on system and service strategies for achieving positive outcomes for children and youth with mental health needs and their families. The TA Center assists a range of audiences in planning for and understanding their role in change processes as well as in designing effective service systems and implementing effective practices for children and youth.

TA Center faculty and consultants have expertise with the full range of children and youth with mental health needs including expertise with specific populations such as infants and toddlers, youth with co-occurring developmental disabilities or substance abuse, youth transitioning into adulthood, and families from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Magrab has received numerous honors for her work including the Distinguished Contributions Award from the American Psychological Association, Society of Pediatric Psychology in 1985; the Surgeon General’s Award for Distinguished Service in 1988; the Distinguished Service Award from the Division of Clinical Psychology of the American Psychological Association in 1991; and the John C. Mac Queen Award from the Association of Maternal and Child Health in 2002. In 1999, she was honored by Georgetown University for teaching when she received the inaugural Estelle Ramey Medical Women Faculty Award. In 2009, Magrab received the “Pioneer for Persons with Disabilities Award” from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis — or “care of the whole person.” The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked, the world-renowned Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO). In fiscal year 2009-2010, GUMC accounted for 79 percent of Georgetown University’s extramural research funding.