Foundations join to support mental health education in Virginia


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Foundations join to support mental health education in Virginia
17 philanthropic foundations collectively providing funding for training


RICHMOND, Va., March 2, 2023— The Virginia Health Care Foundation is collaborating with 17 other philanthropic foundations throughout Virginia to provide funding for expanded REACH behavioral health trainings for primary care providers treating children, adolescents, and young adults across the Commonwealth.  More than $170,000 has been contributed by these foundations in an effort to address the growing need for improved access to mental health care.

The primary goal of the Virginia Mental Health Access Program (VMAP) is to ensure better mental health for children.  Through education initiatives, training, and access to specialists, primary care providers are better equipped to screen, diagnose, manage, and treat mental health, ensuring better quality of life for children and their families.  VMAP will coordinate two REACH trainings serving up to 80 primary care providers.   These intensive three-day, 16-hour interactive courses for physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants are focused on building skills and confidence in diagnosing and treating pediatric behavioral health problems. Following course completion, they participate in bi-monthly calls with national primary care and child/adolescent psychiatry experts to address cases in their daily practices.

The VMAP program is administered by the Medical Society of Virginia Foundation (MSVF) through a contract with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.  Melina Davis, CEO of MSV & Executive Director of MSVF shared, “To have the philanthropic community come together in support of this work has been incredible. We’re hopeful that the impact of these trainings will benefit all of Virginia by improving education and resources for youth mental health.”

According to Fairfax pediatrician and VMAP Founder, Dr. Sandy Chung, “Our foundation partners responded quickly in a meaningful way to help us address pediatric behavioral health needs – needs that are growing exponentially, outpacing the availability of mental health providers. The pandemic worsened a youth mental health crisis that was already present. We now have more young people than ever before suffering from anxiety, depression, and thoughts of self-harm. With VMAP, primary care providers can be prepared with the best information to help children and their families right away.”

Deborah Oswalt, Executive Director of the Virginia Health Care Foundation (VHCF) says “We are grateful to be a part of this collaboration of foundations which are committed to working together to increase the availability of mental health services.  VMAP provides an innovative and effective approach to expanding the base of medical providers  knowledgeable enough to address a range of behavioral health conditions among their patients and to provide consultation in challenging cases, where needed.”

Participating foundations include:

The Alleghany Foundation

The Annabella Jenkins Foundation

Bob and Anna Lou Schaberg Foundation

Claude Moore Charitable Foundation

Community Foundation for greater Richmond

Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia

Culpeper Wellness Foundation

Danville Regional Foundation

The Harvest Foundation

Northern Piedmont Community Foundation

Northern Virginia Health Foundation

PATH Foundation

Potomac Health Foundation

Richmond Memorial Health Foundation

Virginia Health Care Foundation

Wellspring Foundation of Southwest Virginia

Williamsburg Health Foundation

For more information about The Virginia Mental Health Assistance Program and REACH visit:


For more information about the Virginia Health Care Foundation, visit, and/or


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Last Updated on March 9, 2023