Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation Receives $50,000 CVS Health Grant

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation received a $50,000 grant from CVS Health to expand the Substance Misuse and Referral to Treatment (SMART) Choices program at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, which seeks to help children avoid the long-term consequences of substance abuse.

SMART Choices is run in a partnership with Children’s Community Pediatrics (CCP) and UPMC Health Plan and provides children and their families’ access to addiction experts in a nationally recognized, integrated primary care/behavioral health model. This generous grant will allow for an expansion over the next 12 months from the existing three pilot sites to up to 39 additional practices, and help pediatricians and therapists develop more skills for helping children and families struggling with the use of drugs and alcohols

SMART Choices, uses the Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) model, to   enable the early identification of high risk behaviors, brief intervention within the medical home, and early access to substance use treatment for those who need it.

“Substance abuse is a pediatric condition, since the use of drugs and alcohol at young ages is associated with many negative outcomes,” said Abigail Schlesinger, M.D., medical director, Community Based Services, Behavioral Science Division of Children’s Hospital. “The systematic screening occurs at all well child visits starting at age 11, allowing CCP Pediatricians to start the conversation – with youth and families – about ways to make safe choices.  This is just another example of how CCP is committed to improving access to quality care.”

The Community Grants Program was created by CVS Health, as part of its commitment to help people achieve their best health by providing financial assistance to programs that are focused on smoking cessation and prevention. The grant is part of Be The First, CVS Health’s $50 million, five-year initiative to help deliver the nation’s first tobacco-free generation and extend the company’s commitment to help people lead tobacco-free lives.