A North Little Rock agency was recently awarded a grant through the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas designed to improve health.

The Foundation has awarded a total of $2.67 million in grants to 42 health improvement programs in Arkansas.

Family Service Agency of North Little Rock has been awarded $63,350 for its Electronic Medical Record program which will track the treatment records and outcomes for 200 adolescents who have Substance Use Disorders and live in Pulaski, Lonoke and Saline counties. The funding is for the implementation of the Electronic Medical Record.

According to Victor Werner, Chief Operating Officer for Family Service Agency, "This software will help track the outcomes for the treatment of adolescents who have been diagnosed with Substance Use Disorders. Family Service Agency’s goal is to treat 200 adolescents during 2014."

Family Service Agency has been in the Central Arkansas area as an incorporated entity since 1946.

Werner added, "Currently they provide services in many areas including counseling, mental health treatment, classes for individuals who have DWIs/DUIs, substance use disorder treatment, Consumer Credit Counseling Services and numerous educational classes. The educational classes include groups for perpetrators of domestic violence, divorcing parents, individuals convicted of shoplifting, anger management and parenting."

In addition to tracking the outcomes in the adolescent substance use disorder treatment program, the Electronic Medical Record, a mandate of the Affordable Care Act, will also track the treatment and outcome of the other services offered at Family Service Agency. Family Service Agency has a program that reaches out in the adolescent community across the state to help young people commit to not using tobacco products of any kind, including e-cigarettes. This youth-led initiative has been instrumental in getting various laws passed in the state to decrease the number of places where people are exposed to second hand smoke. In addition, our Prevention Outreach program partners with many community organizations to reduce alcohol and other drug use among adults and adolescents.

Family Service Agency has been headquartered in North Little Rock since the early 1980s and was at one time, one of the largest treatment facilities in Central Arkansas for people diagnosed with mental illnesses. They were part of what was then, the Central Arkansas Mental Health Treatment Services. With the changes brought about with the Affordable Care Act, Family Service Agency is positioned to increase their services to the individuals with various degrees and types of mental illness. The Blue and You grant will help FSA to be more efficient in documentation and billing of these services.

"Our grants this year went to programs across the state that address such issues as nutrition and exercise, dental and mental health, and medical professional education," said Patrick O’Sullivan, executive director of the Blue & You Foundation.

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield established the Blue & You Foundation in 2001 as a charitable foundation to promote better health in Arkansas. The Blue & You Foundation awards grants annually to non-profit or governmental organizations and programs that positively affect the health of Arkansans.

In its 12 years of operation, the Blue & You Foundation has awarded nearly $19 million to 423 health improvement programs in Arkansas.

The Blue & You Foundation received 141 grant applications requesting $9 million in support.

The application deadline for the foundation’s next funding cycle is Jul. 15, 2014. For more information about the grant application process, visit the foundation Web site at www.BlueAndYouFoundationArkansas.org.