Gov. DeWine’s OhioRISE Press Conference Announcement Features PEP CEO

On April 5, the state came one step closer to fulfilling the promise of OhioRISE. At Governor DeWine’s OhioRISE press conference, he announced that Aetna Better Health of Ohio will administer and manage the new program that aims to help children with complex behavioral health needs and their families. Ultimately, this announcement means more children will be able to stay with their families and fewer children will end up in an out-of-home placement.

Positive Education Program CEO Habeebah R. Grimes participated in DeWine’s OhioRISE press conference, highlighting the challenges faced by children with complex behavioral health needs and their families and how a coordinated model of care would benefit them.

“I was thrilled to be a part of the governor’s press conference. For more than 30 years, with special funding, PEP has been providing care to kids with complex behavioral health needs,” said Grimes. When we began the program with seed funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, there was hope that if it proved effective, it would be expanded throughout the state. Now, thanks to the will and wisdom of the DeWine administration, OhioRISE will make that dream a reality for all kids in Ohio.”

A key centerpiece of OhioRISE is a service known as Intensive Care Coordination using a High-Fidelity Wraparound approach. This is the very service PEP Connections has been providing for more than 30 years, with a track record of delivering cost-effective and excellent outcomes for children and families. This success is attributed to the model’s ability to:

  • Allow for flexibility in addressing challenges faced by families.
  • Elevate the voice of the family.
  • Maintain experienced care managers.
  • Promote collaboration and partnership with organizations that supplement and amplify PEP’s work.

PEP is heartened by the state’s progress to ensure all kids in Ohio have access to the behavioral health care they need. OhioRISE is good news for kids, families, and the state.

To see a recording of DeWine’s OhioRISE press conference visit the Ohio Channel, here. An article covering the press conference and featuring Grimes was also published in and can be found here.