Pediatrics and Behavioral Health

Impact Focus Area

In late June 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found the number of adults struggling with mental health or substance abuse jumped to nearly 40%. The CDC also found that from March 2020 to October 2020, mental health-related ED visits increased 24% for children ages 5 to 11 and 31% for those ages 12 to 17 compared with 2019 ED visits. Today, primary care providers are faced with increasing levels of mental health events among patients, often with limited resources.

VHAN is working to change that narrative.

Key Initiatives

Focusing on Pediatrics and Behavioral Health

On this page you will find stories on both Pediatrics and Behavioral Health. Use the buttons or continue scrolling to find more information on each topic below.

FOCUS AREA: Pediatrics and Behavioral Health


Why It Matters

Pediatric patients, who make up almost 30% of VHAN’s patient population, not only require quality care focusing on their unique needs, but they also need support as they move to adulthood, where they will be responsible for their own health care. VHAN helps young patients make this transition successfully, putting them on a path to a healthier future.

100% of Metrics

Achieved 100% of quality pediatrics metrics for Aetna in 2021

Nurse Outreach Program

New program expands outreach to pediatric patients who need asthma and behavioral health support.

Pediatric Resources for Members

New pediatric resources are available to network members on VHAN Hub.

VHAN Helps Pediatricians Improve Depression Screenings

In 2019, when we began measuring annual depression screenings for children 12 and older, 18% of practices received a score of zero for depression screening, and only 35% screened more than 90% of their eligible VHAN patients for depression. To improve our performance, VHAN licensed clinical social workers met with practices to promote our social work program and the benefits of using the pediatric behavioral health consult line. As a result, today’s numbers have improved dramatically. 

Transitions Program Helps Pediatric Patients Move to Adult Care

The adolescent years pose many challenges, including emerging sexuality, development of personal identity and adult relationships, behavioral health issues and a high degree of risk-taking behaviors. Amid this uncertainty and vulnerability, adolescence is the time to begin preparation for transitioning to an adult provider, when young adults take charge of their personal health care needs. VHAN’s Transitions Program helps young adult patients find network primary care providers (PCPs) for their care.

Brentwood Pediatrics Helps Demystify Care for Young Adults

Young patients who turn 18 are suddenly forced to fend for themselves in a complex health care system, which can lead to confusion, frustration and gaps in health care. Stacy Kellum, practice manager at VHAN member Brentwood Pediatrics in Brentwood, Tennessee, decided to take a proactive approach to closing the gap.

Demystifying Care for Young Adults

“In the past it was, ‘You need a new provider, pick one, goodbye.’ Our focus now is on making sure that we’re not just dumping these patients without any direction.” VHAN is changing that. 


Stacy Kellum | Brentwood Pediatrics



Behavioral Health

Why It Matters

More than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime (CDC). It can lead to disability, family and relationship problems, social isolation, substance abuse, and legal and financial problems. A mental illness like depression also increases the risk for physical health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Helping members address the domino effect of mental illness is one of our key priorities.

Care Management Support

Acting as an extension of a VHAN member’s practice, the Care Management Team alleviates burdens on staff by freeing up time for other important tasks. Care Navigators can reach out to patients with complex needs and help them find care between visits.

Addressing Physician Burnout

VHAN supports our exhausted, overextended health care provider members with programs and coping strategies to ease pressures and boost mental health.

New Info on VHAN Hub

Members can find all VHAN’s behavioral health resources in one place on the VHAN Hub, including webinars, pediatric behavioral health resources and online behavioral health training.

Community Resource Lists

Pediatric behavioral health community resources, found on the VHAN Hub, are organized by county and patient need, from ADHD and anxiety to eating disorders and substance abuse.

VHAN Member Tools

Critical Post-Pandemic Support

Our first Project ECHO, “Managing Mild to Moderate Depression in Primary Care,” focused on educating pediatricians about depression and giving them mental health resources tailored to young patients. Plans call for another Project ECHO program on a similar topic in 2023.

Patient Success Story

VHAN Helps Patient Cope with Multiple Conditions

Facing multiple medical conditions can cause patients to experience depression, hampering their ability to manage their health. For one patient, a nimble response from VHAN’s Care Management team recently made a huge difference.


Well Moment

In this VHAN-created public webinar series, patients and families can learn from and talk directly to health experts across the network about pressing health and wellness issues. Check out resources, previous recordings and register for upcoming Well Moments at

VHAN Member Resources

Related to Pediatrics and Behavioral Health

VHAN Hub is available exclusively to network members. You must be a VHAN member and register for the Hub to gain access.

Pediatric Support Page

Members can view on VHAN Hub

Pediatrics to Adult Care Transition Guide

Members can access this Quick Reference Guide on VHAN Hub.

Pediatrics to Adult Care Packet

Members can access this Transition Guide Packet on VHAN Hub.

Pediatric Patient Referral Card

Members can access this Digital Card on VHAN Hub.

Pediatric Behavioral Health Consult Line

Download this Digital Card on VHAN Hub to find more information about VHAN’s behavioral health consult line.

Become a VHAN Member

Interested in becoming a VHAN Member and joining a collaborative group of physicians, nurses and allied professionals who are transforming health care? Get started on the contact page.

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