Delta Center California is a 2.5-year initiative funded by the California Health Care Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that brings together mental health, substance use disorder, and primary care stakeholders to accelerate care improvement and integration through policy and practice change. This Call for Applications invites California teams comprised of primary care and behavioral health (including mental health and/or substance use) providers to complete a brief application and interview for selection into the Delta Center California Learning Lab.
All information on this page is also in the PDF version of the Call for Applications.
Download the Call for Applications
Please download the Call for Applications for details on eligibility, program expectations, and application instructions.
We hosted an informational webinar on March 2, 2021. An FAQ document is posted below.
Ready to submit your application?
Applications were due March 19, 2021. If you missed the deadline but were hoping to apply, please reach out to us via email.
- Application Release: February 18
- Informational webinar (watch recording): March 2
- Non-binding statement of intent to apply due (optional): March 12
- FAQ period closed: March 12
- Application deadline: March 19, 12:00pm PT
- Notification of interview participation: March 26
- Interviews: April 1-9
- Selection results (via email): April 26
- Team kickoff calls with Delta Center California: May 10-21
- First Learning Lab Convening (virtual): June 7-9
Introduction and Purpose
The ultimate goal of Delta Center California is to cultivate health policy and a care system that is both more equitable and better meets the goals and needs of individuals and families. Building more equitable systems and policies means addressing factors such as structural racism and stigma against mental illness and substance use that have resulted in disparities in outcomes. Delta Center California builds on a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded national Delta Center effort that brought together primary care and behavioral health association leaders in 12 states to advance policy and practice.
The Delta Center California Learning Lab is a 16-month program that will bring together local teams and state association partners to engage in relationship, knowledge, and capacity building, as well as peer-to-peer learning. Through participation in the Learning Lab, teams will have the opportunity to advance a project focused on improving access, care experience, and/or outcomes for adults who have specialty mental health and/or substance use disorder needs.
Up to six competitively selected teams will receive $50,000 of funding to support the team’s participation in the following activities:
- Three Learning Lab Convenings: Convenings will provide an opportunity for level-setting on the history of primary care and behavioral health payment and financing policy in California, learning from experts on shared topics of interest, and peer-to-peer learning. Content will build on a literature review conducted by the Delta Center California Program Office, and a curriculum co-designed by our partner organizations and based on the needs of the selected teams. The convenings will also build new relationships between participants and facilitate communication between those working at the state level and teams who are delivering care on the ground, to ensure that local care transformation projects funded through this application and the Delta Center California state-level policy work are mutually informative. The first convening will be virtual, with sessions spread out across multiple days; the second and/or third may be in person, depending on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic (convenings are planned for June 2021, early 2022, and Fall 2022). In-person convenings will be 1.5 days long. No one will be asked to assemble in person if they do not feel safe doing so.
- Coaching: Teams will receive hour-long virtual 1:1 coaching sessions from Delta Center California Program Office members every other month to support their projects, collaborate in addressing challenges, and advance their work.
- Webinars: Between convenings, teams will have the opportunity to attend webinars every other month as well as other virtual learning events on topics of interest to the group.
- Site visit: In 2022, teams will take part in a day-long site visit organized by Delta Center California to a health center, community-based organization (CBO), or other organization that is a leader in primary care and behavioral health integration.
Through participation in the program, teams will:
- Build relationships with one another and with other teams in the cohort
- Share and learn best practices and strategies for overcoming challenges
- Cultivate a shared understanding of state-wide care integration and payment efforts
- Increase knowledge of value-based payment and care including behavioral health quality and access metrics
- Enhance skills and commitment to integrated, consumer-centered care
- Develop increased capacity to apply a racial equity lens to practice change
Who Can Apply
Any team providing or implementing integrated primary care, mental health care, and/or substance use disorder services in the safety net (to individuals who are uninsured, enrolled in Medi-Cal, or low-income) is eligible to apply. This includes, but is not limited to, representatives from the following types of organizations:
- Community-based organizations
- Non-profit agencies
- Community clinics and health centers / Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)
- Public hospitals and health systems
- Community mental health centers
- County behavioral health agencies
- Substance use disorder treatment providers
- Medi-Cal Managed Care plans
Successful applications will include partnership and collaboration across multiple organizations. One organization should be identified as the lead applicant, and will be responsible for managing the grant administratively (signing the contract, receiving and disbursing funds to partners, leading communication with the Delta Center California Program Office).
Teams should include staff across organizations that will facilitate success of the project, including at least one provider of primary care and at least one provider of mental health and/or substance use disorder treatment. Providers could include, but are not limited to:
- Other licensed practitioners of the healing arts
- Community health workers
- Social workers
- Marriage and family therapists
- Traditional healers
- Peer support specialists
Additional team members could include other members of the care team, staff at community-based organizations, community members, patient, consumer, or family representatives, and/or payer representatives (including Medi-Cal managed care organizations and/or County mental health plan representatives).
Applicant teams will use their participation in the Learning Lab as an opportunity to work on a project, initiative, or pilot effort focused on improving access, care experience, and/or outcomes for adults who have specialty mental health and/or substance use disorder needs. These projects must:
- Advance the integration of primary care, mental health care, and/or substance use disorder treatment and recovery services
- Target adults who need specialty mental health care and/or substance use disorder treatment.
- Lead to direct impact on consumer care, experience, or outcomes
- Include consumer representation in design and implementation
- Advance racial equity. Racial equity is the systematic fair treatment of people of all races that results in equitable opportunities and outcomes for everyone and requires naming and dismantling systems of oppression (Race Forward).
The examples below are not intended to be prescriptive or limiting. They are described to help potential applicants understand the range of projects and teams that might consider applying for this opportunity.
Example Applicant 1: A Federally-Qualified Health Center (FQHC) recently designated as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) is working with their local County Mental Health Plan (MHP) to improve the delivery of specialty mental health services and identify ways to sustain services following the end of CCBHC funding. Within this work, the CCBHC and the MHP are planning to assess access and outcomes data by race, and identify ways to improve experience and access to care for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Their core team would include physical and mental health care providers, a representative from the County Mental Health Plan, and a consumer representative from the board of directors of the FQHC.
Example Applicant 2: A community-based organization (CBO) that provides mental health and substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and support services through community-defined practices has partnered with community health workers from a health center to provide integrated primary care services. The two organizations want to learn from other organizations doing this type of work and identify ways to access sustainable funding for their activities and partnership through Medi-Cal and other public programs. Their core team would include a leader from the CBO, community health workers from both the CBO and health center, and a community leader who has received services through the CBO.
Example Applicant 3: A public hospital and a County Department of Behavioral Health have partnered to provide integrated primary care, mental health, and substance use disorder treatment and recovery services through telehealth, with a specific focus on increasing access and quality for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and people with limited English proficiency. Through their partnership, they want to identify best practices, track and measure the impact of integrated telehealth on care experience and outcomes, and support the case for sustainable funding of integrated telehealth services through Medi-Cal. Their core team would include providers of telehealth care (primary care, mental health care, and substance use disorder treatment), a data analyst, and a consumer representative.
Expectations for Grantees
Delta Center California grantees will be expected to engage in peer-to-peer learning, develop new capabilities or enhance existing ones, and proactively share strategies, challenges, and best practices with one another and the field. The core project team is expected to participate in all activities outlined above, including in-person participation as health and safety allow. Teams will also be expected to work together to advance their project work between Learning Lab events, and grantees will be required to submit five brief written progress reports and respond to convening and session feedback requests to support evaluation of the initiative. The Delta Center California Program Office will work with grantees prior to and during the first convening to identify a strategy for measuring and tracking progress of grantee activities through the course of the Learning Lab.
Delta Center California is interested in working with and funding teams that have the capacity to meaningfully advance primary care and behavioral health integration and are willing to share their experiences. Additionally, the Delta Center California Program Office is looking for teams that are committed to collaboration, elevating consumer voice in their project, and applying a racial equity lens to their work.
The following selection criteria will be used to evaluate applications:
- Strength or likelihood of the project to advance integration of primary care and behavioral health care in order to improve access, care experience, and/or outcomes for individuals who have specialty mental health and/or substance use disorder needs
- Strength or likelihood of the approach to meaningfully engage consumers / consumer representatives and center consumer needs in project design and implementation
- Strength or likelihood of the approach to advance racial equity and/or address racial disparities.
- Appropriateness of the identified team, including a variety of perspectives, roles, and organizations, for conducting program activities including project work and active participation in the Learning Lab
- Likelihood that the applicant will contribute to peer-to-peer learning
Application and Selection Process
Intent to Apply: The optional, non-binding Intent to Apply was due on March 12th.
Submission and Review: Each team must submit their application no later than 12:00pm Pacific Time on Friday, March 19, 2021. For both the lead organization and partner organization(s), you will need to supply the name and primary contact information, organization type, and field(s) of focus. You will be asked to upload the proposal narrative as a single PDF. The Delta Center California Program Office, in collaboration with the California Health Care Foundation, and the Delta Center California Advisory Group, will review written applications the week of March 22, 2021. Please submit your application here.
Interview Process: The Delta Center California team will conduct 60-90 minute team interviews April 1-9, 2021 to discuss project plans in more detail, gain clarity on information shared in the application, and meet applicant teams. Please be prepared to be available for an interview during that time period if your team is selected for an interview. Grant announcements will be made on April 26, 2021.
Delta Center California held an informational webinar, including a question and answer period, on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. For additional questions, please contact Delta Center California at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 415-400-0028. An FAQ summarizing submitted questions and answers will be posted to and updated until March 12, 2021.
A. Cover Page
The cover page should include the following information for the lead applicant:
- Phone number
B. Application Prompts
Please respond to the following prompts in your response. Applications should be 3-5 pages in length.
1) Project Description (50 points): Please describe your project for the Delta Center California Learning Lab, addressing the following topics:
- Goals: What do you hope to accomplish or achieve?
- Activities: What services or activities are you addressing through this work? How is this project advancing integration of primary care, mental health care, and/or substance use disorder treatment?
- Project History: Is this a new or existing project? What has been done to date on this project?
- Alignment: How does this project fit within the overall work of your organization?
- Target Population: Within the defined target population of adults who need specialty mental health care and/or substance use disorder treatment, are there specific sub-populations or communities you are planning to focus on?
- Outcomes orientation: How will your project improve health and/or well-being outcomes for individuals and families?
- Challenges: What barrier(s) are you facing in this work that the Learning Lab could support?
- Peer Learning: Are you committed to sharing your experience and learnings with your peers in the Learning Lab? What strengths and/or best practices will you bring to the Learning Lab?
2) Elevating Consumer Voice and Racial Equity (25 points): Delta Center California believes that the design and implementation of programs need to incorporate consumer voice and intentionally address racial equity in order to create a care system that better meets the goals and needs of individuals and families, and addresses racial and economic disparities. Please describe how you will incorporate consumer voice and a racial equity lens into your project.
3) Staffing (10 points): Please describe the composition of your project team, including a “core team” of 3-5 people. The core team should plan to participate in all activities outlined above, invest significant time in the project, and represent multiple organizations or stakeholders. Teams should include members with the decision-making authority needed to plan, implement, and spread changes within their respective organizations. If leadership of each participating organization is not represented in the core team, please describe how they will participate as executive sponsors of the project. Please describe any existing or previous collaboration that has taken place across organizations that are part of this project.
For all project team members across organizations, please include:
- Name and contact information
- Title and organization
- Project role and time commitment to project
- Relevant experience and expertise
4) Important Dates: Please confirm your core team’s availability for a 60-90 minute video or phone interview on the following dates: April 1-9, 2021. Please also confirm your team’s availability for the first convening June 7-9, 2021.