Network of Care for Behavioral Health Short-Listed for Major International Award

May 19, 2008
Providence Business News

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Network of Care for Behavioral Health, an online resource launched last June through a collaboration between the Rhode Island Quality Institute and several health care and community organizations, is getting international attention.

The Web site is part of the national Network of Care, which has been named a finalist for the prestigious Stockholm Challenge Trophy, an international award that honors information and communication technologies that show convincing benefits to people and communities, wide impact and proof of future sustainability.

The overall goal of the Stockholm Challenge is to help counteract social and economic disadvantage by promoting the use of information and communication technologies for development.

The Network of Care is a network of community-based Web sites created by Trilogy Integrated Resources LLC in partnership with state and local organizations. Rhode Island became a part of it at the behest of U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, a leader in mental health advocacy in Congress.

The Network of Care aims to ensure there is “no wrong door” through which you can enter to get what you need. It provides user-friendly libraries and vital information about health conditions, pending legislation and advocacy, as well as daily worldwide news articles on mental health issues. Consumers can store their information there securely and connect with others, providers can share challenges and ideas, and agencies can use private message boards to create their own Web sites.

“This network is a terrific example of how technology can put patients at the center of care, where they should be, and improve coordination,” Kennedy said in a news release. “Better information is the first step to better health, and that’s what the Network of Care delivers.”

The Rhode Island site is sponsored by the Quality Institute in partnership with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Bradley Hospital, Butler Hospital, Gateway Health Care Inc., Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, NRI Community Services, the Providence Center, Rhode Island Council of Community Mental Health Organizations, the Rhode Island Health and Educational Building Corporation, Rhode Island Hospital and the Rhode Island Parent Information Network.

The Stockholm Challenge jury will judge the entries based on whether they empower users; promote democratic governance and give users influence over and a measure of control of the services delivered by the project; support equal opportunity; are sustainable; make a demonstrable impact; demonstrate entrepreneurship; and can inspire others.

The Network of Care is among 145 finalists from more than 50 countries. Awards are presented in six different categories: health, culture, economic development, education, environment, public administration. The winners of the Stockholm Challenge Award 2008 trophies will be revealed during a ceremony in Stockholm May 22.