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IPAC member organizations:

Community Partners

  1. Parent Partners
  2. Tri-County Mental Health and Counseling Services, Inc.
  3. Athens County Help Me Grow and Children Services
  4. Athens County Family and Children First Council
  5. Southern Consortium for Children
  6. University Medical Associates
  7. Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development
  8. Athens County Department of Job and Family Services
  9. Hocking-Athens-Perry Community Action Head Start
  10. Athens-Meigs Educational Service Center
  11. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Ohio
  12. Family Healthcare, Inc.
  13. Health Recovery Services
  14. Athens County Juvenile Court
  15. Athens City School District


University Partners

  1. College of Osteopathic Medicine:
    • Department of Family Medicine
    • Department of Pediatrics
    • Area Health Education Center
    • Community Health Programs
  2. College of Arts and Sciences: Psychology and Social Work Clinic
  3. College of Health and Human Services: Hearing, Speech and Language Clinic
  4. College of Communication: School of Communication Studies




Children’s mental health network celebrates growth

Integrating Professionals for Appalachian Children (IPAC) held an appreciation event to recognize collaboration of services

Jane Hamel-Lambert, M.B.A., Ph.D., IPAC president and director of interdisciplinary mental health education at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-COM).


Sept. 26, 2008

By Anita Martin 

September 25 marked the Sunrise Celebration, an appreciation
breakfast for Integrating Professionals for Appalachian Children (IPAC),
a regional network of organizations committed to improving children’s mental health. At the event, hosted by the Ohio University Inn, IPAC thanked member organizations and recognized individuals who have played leadership roles within the network.

“IPAC is a platform that pulls together the resources and wisdom of the community and the university to improve how we care for children in our region,” said Jane Hamel-Lambert, M.B.A., Ph.D., IPAC president and director of interdisciplinary mental health education at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-COM).

The non-profit network includes local families; fourteen community agencies in Athens, Hocking, Meigs and Vinton Counties; and several Ohio University departments and clinics. IPAC participants work together to better screen and assess early childhood mental health risks and eliminate redundant efforts.

“There have been many collaborative attempts, but IPAC has been most successful in its scale and quality of cooperation between community and university voices,” said John Borchard, B.S.N., director of program development for the Southern Consortium for Children. “We all serve the same population; we want to lessen the silo effect and make sure that
kids receive seamless care.”

IPAC began coming together in 2003 and gained rapid momentum last fall when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded them a three-year, $540,000 grant through its federal Health Resources and Services Administration’s Office of Rural Health Policy.

The centerpiece initiative of IPAC is its Family Care Navigator Program. The first family care navigator, Sue Meeks, R.N., is a registered nurse
who assists families in finding the right care for their children and overcoming barriers – from transportation to understanding diagnoses. Meeks is also the nurse coordinator for OU-COM Community Health Programs.

Speakers at Thursday’s event frequently referenced “Joey,” a child whose family came to Meeks years ago, after puzzling through years of multiple referrals with no clear diagnosis or treatment plan.

“When Joey entered our lives, it really gave us (IPAC) focus,” Borchard said. “We realized we really needed to integrate our services, collaborate more with each other and put something in place to better assist families.”

In addition to the Family Navigator Program, IPAC has established an interdisciplinary assessment team and the co-location of mental health providers at University Medical Associates in Athens and Family Healthcare, Inc., in McArthur. They also distributed a standardized screening tool to IPAC members, schools and daycare facilities to improve early detection of mental health risks.

For more on IPAC, visit, or contact Jane Hamel-Lambert at or 740-593-2289.



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Last updated: 01/28/2016