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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi officials hope that a $5 million grant will create a more seamless system to care for children’s medical, mental and behavioral needs.

The partnership between the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Mississippi Children’s Home Services was announced Tuesday.

The effort, which aims to break down walls between medical care and mental health care, will be funded with money from the state Medicaid agency.

The idea is to create a centralized assessment center in Jackson to which pediatricians can refer children with complicated medical or behavior problems. Parents and children would then be referred back to sites around the state for mental and behavioral counseling, and UMMC medical specialists would use videoconferencing links to provide advice and consultation to pediatricians in areas outside of Jackson.

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