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Aetna Better Health of West Virginia provides $610,000 to Pressley Ridge

December 13, 2022 |3 minute read time

An adult counselor speaking with three children

CHARLESTON, WV, Dec. 13, 2022 — Aetna Better Health® of West Virginia, a CVS Health® company (NYSE: CVS), announced it has provided a $610,000 community investment to Pressley Ridge in West Virginia to support treatment programs at its residential campus and home- and community-based service expansion initiatives for Children with Serious Emotional Disorders (CSED) waivers in the state.

Pressley Ridge is a multi-state, social-impact organization supporting youth and families with complex behavioral health needs. At its Grant Gardens facility in Ona, WV, Pressley Ridge operates an intensive, residential-treatment program that addresses underlying trauma, while simultaneously preparing children, as well as their families, for transition back to home- and/or community-based settings through CSED waiver services. As part of this ongoing work, Aetna’s contributions are helping Pressley Ridge enhance employee recruitment and retention, expand staff training to advance clinical knowledge and expertise, and improve technology to increase safety.

West Virginia’s CSED waiver program provides eligible children and teens with serious behavioral or mental health needs with a range of intensive behavioral health services and supports. The goal of the program is to assist children with severe emotional disorders by helping them remain with their families, in their homes and communities, with a support network, while receiving the services they need to improve outcomes.

“In 2019, before the State began building more community-based capacity through holistic and coordinated CSED waiver services, Pressley Ridge served a larger percentage of youth in residential treatment programs,” said Angie Hamilton Thomas, executive director, Pressley Ridge West Virginia/Virginia. “With the help of Aetna and other stakeholder funding, we’ve been able to reduce the number of children in residential care and increase community-based services. Today, 80% of our former high-acuity, residential clients are now living with family/independently or have stepped-down their service intensity as a result of experiencing improvement in functioning, and of those discharged, 100% reported an increase in well-being.”

“Aetna has long-been involved in providing solutions that impact the state’s child welfare system and the youth and families we serve through the Specialized Managed Care for Children and Youth contract in West Virginia,” said Todd White, CEO, Aetna Better Health of West Virginia. “Pressley Ridge has been a valued collaborator, serving the most complex cases through forward-thinking, best-practice approaches and the highest standards of trauma-informed care. We look forward to our continued relationship.”

An example of Pressley Ridge’s work to create a seamless, supportive transition is evident through the case of Timothy*, an Aetna Better Health member in foster care who was the victim of intense, long-term abuse and who struggled with aggressive outbursts and a high degree of dysregulation. Timothy came to Pressley Ridge in a deeply medicated state after having been through several levels of other treatment programs without success. Upon arrival, Pressley Ridge’s clinical team worked closely with Aetna Better Health care management to significantly reduce his medication and bring him to a more responsive state. This allowed Timothy to better participate in all phases of treatment and eventually transition back to his family with CSED waiver supportive services and proper community-based treatment planning in place.

Aetna Better Health of West Virginia is the sole managed care organization for the state’s Specialized Managed Care for Children and Youth contract. The statewide contract covers the physical and behavioral health care services for children and youth in the foster care system and individuals receiving adoption assistance, as well as children in the CSED waiver program. The health plan has administered CSED waiver programs for members in West Virginia since March 1, 2020.

*Name changed to protect privacy

About Aetna Medicaid

Aetna Medicaid Administrators LLC (Aetna Medicaid), a CVS Health company, has over 30 years of experience managing the care of the most medically vulnerable, using innovative approaches and a local presence in each market to achieve both successful health care results and effective cost outcomes. Aetna Medicaid has particular expertise serving high-need Medicaid members, including those who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. Currently, Aetna Medicaid owns and/or administers Medicaid managed health care plans under the names of Aetna Better Health and other affiliate names. Together, these plans serve approximately 2.8 million people in 16 states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. For more information, see

About CVS Health

CVS Health® is the leading health solutions company, delivering care like no one else can. We reach more people and improve the health of communities across America through our local presence, digital channels and over 300,000 dedicated colleagues – including more than 40,000 physicians, pharmacists, nurses and nurse practitioners. Wherever and whenever people need us, we help them with their health – whether that’s managing chronic diseases, staying compliant with their medications or accessing affordable health and wellness services in the most convenient ways. We help people navigate the health care system – and their personal health care – by improving access, lowering costs and being a trusted partner for every meaningful moment of health. And we do it all with heart, each and every day. Follow @CVSHealth on social media.

Media contact

Robert Joyce