La Junta, Colorado
Lamar REACT: Rural Excellence in Advancing Care Together
JC Carrica, EdD
Front row (L to R): JC Carrica, Kali Mae Mendoza-Werner, Azucena Estrada, Joyce Bond and Steve Vigil; Back row (L to R): Rochelle Peil, Paul Taylor, Lisa Chavez, Lauren Williamson
Southeast Health Group (SHG) has been a leader in efforts to integrate health care going back to 2005 when psychotherapists were first placed in primary care clinics in SE Colorado. In late 2012 the board and management team decided to bring primary care in house, to the main office in La Junta, as a pilot project due to the loss of several primary care providers in the area. The SHG Wellness Works Integrated Care Clinic opened its doors and began seeing patients in early February 2013.
The integrated care clinic is closely connected with psychatric services, therapists and addiction counselors; each within a few steps of each other. All of the providers work closely, with "huddles" througout the day to provide a seamless system of care. The integrated care team meets weekly to do case management and take a "pulse check."
SHG redesigned the clinic entrance and the waiting area to convey to all comers that we provide integrated health care services for everyone. All patients for all services enter the same doors with the same reception and intake procedures, removing the stigma of receiving mental health or substance abuse care.
SHG aims to add a full-time integrated addictions counselor and develop and implement a hybrid tool of the SBIRTand PHQ-9 (9-item depression patient health questionnaire) for the electronic medical record that can be used to screen primary care patients for mental health and substance abuse problems.