Integrating Care for the Mentally Ill

Pennsylvania is working with organizations to develop a learning collaborative to improve the well-being of patients with serious mental illness especially in rural communities.

A community care team study funded by PCORI was initiated to include the Behavioral Health Alliance of Rural Pennsylvania, the Community Care Behavioral Health Organization, and UPMC’s Center for High-Value Health Care. The team is going to develop a learning collaborative to help the mentally ill.

Specifically the community care team will provide technical assistance, project plans, and identify project milestones. During the 12 months, the learning collaborative will hold intensive in-person wellness coaching training for trainers, conduct in-person meetings for quality improvement teams, and provide nine monthly group phone calls.

Another project named Florissa derived from the Latin meaning “to flourish” is a program created to serve as a one-stop shop for youth and families facing developmental, behavioral, and social and emotional issues.

Florissa, formerly called the “NW Illinois Rural Health Network Pediatric Development Center” began after the “Autism Program of Illinois” started to receive referrals for children after screening when these children were not properly diagnosed with autism.

The result was a population that needed services but had no place to go. In order to make sure that children with other complex issues received the diagnostic services and treatment options they needed, Kreider Services along with the KSB Hospital, Sinnissippi Centers, and the Autism Program of Illinois teamed up to form a one-stop shop in rural Dixon, Illinois to treat children with complex issues.

Florissa obtained initial funding from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) within HRSA. Now a second HRSA grant has been awarded to develop a pediatric Patient-Centered Medical Home with the goal to improve care coordination.

Florissa has added to their clinical team to meet the growing needs of the community, In FY 2018, Florissa was able to increase the number of children receiving direct service by 45 percent. In 2018, about 35 percent of the children that received a diagnostic evaluation or direct therapy were eligible for financial assistance from Florissa.

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