Integrating Physical Health and Behavioral Health Services
EPHT and the Regional Health Commission (RHC) have established a productive collaboration. In 2003, The Trust funded the implementation of a strategic plan developed by the RHC for restructuring primary and specialty healthcare services in the St. Louis region. EPHT decided to support the RHC again in 2006 as they developed a behavioral health initiative aimed at helping individuals and families affected by mental health and substance abuse issues.
The strategic plan called for integrating behavioral health services into community health centers so that patients would have a more responsive and coordinated system of care. As a result of this work, RHC and EPHT have joined together to create the Building Sustainable & Systemic Integration of Physical Health and Behavioral Health Services Initiative.
This initiative has been recognized nationally by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as “an excellent example of local implementation of transformational principles and a model of state/local collaboration that other regions and states would do well to emulate. Its involvement of stakeholders at all levels and its commitment not only to improve behavioral health services but to fully integrate them with primary healthcare is a practical and effective approach that is particularly noteworthy.”
Integrated Health Network
EPHT has supported the work of The St. Louis Integrated Health Network (IHN). IHN is an alliance of primary and specialty medical care providers that work with the underserved population of St. Louis. EPHT provided funding for IHN’s first initiative, which was to develop a marketing campaign that would promote the services of these healthcare providers to these difficult-to-reach patients.
IHN used printed materials, advertisements, special events, and digital media to communicate its message. Research conducted at emergency departments during the 4th quarter of 2010 showed a 60% increase in referral requests for IHN healthcare providers.