J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital
- Project Title: Integrated Rural Behavioral Health and Primary Health Project
- Grant Period: 2017-2018
- Program Representative Interviewed: Shelly D. Rivello, LCSW, Director of Integrated Care
- Location: Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
Program Overview: The project applicants formed a consortium of clinical partners including
J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital, J.C. Blair Medical Services – primary and specialty care, and UPMC Pinnacle
(formerly Pinnacle Health). The program consortium's goal was to integrate behavioral health services into
primary care clinics. This program uses evidenced-based practices including the Primary Care Behavioral Health
(PCBH) Model, cognitive
behavioral therapy, motivational
interviewing, and screening tools that are evidence-based. This program received support from the
Pennsylvania Drug and Alcohol Administrative Office and the Mental Health Administrative Office, which
includes the single county authority and the county mental health administrative office. These organizations
are able to provide insight from the field and from state level government.
In line with the PCBH model, the program needed various resources, including space, personnel, and the ability to locate behavioral health services in a primary care setting. In an attempt to manage multiple demands and maintain access to care despite limited availability of clinical staff, the integrated care staff respond to various practice locations as needs dictate, including social work and care coordination support. Prior to receiving the HRSA grant, this program had a pilot program in order to ensure its success. One of the compromises during the pilot program was administration's inability to dedicate additional resources for program development and implementation. In order to overcome this barrier, the program successfully secured external grant funding through HRSA.
A notable outcome of this program is the patient perception of care. Patient personal testimonies demonstrate that individuals feel emotionally connected in the program which made a difference in their mental and physical health. Providers also feel supported because this program has helped improve workflow, professional colleague support, and direct patient care and warm hand-offs within the clinical setting. The program also offers care management and care coordination through a Care Coordination Manager. This employee conducts follow-up calls, referrals, and coordination of care, which enables the Behavioral Health Consultants to focus on providing clinical services.