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“Ribbon Tying” Celebrates Innovative Primary Care Program

On April 26, CHD held a “Ribbon Tying” event at our newly renovated Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic on Park Street in West Springfield. A ribbon was knotted to mark the integration of primary care services into the mental healthcare that has long been provided at the site. This pilot program was made possible by a $1 million grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.


Pictured in the first photo are (L-R) West Springfield Mayor William Reichelt, CHD Vice President of Clinical Services Lindsay Ciepiela, CHD Senior Vice President of Medical Services Jalil Johnson, CHD Chief Operating Officer Tracey Decker, and CHD President and CEO Jim Goodwin.


“This day has been the culmination of a lot of aspirational thinking over many years,” said Goodwin. “Traditionally, behavioral health has always been in one category and primary care services in another—they’ve been siloed out. But to give people the best level of service, we have to merge the two and they’ve got to be coordinated.” He said this new model is expected to lead to better health outcomes for patients.


Dr. Johnson said that this redesign of care services has a holistic view, looking at the complete picture of a person’s needs and concerns. “Typically, you have a medical practice that brings in a behavioral health professional who provides counseling and other services,” he said. “We are doing the inverse of that—a reverse integration. It allows us to provide whole-person care with a one-care-team approach.”


Ciepiela said the pilot program will improve coordination and collaboration. “It’s about providing the right care at the right time” at the right place,” she said. “After years of planning, “we’ve found a way to get it done.”