Greenfield Center for Wellness – Integration Research
Consumers have long been sold on the idea of one-stop shopping for their at-home needs. Healthcare has been moving toward a similar model to serve the needs of clients. This model will be in place early in 2018 when the Center for Human Development (https://chd.org/ ) completes its $4 million renovation of the former Sears & Roebuck building and opens the Greenfield Center for Wellness, a partnership of CHD and the Community Health Center of Franklin County (http://www.chcfc.org/ ).
Integrated care is an innovative concept, and research demonstrates that it offers a wide range of benefits for individuals, families, providers and communities.
The concept of agencies working together to provide medical and behavioral health services in a seamless fashion for consumers is an example of integrated healthcare in a community clinic setting (http://www.apa.org/health/integrated-health-care.aspx). The physical health side allows for the delivery of services such as preventive screenings, referrals to specialists and immunizations. The integration of behavioral health allows primary care providers to refer clients for individual as well as family therapy, get support for dual diagnosis treatment and mentoring, and other services.
According to the federally funded SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (http://www.integration.samhsa.gov/about-us/about-cihs ), “Integrating mental health, substance abuse and primary care services produces the best outcomes and proves the most effective approach to caring for people with multiple healthcare needs.”
It has been estimated that two-thirds of primary care providers have difficulty accessing outpatient behavioral health for their patients because of a shortage of such providers (https://www.pcpcc.org/content/benefits-integration-behavioral-health). Previously, CHD’s behavioral health services and Community Health’s primary care component have been located in rental space at Greenfield’s Cherry Rum Plaza and Community Health’s dental services have been in Turners Falls. Now, all of these services will be under one roof.
Reducing Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths
Primary care providers are being provided with better tools to screen patients – particularly the young – for substance abuse or behavioral health disorders to help reduce the growing numbers of opioid overdose related deaths, as well as to address mental health issues. This is true in states including Massachusetts. (http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/masshealth/cbhi/cbhi-guide.pdf ) The most recent statistics (http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/stop-addiction/current-statistics/data-brief-overdose-deaths-february-2017.pdf) show that there were an estimated 1,979 opioid related deaths in the commonwealth in 2016, more than five times the number in 2000. An integrated approach to wellness can be life saving for someone suffering with mental and substance abuse disorders.
Providing Cost-Effective Care
In terms of both delivery of care and helping those with behavioral health issues return to work, integrated care is cost-effective (https://www.pcpcc.org/content/benefits-integration-behavioral-health ).
Providing Economic Benefits for the Community
The Greenfield Center for Wellness is expected to have an annual economic impact of more than $11 million for Greenfield and bring 80 professional employees to the west end. It will enable clients to access – at one location – medical, dental and behavioral health services in an integrated and coordinated way. This combines the potential to achieve better their health outcomes with more convenient scheduling and transportation options for the surrounding community.
Now Greenfield, which has an historic downtown similar to Springfield and Holyoke, will benefit from the renovation and repurposing an historic building for an innovative community-focused purpose.