Improving Collaboration between Community-based Primary Care and Behavioral Health in Wisconsin

Submitted by: 02/15/2012 by Maureen Fitzgerald

In February 2012, NIATx kicks off a five-month technical assistance project that will work to improve collaboration between community-based primary care and behavioral health in Wisconsin.

The participating organizations are:

  • Oakwood Clinical Associates (Kenosha), partnering with Kenosha Community Health Center
  • Scenic Bluffs Community Health Center (Cashton), partnering with La Crosse County Human Services-Mental Health Recovery Services
  • Meta House, Inc., partnering with Outreach Community Health Centers (Milwaukee)
  • Progressive Community Health Centers, partnering with The Bridge Health Clinics and Research Center (Milwaukee)
  • Northern Health Centers Nicolet Clinic Behavioral Health Department, partnering with its Medical Department (Lakewood)

These organizations represent a diverse mix of service delivery mechanisms, in rural and urban settings. Planners anticipate that the project could result in several models of integrated bi-directional care between primary care and behavioral health that other states could replicate.

Key players in this unique collaboration include the state of Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (DMHSAS)-Bureau of Prevention Treatment and Recovery, and the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association (WPHCA). DMHSAS will convene and encourage the behavioral health providers, while WPHCA will convene and encourage the federally qualified health centers.

This NIATx learning collaborative is funded by a grant from The Open Society Foundations to prepare the addiction field for changes expected due to health care reform, parity legislation, state budget shortfalls, and the increased focus on performance accountability.

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