OGDEN -- Last year, Weber Human Services and Midtown Community Health Clinic collaborated to bring about the state's first integrated clinic for mental and physical health.
Now the clinic is being nationally recognized for its success.
In an article published by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Integrated Health Solutions earlier this month, the Wellness clinic and Midtown Community Health Center were praised for having successfully bridged the chasm, separating behavioral health and primary care into the community, and, states the article, they have done it in a manner that deceptively appears effortless.
"While most collaborative efforts struggle, these innovative healthcare providers in Ogden, Utah thrive in their commitment to a shared vision of improving health outcomes for their community members with behavioral health disorders," the article states.
In addition the Wellness Clinic is being considered as one of the top three sites in the nation by the National Council Community for Behavioral Health.
Karen Bassett, a licensed certified social worker at the clinic, said that by having an integrated clinic, those with mental illnesses are provided a health home that addresses the whole person. The health home is located within the Weber Human Services building adjacent to the behavioral health services offered by WHS.
Before the clinic opened last February, Bassett said those with mental and physical illnesses were not as healthy as the rest of the population because of segregated treatment. She said studies have shown patients with long-term or chronic mental illness live an average of 25 years less than others not dealing with these issues. Now patients are able to have all of their needs addressed in a "one-stop shopping" experience.
"Behavioral health, primary care, laboratory services, a pharmacy and wellness classes are provided in one location with the goal of improving the lives of these vulnerable adults," she said. "Many have chronic, untreated health issues."
The clinic, at 237 26th St., received a $1.6 million grant over four years from SAMHS. Fees are based on family size and income. Those with Medicaid, Medicare, Primary Care Network, private insurance or no insurance can seek care at the clinic.