Center for Health & Wellness
Mental Health Counselor Amy Glendening of the Center for Health and Wellness
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Sunflower Foundation > 2013 Annual Report > Features > Center for Health & Wellness
Wichita Center for Health and Wellness. Creating Holistic Care.
It can be a tough job to convince someone experiencing symptoms of depression to seek help at a mental health center when they are used to a traditional doctor’s office. And it’s equally tough to convince someone who is receiving care from a mental health center to seek help from an unfamiliar health clinic.
The Center for Health and Wellness in Wichita wants to make the process easier by ensuring the patient only has to come to one place for both mental health and primary care services.
The health center in northeast Wichita received a grant from the Sunflower Foundation to support their vision for integrating the two kinds of care.
“We are trying to figure out how to navigate the system ourselves,” said Teresa Lovelady, president and chief executive officer of the health center. “We want to be able to advocate for the patients we serve.”
Medical providers and behavioral specialists are learning new ways of teaming together with patients and clinic support staff to address multiple behavioral health needs that often manifest themselves through physical symptoms. For example, patients are screened for depression at least annually, and behavioral health staff provide immediate follow up care when indicated.
A social worker provides consultations for the physicians and nurses at the clinic, often during the medical appointment. Follow up behavioral health appointments can also occur outside the traditional medical exam, and in the process, if the social worker learns that a patient needs to see a doctor, they are able to do so at that time.
Lovelady and her team believe that integrated care focuses on the patient – resulting in a better experience, better care and better efficiency.
“We see them as partners in this process,” she said.