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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Primary care program for homeless and at-risk veterans

Jessica Blue-Howells, MSW, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, 11301 Wilshire Blvd., Building 206, Room 116, Los Angeles, CA 90073, 310-478-3711 ext. 43759, Jessica.Blue-Howells@med.va.gov

This presentation will describe the Veterans Affairs Central Office New Clinical Program Initiatives funded demonstration project, “Primary Care Program For Homeless And At Risk Veterans”(#NPI-00-022-1). This is the only project in the VA to evaluate comprehensive, co-located, integrated care for homeless mentally ill veterans. The mission of the project is to create a co-located homeless-mental health-primary care clinic that improves access to integrated care for homeless and at risk veterans and enhances the quality, appropriateness and cost effectiveness of care. In July, 2002, the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System co-located its Comprehensive Homeless Center, Mental Health Clinic and Primary Care Clinic in one building, creating a biopsychosocial “one-stop” center. While there have been other studies of integrated mental health-primary care (Druss et al., 2001) and substance abuse-primary care (Freidman et al., 2003) programs, this is the only center of its kind being implemented and evaluated in VHA.

The presentation will include: A review of the need and rationale for the project, including homeless veterans' access to and use of care prior to the demonstration project. A description of the delivery of care model that is used in the demonstration clinic, which includes street outreach, nursing triage, social services, primary medical care and mental health care. A description of the IRB-approved evaluation, which includes a two-group quasi-experimental design comparing patients' access to care, aggregate measures of patient service utilization, a qualitative study of the planning, implementation and operation of the clinic, and an evaluation of staff perceptions of program integration.

Learning Objectives: The main objective of this session is to