142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Mental and Behavioral Health Capacity Project: Gulf Coast Behavioral Health and Resiliency Center, Mobile, Alabama

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 : 10:50 AM - 11:10 AM

Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling, Ph.D. , Psychology Department, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL
In 2013, Alabama ranked 47th of 50 states in overall health indicators.  Nearly 25% of Alabama adults lack health insurance and access to behavioral health services. In 2010, Lower Alabama experienced the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. This event exacerbated  health-care infrastructure concerns, including lack of integrated health services within Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). Using resources granted from a class action lawsuit, a multi-faceted behavioral health integration strategy was implemented in Lower Alabama FQHCs. 

This presentation will discuss a tool developed to assess the success of service integration in a sample of integrated clinics in Alabama.

 Method: The Mental and Behavioral Heath Capacity Project in Alambama (MBHCP-AL) created an instrument to measure the level of health integration in each targeted FQHC site before and after embedding behavioral health providers into health teams. Nationally, six maturity levels of integration (with multiple domains) have been articulated. Level six represents fully integrated health care. This study assessed progress across two domains: physical proximity of behavioral health within the primary care setting and communication about Behavioral Health among all health team members.

 Findings: Prior to intervention by the MBHCP-AL, the two targeted FQHC centers were functioning between level one and level two integration in both physical proximity (1.5 at each FQHC) and communication (1.25 at each FQHC). One year post implementation strategy, significant advancements in “maturation” levels of integrated care were demonstrated.

Conclusion: Targeted resources can advance integrated care in areas with significant health disparities and high levels of health concerns.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe six levels of integrated behavioral health/primary care. Describe a multi-faceted strategy to advance integrated care in a high need area Explain data that indicates significantly increased levels of maturity of integrated health models in two targeted Federally Qualitfied Health Centers.

Keyword(s): Mental Health System, Community-Based Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Director, Gulf Coast Behavioral Health and Resiliency Center, University of South Alabama, in Mobile.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.