Online Program

Evolution of CHW's in a primary care setting: Taking behavioral health care integration and recovery beyond the clinic walls

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 11:30 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

Honor Potvin, MPH, Genesee Community Health Center, Flint, MI
Patricia Reynolds, MPH, Genesee Health System, Flint, MI
Patty Wagenhofer-Rucker, LMSW, Health Center, Genesee Community Health Center, Flint, MI
Drusilla Blackmon, BA, CPRM-M, DP-C, CPSS, Genesee Community Health Center, Flint, MI
Primary care settings frequently lack the resources necessary to address the complex needs of persons with combined addiction, mental illness, and physical illness.  As a result, these people often cycle through costly disconnected services without experiencing lasting recovery or improved health outcomes. One of the driving forces behind the inclusion of CHWs in our federally qualified health center was to provide a level of relationship-based care to these vulnerable high-need populations not traditionally available in a primary care setting.  CHWs in our setting, or Community Health Coaches as we call them, have lived experience in recovery from mental health or substance use disorders. Through the use of an integrated model, the multidisciplinary team “walks alongside” persons served creating solutions together.   The CHWs are key to this model as they are able to share their story and engage with individuals in a way not realized before, resulting in higher quality care, improved health outcomes and recovery experiences, and lower costs as high-end service utilization is reduced.  Our CHWs work closely with the Emergency Department, area homelss shelters, the local housing authority, and a variety of other community groups providing safety-net services to vulnerable populations. The intensive care coordination provided by the CHWs promotes multiple pathways to recovery and connects them to the community. This presentation includes one CHW presenter.  Our CHWs have worked on the development of this program from its inception, are responsible for the data collection, and actively use that data to inform and expand the program.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Formulate specific cost savings utilizing a nontraditional approach to recovery and wellness. Describe a successful staffing model and target caseloads for a relationship-based multidisciplinary care team that includes CHWs in recovery from mental health or substance use disorders. Identify three trainings/tools that can enhance/complement CHW-driven recovery and wellness services.

Keyword(s): Community Health Workers and Promoters, Mental Health Treatment &Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Honor Potvin has over 10 years’ experience advancing innovative systems-level transformations benefitting the most vulnerable populations within our communities. She has been involved in programming at local and national levels across diverse sectors including education, research, health care, and the legal system. Most recently, she has co-led a successful effort to achieve the first-ever FQHC designation for a public community mental health authority, Genesee Health System in Flint, Michigan.
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.