Partnership Paves Way for New “Life Center”

  • Category: News
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  • Written By: Horizon Health

Importance of Mental Health Services Discussed

Groundbreaking for a new “Life Center” will take place this month on the campus of Horizon Health.

This initiative is a partnership between Horizon Health and the Human Resources Center of Clark and Edgar Counties (HRC). The two organizations have a long history of working together to support the health of local residents. Over the last 18 months, representatives from both organizations have been discussing how to effectively integrate mental health into primary care services.

“We [Horizon Health] have addressed a great number of other community healthcare needs and operational efficiencies through our building and remodeling projects,” said Dave Frisse, Horizon Health board member and chairman of the hospital’s supporting foundation. “This is another one that needs attention.”

On March 27, the boards of both organizations met to discuss the building, which will be located to the east of the existing HRC building on the Horizon Health campus. The new space will be shared between HRC and Horizon Health’s Senior Care program. Construction is expected to take one year and be completed in Spring 2020.

Upon completion, HRC staff will shift the services currently being offered at 118 East Court Street to the Life Center. The HRC building, located behind the hospital at 753 East Court Street, will remain open.

The Life Center, and inclusion on the Horizon Health campus, will offer a number of benefits for patients and staff of both organizations.

  • With HRC’s full complement of mental health services adjacent to Horizon Health, HRC staff, as well as patients, can simply walk between the two locations providing seamless and timely transition.
  • HRC, and mental health at-large, have an ongoing struggle with perception, or stigma. Including mental health within the primary health campus, will lessen stigma and aid in integration.
  • Providers will be able to request screenings or other intervention services immediately given the close proximity of the Life Center and Horizon Health. Studies show that outcomes for mental health diagnosis are better with early intervention.
  • The Life Center will include a crisis center with after-hours coverage to address challenges often encountered in the emergency room.

Horizon Health President & CEO Oliver Smith noted: “These patients need to have access right away. It’s just like anything else, you give them 4-5 days [to think about treatment], and they may not participate.”

The new space will also benefit Senior Care, Horizon Health’s outpatient psychiatry program for senior citizens. The program currently operates out of the Verona Mall, next to Dollar General in Paris. They have outgrown their space in recent years. They, too, will benefit from increased proximity to the main health campus.

It was also noted that Horizon Health and HRC are already working in close collaboration on the telepsychiatry services that started last fall at Horizon Health.