On August 23, 2019, Primary Health Network announced that they have been selected to receive a grant through Highmark Foundation, which will assist in expanding their Collaborative Care initiative, specifically in Clarion County. The Collaborative Care Model strives to improve the communication and relationships between the primary care provider and mental health providers. Matthew Eckley, Executive Director of Behavioral Health Services at Primary Health Network states, “In this service, we will be integrating Collaborative Care Specialists (LCSW, LPC, or LMFT) into our medical care team.
The Collaborative Care Specialist (CCS) will be introduced into services when the primary care provider feels that the patient would benefit from further mental health treatment. At that time the CCS will be able to further assess patient needs and provide immediate short term interventions and referrals to community services.”
“The Highmark Foundation is pleased to support Primary Health Network through this grant to increase access to primary care and behavioral health services for underserved populations,” said Yvonne Cook, president, Highmark Foundation. “Integration of primary care and behavioral health is important because medical and behavioral health clinicians can collaborate to deliver coordinated co-located care.”
Collaborative Care was first introduced to Primary Health Network in February 2018, and has since proven to have positive measureable outcomes. Joseph Montone, Primary Health Network’s Chief Operational Officer states, “This is not only an innovative approach to delivering higher quality of care to our patients, but it is also necessary. By utilizing the Collaborative Care model of care it will allow for early identification and treatment of conditions, reducing the burden on higher levels of service.
We are grateful to Highmark Foundation for recognizing the benefits to Collaborative Care and look forward to offering this program to the community of Clarion County.”