Local integrated health care provider Axis Health System is expected to receive $150,000 in grants over three years.
Don McCandless, Axis vice president of development, said the money will go toward an innovative health care profile system that combines a patients physical health and mental health records.
About two years ago, our board of directors decided the future of health care was more about integration treating the whole patient, he said. Weve decided to transform our organization; instead of being strictly mental health, being an integrated health care provider. So what that means is when a patient comes in, were going to ask them, How are you feeling? And there may be mental health components to that; there may be primary care components. But at the end of the day, its all about the patient.
The Advancing Care Together program grant funds the development, implementation and testing of the profile system, McCandless said.
(The) ACT grant specifically helps us develop that tool, he said. So that profile will contain mental health metrics, primary health metrics, that enable the health care team to help look at the whole patient kind of like a dashboard.
Physical and mental health care metrics are usually kept separate, he said.
Integrated health care is also the function of Axis new multi-million dollar facility located on Empire Street in Cortez. The facility is scheduled to open as soon as December.
The facility will feature treatment rooms with sinks and tables for physical care and rooms with comfortable furniture for mental care, McCandless said.
When a client or a patient comes to see us, well locate them in one of the rooms, he said. And then whats unique, is that the health care team, which will consist of primary care (doctors) and behavioral health professionals, will go as a team and talk to our client. The end goal is to help them feel better.
The facility will not be an emergency room, surgery center or funeral home, he said.
Were very excited to build this in Cortez rather than anywhere else, he said.
McCandless acknowledged the current lack of professionals to staff the new facility.
Thats mostly because were moving from a small mental health clinic to a larger, integrated health care clinic, he said.
Axis will be recruiting doctors, mental health care providers and staff, he said.
Axis is one of 11 organizations in the state joining forces with the ACT Program in an effort to bolster primary care and mental health care in Colorado.
Funded by the Colorado Health Foundation and housed in the University of Colorado School of Medicine, ACT is a coalition of state local and national leaders who hope to tap into the expertise of health care providers and bridge the gap between physical and mental health problems, a CU press release stated.
The formal launch of ACT will take place Sept. 16 at Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs.
Axis Health System is a nonprofit started in 1961, McCandless said.
Reach Reid Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.