Hi my name is Chelsea Hunter and I am the manager of integrated services within CHI Health. I am a licensed independent mental health practitioner and a licensed clinical social worker. Integrated Services includes integration within the primary care setting, telehealth services and school-based programs.
Integrated care can mean a lot of different things. The goal of integrated care is really to meet the patient where he or she is at. Working with a multidisciplinary team approach, whether it be a primary care physician, a care manager, a specialist, a diabetic educator, a nurse, to focus on the behavioral health and medical needs of the patient. We can work with babies, adults, older adults, the family as a whole. It’s really about focusing on all aspects of patient care to help him or her reach their full potential.
An example might be if somebody comes in for their wellness visit and they endure symptoms of depression or anxiety. The primary care physician might reach out to the behavioral health specialist to come do a further assessment of what is going on. The beauty of integrated care is that really takes place right in the exam room so the patient is comfortable, the patient doesn’t have to go to several different offices, and our goal is really real time assessment and consultation.
It is important to have access to a behavioral health provider within the primary care setting because behavioral health is no different than any other medical component. It’s no different than a person coming in for high blood pressure; a person may be seen for depression or anxiety and it is important to treat those different aspects of a person’s health the same.