Collaborative Bridges Delivering a New Model of Care to Close Gaps in Behavioral and Mental Health Services on West Side of Chicago

CHICAGO, Aug. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A transformation of the way mental and behavioral healthcare is delivered on the West Side of Chicago is underway with the establishment of Collaborative Bridgesa partnership of three safety net hospitals and three community mental health agencies with a combined 300 of years of commitment and history serving West Side communities.

Collaborative Bridges community treatment teams are now supporting the needs of all three hospital partners’ patients with mental health and substance abuse needs as they discharge from hospital-based care. The Collaborative Bridges community teams provide patients with a seamless transition of care as they return to their communities and ensure stabilization plans developed in the hospital are continued outside the hospital.

Each community organization within Collaborative Bridges is paired with a hospital-based partner to close the gap in service between in-patient and out-patient services.  Specifically:

“Our partners recognize how critical it is that we are integrated in our approaches to get at the root causes of the mental health and substance use stressors people face.” said Patrick Dombrowski, Executive Director of Collaborative Bridges. “We have an opportunity to create systems of care that are solution-focused and connected at a community level. When people seek hospital care for behavioral health and substance needs, it is often because they have inadequate community support in their lives. Collaborative Bridges is looking to change that.”

“For many decades, healthcare in the US has been fractured, with hospitals and community-based organizations operating in silos, resulting in systemic issues at the cost of patient care”, said Rohit Yadav, Vice President of Quality and Performance Improvement at Loretto Hospital. “The Collaborative Bridges model addresses those issues through a patient-centric approach that emphasizes total health, including those social determinants of health which have led to inequities and disparities in healthcare.”

Under current systems of care, nationwide, the rate of suicide attempts is 300% higher the week after discharge while only 25% of behavioral health hospital discharges are connected to aftercare supports. To confront this challenge, Collaborative Bridges assigns care coordinators to patients and stays close through their entire care journey. Collaborative Bridges pairs community health workers and peer recovery specialists with each patient immediately upon discharge as a key bridge in the continuum of care between the inpatient stay and long-term out-patient treatment programs. The services provided address all the patients’ needs, which can include supports that are traditionally considered outside of healthcare yet deeply impact public health, such as housing, nutrition, social supports, safety, transportation, job training and other social determinants. Our teams provide master level therapists immediately at discharge, continuing the course of treatment established in the hospital, until long-term community care is obtained.

For economically disadvantaged communities of the West Side of Chicago, life expectancy is over 15 years shorter than that of people in high-income areas of Chicago. Due to racial and economic segregation over many decades, there remain acute stressors and chronic diseases on the West Side of Chicago’s largely black and Latinx communities.

Part of Illinois Healthcare Transformation Initiative 
Collaborative Bridges is part of the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services’ Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives (HTC). HTC establishes collaboratives of different Medicaid safety net service providers to close gaps.

Contact: Mike McGrath
[email protected]

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SOURCE Collaborative Bridges

Collaborative Bridges Delivering a New Model of Care to Close Gaps in Behavioral and Mental Health Services on West Side of Chicago WeeklyReviewer

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