Northeast Delta Human Services Authority (NE Delta HSA) partnered with Outpatient Medical Center Inc. to expand much needed behavioral and primary healthcare services in one of America’s most impoverished areas.
In the United States, over 34 million adults have both a primary and mental health and/or substance disorder (AHA, 2012). This issue is exacerbated by the rurality of individuals who are in need of services and are among our most vulnerable populations. NE Delta HSA’s behavioral health clinic in Tallulah, La, will serve as a direct resource and referral to the Outpatient Medical Center for individuals who are in need of mental health and addiction services.
“Every Louisiana citizen deserves quality behavioral and primary healthcare no matter where they live,” said Dr. Monteic A. Sizer, NE Delta HSA Executive Director. “In order to meet complex societal challenges, we must communicate, collaborate and innovate.”
As a result of combining efforts, NE Delta HSA and Outpatient Medical Center Inc. will be able to further leverage efforts and provide an array of comprehensive treatment and prevention options. NE Delta HSA currently has formal agreements in place with the majority of the region’s rural hospitals and federally health qualified (FQHC) organizations.
“We are excited to partner with NE Delta HSA,” said Mr. Carl Walters, II, Outpatient Medical Center Inc. “Our newly formed partnership is consistent with our commitment to provide our patients an even greater array of medical, dental, vision and behavioral health services.” Outpatient Medical Center Inc. will serve as a referral and resource for individuals seen at the Tallulah Behavioral Health Center who presents with a primary care or dental need. Mr. Walters added, “Our newly-formed inter-agency partnership will help ensure our valued Madison (and surrounding) parish families have access to the high-quality; cost-effective; culturally-sensitive coordinated medical and behavioral health services they deserve.”
NE Delta HSA has made it a point to work across racial, political, income, denominational and governmental lines in order to solve problems on behalf of the region’s people. Helping to find a solution to major behavioral and primary healthcare gaps is no different. Literature on integrating mental health and primary care services through proper assessment and referrals indicates a strong increase in access to care, patient-provider satisfaction, and cost control.
“At NE Delta HSA, we are focused on solving problems,” Dr. Sizer said. “We understand the complexities of human relationships and disproportionate impacts caused by those strained relationships and broken social systems. However, I believe galvanizing around quality healthcare and expanding life opportunities for all can get us closer to that one Louisiana we have dreamed about.”
To learn more about our behavioral and primary healthcare work, contact Wellness and Prevention Services Director, Dr. Avius Carroll, at 318-362-5230 or via email Avius.Carroll@LA.gov.