Evaluation: Texas Learning Community on Integrated Health Care
Coming Together to Advance the Adoption and Acceleration of Integrated Health Care in Texas
In recent decades providers have been working to improve the coordination of health care to people with multiple health conditions. Emerging from their efforts is integrated health care, the systematic coordination of primary care and mental health services. This approach offers a more effective, and potentially more efficient, way of delivering holistic and coordinated health care. Integrated health care also has the potential to enhance access to care and minimize the stigma associated with seeking mental health services.
The Hogg Foundation funded the Texas Learning Community (TLC) on Integrated Health Care from 2009-2011 to advance the adoption and acceleration of integrated health care in Texas. Learning communities are groups of people that come together over time to acquire and share knowledge about a common goal while individually furthering their own projects. The TLC was coordinated by Mental Health America (MHA) of Greater Houston and had additional funding from The Meadows Foundation. The TLC brought together primary and mental health care provider organizations from throughout the state to share their approaches and learn more about strategies to implement integrated care in their communities. This summary report serves as an account of these efforts and the factors that promoted or challenged the implementation of integrated health care at the participating organizations.
MHA of Greater Houston contracted with two local firms, Sage Associates, Inc. in the first year and Working Partner, LLC in the second year, to conduct an assessment of the learning community. This report focuses on the programs’ implementation of integrated health care and the learning community components. Implementation findings include information gathered from monthly phone calls, survey feedback, meetings at the conference and end-of year interviews. The learning community component findings include the results from a survey regarding the helpfulness of technical assistance offered as part of the grant program. Thirteen of the 18 programs participated in the evaluation.