Making the move toward delivering integrated health care is often wrought with challenges and frustrations. In an attempt to encourage collaboration among the organizations in Texas that are navigating the integration process, the Hogg Foundation funded the Texas Learning Community.
The Texas Learning Community, now in its second year and coordinated by project director Alejandra Posada at Mental Health America of Greater Houston, was designed to assist organizations in integrating behavioral health and primary care services. Through monthly conference calls, access to a consultant and site visits, the Hogg Foundation’s goal is to bring people together to share successes and troubleshoot barriers.
The community’s most recent site visit was last Tuesday in Houston at MHMRA of Harris County’s Ripley Clinic. Approximately 25 participants from around Texas gathered to tour the clinic and learn about their approach to integrated health care. Martin Ornelas of the Coastal Bend Rural Health Partnership and Barbara Giovannone of the Coastal Plains Community Center presented “A Tale of Two Organizations”—a detailed look at how perseverance and partnerships in the Coastal Plains region led to successful integration of behavioral health and primary care.
Similarly, representatives from MHMRA of Harris County and El Centro de Corazon discussed their collaboration. Afterward, the group was able to tour this team’s new space at the MHMRA Southeast Clinic. Beautiful new primary care exam rooms were built into existing clinic space and will offer integrated health care services to both adult and child clients of MHMRA.
The site visit was a great success. Dr. Katherine Sanchez, Ph.D., integrated care consultant to the project, agreed that “an abundance of good insight about legal, billing, clinical and technical information on integrated health care was shared.” These ideas were shared formally through presentations and lively discussions as well as informally over lunch and during breaks. Thanks to all who attended, to MHMRA of Harris County for hosting, to the presenters, and to Alejandra and the MHA of Greater Houston for coordinating another successful site visit!
For more information on IHC activities funded through the foundation, visit our IHC webpage: http://www.hogg.utexas.edu/initiatives/integrated_health_care.html