Saint Mary’s Hospital, Wheeler Clinic Reach Agreement on Behavioral Health Services

Aug 06, 2019

Saint Mary’s Hospital, a Regional Health Ministry of Trinity Health Of New England, has received approval from the State Office of Health Strategy to transition its outpatient behavioral health clinic to Wheeler Clinic, which is establishing a new Family Health & Wellness Center in Waterbury.  The transition is expected to be complete by September 2019.

The transition is expected to strengthen and enhance behavioral health service available in the community.

The Wheeler Family Health & Wellness Center at 100 Jefferson Square in Waterbury will be Wheeler’s fourth, with other locations in Bristol, Hartford, and New Britain. As a federally qualified health center, Wheeler is part of a network of community health centers nationwide that serve the health care needs of more than 28 million Americans. In January, Wheeler received approval from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for its application for health center expansion into Waterbury, which allows Wheeler to deliver integrated primary care and behavioral health center services at the site.

“Wheeler has a proven track record of providing Behavioral/Mental Health treatment throughout the state. We are very excited to welcome them into the community in collaboration with Saint Mary’s Hospital,” said Saint Mary’s Hospital President, Steven Schneider, M.D., M.B.A. “The fact that they will be combining Behavioral Health treatment in combination with Primary Care Medical treatment for these patients will really raise the bar on the quality of overall care our patients receive. Since Saint Mary’s will continue to provide Inpatient Mental Health Services and Emergency Mental Health Services, we will be working closely with Wheeler to provide care for our patients.”

“Wheeler is uniquely positioned to address the unmet need for integrated primary care and behavioral health services in Waterbury, particularly among adults with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders,” said Susan Walkama, LCSW, Wheeler’s president and chief executive officer. “This population is often reluctant to seek primary care, experiences disparities in access to health care, and generally has poorer health outcomes.”

Created in 1968 to serve the mental health needs of children in Plainville, Wheeler has grown today to approximately 1,000 staff and three-dozen locations across the state, serving more than 30,000 individuals, families, and communities annually. It has provided a wide array of services in the Brass City since 1986, and currently operates two offices and numerous programs in the city, including foster care, in-home family therapy, and alcohol and substance abuse education programming.

Wheeler will provide all behavioral health services currently available at the Saint Mary’s Behavioral Health  Clinic, including intensive outpatient (IOP), behavioral health outpatient services (individual, family, and group therapies), and psychiatric services, including psychiatric evaluations and medication management. There are no planned reductions or interruptions in any of the services provided.

As a community health center, Wheeler also will offer an expanded array of services for existing and new patients including:

  • Primary care;
  • Medication assisted treatment for alcohol or opiate addiction;
  • Linkages to specialty and ancillary services like dental care;
  • Care management for adults with complex health care needs and behavioral health concerns;
  • Laboratory services;
  • Prevention, health promotion, and wellness services; and
  • Chronic disease management for asthma, diabetes, hypertension/heart health, HIV, and hepatitis.

Wheeler’s integrated primary and behavioral health care service model, embedded in trauma-informed and culturally- and gender-responsive approaches, reduces barriers to care and provides a more effective path to primary and preventative care for individuals with serious mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Wheeler is also designated by the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) as a Person-Centered Medical Home Plus (PCMH+) provider, which aims to improve health outcomes and the care experience of Medicaid members.

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ABOUT WHEELER
Wheeler provides comprehensive solutions that address complex health issues, providing individuals, families and communities with accessible, innovative care that encourages health, recovery, and growth at all stages of life. Our integrated approach to primary and behavioral health, education and recovery creates measurable results, positive outcomes and hopeful tomorrows for more than 30,000 individuals across Connecticut each year. Learn more: www.wheelerclinic.org    

 

About Saint Mary’s Hospital

Saint Mary’s Hospital is a Catholic, not-for-profit, acute care, community teaching hospital that has served Greater Waterbury since 1909. In 2016, Saint Mary’s Hospital became part of Trinity Health Of New England, an integrated health care delivery system that is a member of Trinity Health, Livonia, Michigan, one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation serving communities in 22 states. Licensed for 347 beds, Saint Mary’s is designated as a Level II Trauma Center, offers award-winning cardiac and stroke care and houses the region’s only pediatric emergency care unit. As the leading provider of surgical services in Greater Waterbury, Saint Mary’s was the first to introduce the daVinci® Robotic Surgery System. The hospital’s satellites and affiliates extend from Waterbury to Wolcott, Cheshire, Naugatuck, Southbury, Prospect and Watertown. Visit stmh.org for more information and follow us on Facebook at SaintMarysHospitalCT, Instagram and Twitter at @SaintMarysCT.