JAMHI Announces Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration


JAMHI Announces Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration

August 19, 2015

JUNEAU – Juneau Alliance for Mental Health, Inc., (JAMHI) announced today that it has been awarded a four-year federal grant to provide integrated services through the co-location of primary care medical services and behavioral health care at their community behavioral health center on Glacier Highway. “Funded by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the program’s objective is to support the triple aim of improving the health of individuals with serious mental illness and those with co-occurring disorders, enhancing their experience of care, and reducing/controlling the per capita cost of care”, said Pam Watts, JAMHI Executive Director. The project is slated to begin October 1.

“We have long known that people with serious mental illness experience a higher incidence of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, high cholesterol and other health problems than do others, and now we have an opportunity to turn the tide,” said Watts. These conditions and increased mortality can be attributed to a number of issues including inadequate physical activity and poor nutrition, smoking, side effects of medications, and lack of access to health care services.

Many of these health conditions are preventable through routine health promotion activities, primary care screening, monitoring, treatment and care management/coordination and other outreach programs. JAMHI will expand their Evidence Based Practices to include medical care, physical health, prevention, and wellness interventions. Additions to their staff will include a primary care provider, wellness coordinator, peer support specialist, and nurse care coordinator.

Now in its thirtieth year of operation, JAMHI has long been recognized statewide as a progressive leader in the behavioral health field for individually tailored services, high quality care, same-day access to services, tele-behavioral health service delivery to rural communities and other innovations.

JAMHI looks forward to expanding their behavioral health services to include primary care and wellness to help persons served achieve their healthcare goals.