Saint Francis Hospital of Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic and Merakey will add integrated primary and behavioral health care to individuals in Wilmington and northern New Castle County through a recently awarded $2.5 million grant by Delaware’s Community-Based Mental Health Services Fund.
The Wellness Recovery Team will be housed at a clinic on the Saint Francis Hospital campus, with the ability to be both onsite and in the community.
Saint Francis Hospital will develop a Wellness Recovery Team led by Merakey that offers behavioral healthcare—including addiction recovery, aging/elder care,and mental health services. In addition to behavioral health specialists, the team will also consist of a registered nurse, who will serve as the physical health professional, and a peer-wellness coach.
The Wellness Recovery Team will assess patients and develop care plans that integrate services from Saint Francis Hospital, Merakey, and other community-based resources. Individuals with complex, multifaceted conditions who enter Saint Francis Hospital can be referred to the Wellness Recovery Team for complete access to the holistic services offered there.
“At Merakey, we believe in providing the communities that we work and live in with an umbrella of services that help individuals be the best they can be,” said Joe Martz, CEO at Merakey. “Sometimes that means providing more than addiction recovery or mental health services. Through this partnership with Saint Francis Hospital and with the support of the Community-Based Mental Health Services Fund, we can ensure that individuals are equipped with all the tools needed to reach and maintain a healthy and positive lifestyle.”
The Community-Based Mental Health Services Fund was established in 2021 to support the delivery of mental health services in Delaware communities. Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, the Community-Based Mental Health Services Fund is open to nonprofit, faith-based, and for-profit organizations that provide community-oriented mental health services that are trauma-informed and focus on the whole person.
“We are grateful for the support provided through the Community-Based Mental Health Services Fund,” said Jim Woodward, CEO of Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic. “This significant grant will help ensure the provision of full-service care to our patients and the community. The launch of our partnership with Merakey brings much-needed behavioral health services to residents of West Wilmington as part of the hospital’s new Healthy Village care model. Healthy Villages are comprehensive resources that bring together traditional hospital services and community-based human and social services in one location.”
Slated for a Fall 2022 opening, the integrated health care service will be available to high-utilizers of health care (e.g., individuals with serious mental illnesses, substance use disorders, and co-morbid physical health conditions, as well as the senior population.
The program aims to improve the physical and behavioral health status of these individuals through comprehensive services offered by a Wellness Recovery Team comprised of clinicians trained in behavioral and mental health, and care coordination. All services are delivered with a strong commitment to a recovery-oriented system of care and infused with recovery-oriented practices.
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