July 13, 2021
An Update on COVID-19 from the Health Program
The pandemic has exacerbated the need for shared and accessible real-time resources, and new federal relief is creating opportunities for innovation. Below are descriptions of how three Fry Foundation grantees have used collaboration across community health centers to provide primary care and behavioral health care during COVID-19:
Established in 2011, the work of the Chicago Safety-Net Learning Collaborative has been important to drive collaboration and innovation across the community health sector. The unprecedented challenges brought by COVID-19 – challenges to both community health centers and the communities they serve – lend additional urgency to the Collaborative’s mission. It has sometimes had to quickly change programming to address evolving situations. For instance, a learning Session on Value Based Care that was scheduled for early March of this year was temporarily shelved in favor of creating a forum on COVID-19 vaccine operations, and an additional session was scheduled for later in the same month that focused on serving senior citizen patients – a population at particular risk for COVID-19 complications.
The PATHH Collaboration developed a multi-tiered program designed to eliminate a sexually abused child’s need to wait for mental health services. Renewed funding will help it to continue the following services: to triage children based on risk factors such as mental health symptoms and trauma history; refer them to individual therapy or group therapy; manage the centralized waiting list by collecting data weekly from the members; and follow-up weekly with clients who are on waiting lists.
The Behavioral Health-Primary Care Integration Learning Collaborative helps members develop best practices and strategies to coordinate medical and mental health care services for patients enrolled in County Care, Cook County Health’s Medicaid managed care entity.