Community Health Team Story
Compassion and Care to Support Patient Wellbeing
At Valley Regional Hospital (VRH), it’s our mission to improve community health, patient experience, and value.
“Mental health continues to be a major concern in our community, contributing to overdoses, suicides, and an increase in anxiety and depression,” states Juliann Barrett, DO.
Valley Regional Hospital has taken on these challenges by utilizing initiative grants* and community benefit dollars to build a collaborative team, representing community mental health, VRH primary care, and hospital support departments to development new tools and methods to assess, diagnose, treat, and support patients in their community.
One of the many benefits of these efforts is the Community Health Team, which serves in the physician practices. The team consists of two social workers and a community health navigator.
The Community Health Team ensures patients receive the best possible support, resources (e.g. insurance, housing, access to food), and education related to suicide, domestic violence, substance use, and all other forms of abuse against children, elderly, or disabled people. In addition, the social workers aid in relationship building between provider and patient to ensure successful outcomes. They work to provide a level of compassion and care to foster sustainable population health.
The initiative has allowed VRH to implement a new patient evaluation process to assess and identify areas that could affect the patient’s overall health so they can provide further support and assistance during their time of need. If indicated, the social worker connects with the patient one-on-one to foster an in-depth discussion. This deeper level of communication has allowed the social worker to further assess the needs of the patient and if necessary, revisit the question of an urgent mental health crisis.