SMH Launches New Community Connect Program
April 26, 2019
Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital realizes mental health issues, childhood and adult abuse, and substance use can negatively affect us, preventing us from living our best life. This can change, and we want to help. The Community Connect Program has launched with services now based in the Rural Health Clinic. The program compliments new addiction and mental health service offerings and links community members to vital resources. The program promotes a healthier future for our residents, both physically and mentally.
There are many community services available, but many people don’t know where to turn for help. That’s where Community Connect comes in. After a service need is identified by a patient or staff member, the Community Connect “Patient Navigator” (Jessica Flory-Whitmer) helps link the patient to the community resource best able to meet their needs (with the patient’s permission, of course!). The patient navigator remains in contact until the patient and service are connected, and keeps the health care provider informed, too. This service is free and can be utilized by phone or by appointment.
The Patient Navigator position was created to help the person and family navigate the cumbersome healthcare and substance use systems. Jessica Flory-Whitmer, Patient Navigator for the Community Connect Program, is now available to work with patients who could benefit from resources in our community and surrounding areas.
Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital continues to expand behavioral health offerings for our community. Janet Pratt, PMHNP (Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner) continues to offer psychiatric evaluations, treatment and ongoing medication management. Her practice focuses on adult clients with concerns such as: depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Lisa Tatrow, LMSW, CAADC has joined the Rural Health Clinic Team as a Behavioral Health Consultant. Lisa brings with her over 20 years of experience in social work, mental health and addictions. She works closely with patients and families who are combatting addiction and mental illness using a variety of therapies. Lisa will be working closely with our providers, providing consultations, brief interventions and ongoing therapy for individuals who are referred to her practice.
Janet Pratt, Julie Hardy and Lisa Tatrow are integral members of the Community Connect Team. The program is focused on integrating behavioral health services into the primary care setting. Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital received over $300,000 in grant funds to support the startup of this initiative. The grant has allowed SMH to provide ongoing education to our employees on childhood trauma, addiction and mental health. The hospital won several grants from Michigan Health Endowment Fund, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation, Superior Health Foundation, and the Michigan Center for Rural Health to move the initiative forward.
One major aspect of the program is community engagement and education. Community Connect will host a variety of expert speakers and training sessions for the community to take part in. Two events are scheduled in early May to address the effects of childhood trauma and the impact on the brain. On May 1st, SMH will be screening the film, “Resilience” at the Manistique Highschool auditorium from 6:00pm-8:00pm. Free tickets are available online at the door. This film examines the biology of stress and the science of hope for those affected by prolonged exposure to traumatic stress such as abuse, neglect, addictions and prenatal exposure. Dr. Mark Sloane and Dr. Jim Henry, trauma experts, will be answering questions after the film. All members of the community are invited to attend this movie showing. The goal is to become a trauma-informed community. Whether you work in a social service sector, in schools, with children, in customer service or own a business you can benefit from learning about trauma and resilience. The impact one person can make on a person’s life is substantial. The hospital is working with community partners to make this vision of a trauma informed community a reality. CLICK TO VIEW UPCOMING EVENTS
To increase understanding of traumatic stress and building resiliency in our children, families and local work force, a free full-day training session has been planned on May 2nd. Professionals including social workers, law enforcement, public health, teachers, child welfare, foster parents, courts, behavioral health, tribal partners, health professionals, coaches and community agencies have been invited to attend. The free training has been sponsored by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. Five trauma professionals will share information on topics that include the effects of adverse childhood experiences, resiliency, neurobehavioral impact, genetic risk, pre-natal exposure, toxic traumatic stress, secondary trauma, legal consequences and more.
To schedule an appointment or for more information about the Community Connect Program, Psychiatric/Mental Health Services, Behavioral Health Services, Addictions Therapy and Community Resources, please contact Jessica Flory-Whitmer by phone 906-341-3750, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website: https://scmh.org/community-connect/