PeaceHealth Oregon West Network – First Episode Psychosis Treatment

PeaceHealth is a family of hospitals, clinics, and doctors, based in the Pacific Northwest. This network of faith-based, mission-oriented facilities has grown to include services throughout Oregon, Washington and Alaska. PeaceHealth Oregon West Network is one of four networks offering a broad spectrum of medical care. This network has three medical centers in Eugene, Springfield and Cottage Grove, and a critical access hospital in Florence. In addition, there are 12 primary and specialty care clinics as well as outpatient laboratory facilities in each municipality. Oregon West Network has become a leader of health care delivery services in Oregon, especially in the delivery of behavioral health services for those residents who are most vulnerable.

Overview

PeaceHealth is a family of hospitals, clinics, and doctors, based in the Pacific Northwest. This network of faith-based, mission-oriented facilities has grown to include services throughout Oregon, Washington and Alaska. PeaceHealth Oregon West Network is one of four networks offering a broad spectrum of medical care. This network has three medical centers in Eugene, Springfield and Cottage Grove, and a critical access hospital in Florence. In addition, there are 12 primary and specialty care clinics as well as outpatient laboratory facilities in each municipality. Oregon West Network has become a leader of health care delivery services in Oregon, especially in the delivery of behavioral health services for those residents who are most vulnerable.

PeaceHealth Behavioral Health Services (BHS) is composed of a continuum of care that provides a range of services, including inpatient psychiatric care, partial hospitalization, transition services, telemental health, crisis services, outpatient psychiatry and counseling, research projects, primary care integration, young adult and first-episode psychosis-specific treatments.

PeaceHealth began providing treatment for first-episode psychosis in 2010 as part of a research project sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health. After the study recruitment concluded, PeaceHealth demonstrated its commitment by funding the continuation of this program. In 2014, PeaceHealth received two large state-funded grants to expand this program under the EASA (Early Assessment and Support Alliance) and Young Adult Hub. The EASA and Young Adult Hub programs are filling a critical gap in mental health services for young people transitioning to adulthood in the Lane County area. Historically, young people throughout the State of Oregon who experienced multiple diagnoses, homelessness, lack of insurance, or other barriers to accessing services were unserved or underserved.

Services include outreach and engagement, specialized assessments, counseling/therapy, prescriber services, nursing, therapy and activity groups, multi-family groups, family support, vocation/education services, peer-delivered services, community education, and occupational therapy. Services are provided by a trans-disciplinary team in a community-based setting or a clinic setting depending upon appropriateness and participant preferences.

Impact

Preliminary results from the research study indicate that participants in this program are significantly more likely to remain in treatment and experience greater improvement in the primary outcome measure – quality of life – than participants receiving standard treatment. They were also more likely to be working or going to school. Currently, more than 100 participants are actively engaged in the Young Adult Programs.

Lessons Learned

When patients are treated early, it may be possible to prevent the potentially devastating impact of schizophrenia and other major mental illnesses. PeaceHealth leaders see this as an obligation to the community in light of the research that demonstrates the effectiveness of these programs on young people’s lives. Unfortunately, fee-for-service funding does not cover the initial cost of care, even though the long-term benefit in future reduced hospitalizations and dependence on public benefit support is well documented.

Future Goals

Plans include developing alternate payment models to cover the cost of care without grant funding. Through the Young Adult Hub Program, PeaceHealth plans to measure the effectiveness of this treatment model in work with young people with mood and anxiety disorders and autism spectrum disorders.

Contact: Mary Anne McMurren
Vice President, Post-Acute Services
Telephone: 541-338-1656
Email: mmcmurren@peacehealth.org

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