Integrated Behavioral Health Program

Project Term: 12 months; Ended 2017
Grant Amount: $35,000

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe (CSKT) Tribal Health Department developed a detailed strategic plan to integrate behavioral health into primary care and to train their current behavioral health staff and primary care providers on conducting motivational interviews and brief interventions. With the established protocol, screening tools, and a workflow plan in place, primary care and behavioral health providers are now able to consult with one another regarding behavior change for preventable disease as well as for indications of mental illness and substance abuse problems. As part of the project, CSKT also piloted a daily “huddle” to improve communication and introduce behavioral health staff into the primary care clinic. They found this to be positive and have an immediate impact on patient care and outcomes. It created a collegial and friendly environment between staff teams and resulted in successful warm hand-offs, brief interventions, and the establishment of ongoing care. Due to leadership and staff turnover, they have experienced challenges in the progression of an integrated model. The project also allowed a team of 12 program directors to travel to the SouthCentral Foundation in Alaska for a site visit and training. 

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