Our vision statement is as following: Comprehensive Health and Family Services will be seen as a national leader in the development of high quality, innovative and, cost-effective community primary care, behavioral health, mental health, and family services . Services will be designed to meet the needs of the community, based on input received during ongoing planning processes. Comprehensive Health and Family Services will be viewed as a model for other integrative care providers throughout the country because of effective leadership in the community, efficient management of costs and a comprehensive data-driven quality management program.
The Integration Edge
We Focus On Providing Multi-Generational Approach to Care
Comprehensive Health and Family Services focus on multi-generational approach to care ensures that critical social services (such as employment, education and housing supports) are provided to the entire family as part of integrated care. It recognizes the importance of the family to individual health and acknowledges that an individual succeeds when the family succeeds. Taking a multi-generational approach involves changing the focus of how the patient is viewed within the system. Health care providers may be serving a child, but must work with the family to address any issues.
Often, caregivers or parents see their child’s pediatrician more than they see their own primary care provider. Therefore, they may feel more comfortable bringing up their own health concerns or accessing community supports in this setting. Caring for the whole family requires a system of care coordination that can support an array of services, involving a variety of health care professionals. Integrated primary care and behavioral health settings help facilitate this approach to care and leverage the community resources needed to support the whole family.
Addressing Oral Health
Oral health is essential to whole health. Good oral health improves a person’s ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, and show feelings and emotions through facial expressions. Dental health contributes to general health and wellness, self-esteem and quality of life. When left untreated, dental infections can cause numerous physical health problems, including pain, loss of teeth, nutritional complications and even death.
It is important for integrated primary and behavioral health care providers to pay attention to the relationship between oral health and whole health. In one study, 61 percent of people with severe mental illness reported fair to poor dental health, and more than a third had oral health problems that made it difficult for them to eat. Another study found people with serious mental illness are more than three times as likely to lose all their teeth than the general population. Individuals with diabetes or those taking certain medications for mental illnesses are at increased risk for oral health problems and dental infections, and those infections can compromise the management of co-occurring health conditions.
Oral health problems can complicate or prevent individuals from being able to undergo necessary medical care, including surgeries and chemotherapy, due to the implications of oral infections. Including oral health services in integrated health care is about more than improving health and preventing disease. It is about supporting people to not feel isolated, to have confidence, to smile again. Primary care and behavioral health providers can take steps that stress the importance of dental care to overall health and self-esteem, and play a part in the prevention and intervention of dental infections for those you serve. Integrated care providers can take steps to address oral health even if they do not have an onsite dental provider.