NLCMH Receives $1.2 Million Grant from SAMHSA: Funds will allow expansion of integrated care effort with Traverse Health Clinic

TRAVERSE CITY – Northern Lakes Community Mental Health (CMH) Chief Executive Officer Greg Paffhouse was notified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) that it has been selected for a Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration (PBHCI) grant in the amount of $1,236,507.

The award is for four years of funding beginning September 30, 2014, with $180,244 the first year, $352,088 per year in the next two years, and $352,087 in the fourth year.

Paffhouse said, “We are thrilled to have been selected for this significant federal award. The funds will be used to expand provision of integrated health care for persons with serious mental illness who reside in Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties, which is a gap in our community.”

The project will build upon the current primary care resources of the Traverse Health Clinic and the behavioral health resources of Northern Lakes CMH. Traverse Health Clinic and Northern Lakes CMH combined resources in 2013 to establish an on-site integrated health care clinic in the Northern Lakes CMH 105 Hall Street office.  It was made possible by a Mental Health Block Grant from the Michigan Department of Community Health. The long-term vision was to create a “Health Home” that would address both the physical health and behavioral health care needs of adults with serious mental illness. The integrated health care clinic is currently open two days per week; the new federal funding will allow the increase in days of operation and to serve more people, including those who are uninsured.

Karl Kovacs, Northern Lakes CMH Chief Administrative Officer and Project Director, said, “Individuals living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions, and they die on average 25 years earlier than the general population, largely due to treatable conditions. We expect that use of the integrated “Health Home” service delivery model will result in lower rates of emergency room use, reduction in hospital admissions and re-admissions, reduction in health care costs, less reliance on long-term care facilities, and improved experience of care and quality of care outcomes for the individual.”

“In short, we want to support people living longer and having better lives as a result,” said Paffhouse.