Substantive, national research coupled with regional and client demographics became the catalyst to introduce integrated health care
as a preeminent service of the CSC. In early 2018, CSC with its partners, The Wright Center and Genoa Pharmacy, will introduce on-site
physical, mental and pharmaceutical integrated health services to the nearly 6,000 low-income children and adolescents served annually.
On-site, physicians, therapists and pharmacists will "talk" to each other through the use of integrated electronic medical records
providing a team approach to consult on the best options to support the overall health needs of our young clients.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, mental and physical disorders are often co-occurring. The relationship between good physical
and mental health is well documented by every major health organization and should not be thought of as different paths of treatment.
Poor physical health often leads to mental health issues. Conversely, mental health issues lead to physical problems. Left untreated,
children are extremely vulnerable to the risk of long-term health problems leading into adulthood.
Poverty is one of the most widespread and persistent health risks facing children today.
Research conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics inks childhood poverty with toxic stress that can "alter gene expression and
brain function and contributes to chronic cardiovascular, immune and psychiatric disorders, as well as behavioral difficulties." When
you consider that in Luzerne County alone, 28.8 percent of those under 18 live in poverty, the case for offering on-site, integrated
physical, mental and pharmacy health services to lower income and poverty-level kids and teens of the Wyoming Valley who suffer from
behavioral and health disorders is significant.
According to the Society for Research in Child Development, a challenge to a parent's ability to provide for the mental health needs
of their children is the lack of "one-stop facilities that provide integrated health care and human services." Behavioral health
conditions among children and youth today are occurring at an alarming rate and impact their overall growth and development as well
as lead to early morbidity. SAMHSA's Center for Integrated Health Solutions (2013) research finds that "integrated care systems…are
critical…and represent an approach to delivering care that comprehensively address the primary care, specialty care, and social
support needs of children and youth in a continuous and family-centered manner."
Coupled with the health benefits, there is evidence that integrated health care programs provide an economic benefit as well. Market
analyses from McKinsey & Company and others conclude that there is evidence that integrated care intervention can reduce the cost
of long-term health care.
"All children and youth have the right to happy and healthy lives and deserve access to effective care to prevent or treat any mental
health problems that they may develop" (American Psychological Association). The good news is that children with mental and emotional
health disorders often improve when their physical health is treated.
So, to our clients, neighbors, friends, and frequent travelers along South Franklin Street, I apologize for the recent inconveniences
of street closings, noise, delivery trucks and confiscated parking spots.
However, these short-term inconveniences will have remarkable benefits and meaningful outcomes for every child and family member who
walks through the doors of the new CSC.
Read Original Article from the TimesLeader