LifeStream Behavioral Center’s Wellness Integration Network Provides Personalized, Coordinated Care with Real Results
Research shows that individuals who are mentally ill die on average 25 years before the general population.* Many mentally ill patients experience multiple health challenges concurrently, and may also lack access to necessary, continuous medical care. This was the situation at LifeStream Behavioral Health Center, where many mental health patients experience health challenges such as obesity, smoking and diabetes. A recent review of data found that 80 percent of the Health Center’s consumers didn’t have a medical home, or had not seen a primary care provider in the last ﬁve years.
In 2011, LifeStream Behavioral Health Center marked a drastic shift in the care and overall quality of life for behavioral health patients in Lake County when it opened the Wellness Integration Network (WIN) Clinic. WIN is an integrated care clinic that locates primary care physicians and mental health providers in the same facility to allow patients to receive routine primary care services and consultations from a psychiatric care team at the same time. The clinic is a collaborative eﬀort through many of the community partners in the region, funded through a combination of grants and direct support from LifeStream Behavioral Health Center.
WIN was created for adults with serious mental illnesses living in Lake County who do not have access to primary care services or a “medical home.” Providing integrated primary and behavioral health care at the same appointment is a major aspect of the clinic, but WIN does much more than that. WIN emphasizes preventive care, oﬀers nurse care managers that provide home visits, includes referrals to specialists and enhanced care coordination for free and/or reduced specialty care in the community, provides free transportation to and from appointments, and oﬀers a variety of wellness activities and workshops. Patients at WIN also have access to LifeStream Behavioral Center’s full continuum of care, including behavioral health and substance abuse services, as well as wellness testing, health screenings, in-home education and more.
In addition to on-site clinical staﬀ, nurse care managers work directly with patients in their home to form personal relationships and help WIN clinic staﬀ providing one of the many services oﬀered to patients.
Care managers do more than just talk about care ideas and plans with patients – they help patients put those ideas into action. When patients need help with personalized diet plans, caregivers help them create weekly menus, and then go to the grocery store with them to buy the ingredients. When patients are beginning an exercise plan, care managers often exercise with them. Care managers also coordinate patient medications and help patients review their medication lists and renew medication orders.
As patients become more independent, care managers communicate continually to see how they are progressing and provide help as needed.
The Wellness Integration Network oﬀers a tobacco education program, where over 50 percent of patients report a reduction of smoking or complete cessation. WIN’s nutrition education, including personalized diet plans, weekly menu planning and cooking lessons have resulted in over 48 percent of participants reporting weight loss. Medication maintenance and education has increased medication adherence by 64 percent, which in turn has lowered psychological distress by 60 percent.
The care provided, wellness programs, and personal relationships formed through WIN is an opportunity for LifeStream Behavioral Center to meaningfully give back to its community. Patients who beneﬁt from the program ﬁnd their health is improved in many areas, ranging from improvements in diabetes rates, lower blood pressure, weight loss, lowered cholesterol, and overall improvement in quality of life. As the clinic has grown, it continues to accept referrals from nearby emergency rooms to help patients receive the care they need in a true “medical home” environment.
“The innovative staﬀ at the WIN Clinic are honored to have an amazing opportunity to assist the residents of Lake County in Central Florida struggling with psychiatric, substance abuse, and primary care issues. For many, the WIN Clinic is where ‘hope comes to life.’
– Rick Hankey, Senior Vice President/Hospital Administrator, LifeStream Behavioral Center