By Caitlin Jenney
Integrated University Communications
Thanks to a $1.5 M grant from Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Professions, Sheridan Health Services, a University of Colorado College of Nursing (CON) nurse-managed clinic serving low-income adults and children in Sheridan, Colo., celebrated its grand opening on Friday, March 11. The center is founded on an integrative model of primary and behavioral health care which was initiated at the Sheridan School Based Health Center in the mid-1990s.
The Sheridan Health Services center is run by faculty of the CON including:
· Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
· Adult Nurse Practitioners
· Family Nurse Practitioners
· Certified Nurse Midwives
· Mental Health Therapists
Erica Schwartz, DNP, MSN, CNM, director of midwifery services at CON, is the executive director of the Sheridan Health Services. She and Amy Barton, PhD, FAAN, professor, Daniel and Janet Mordecai Endowed Chair in Rural Health Nursing, and associate dean for clinical and community affairs at the CON, wrote the grant which allowed them to open this new facility.
“The new clinic will expand access to primary care services to families and adults of all ages,” said Schwartz. “The School-Based Health Center (located within Sheridan Middle School) will continue to serve children of the community and Sheridan School District. The proposed range of services has the potential to impact in the areas of access to care, early entry to prenatal care, immunizations, mental health, injury and violence prevention, tobacco use, obesity, and evidenced based community-based programs.”
The health care provided at Sheridan Health Services is based on a Healthcare Home model, which emphasizes the provision of continuous, comprehensive, coordinated care, with a partnership between patients and their health care team.
The Healthcare Home emphasizes whole person orientation with coordinated, integrated care across all elements of the complex health care system; enhanced access to make it easier for patients to contact their personal healthcare team; and improved quality and safety by promoting prevention, proactively managing chronic illness, engaging patients in their own care to attain optimum health, and using electronic systems to support this work. This model shifts the focus of care delivery away from episodic care toward more comprehensive, holistic care, resulting in both lower costs and better outcomes.
Sheridan Health Services now operates as a fully integrated primary care and behavioral health care model, which includes co-located services and collaborative models of practice within structural and clinical components of integration. Bidirectional referral processes take place with community partners and comprehensive care plans are being developed for individuals receiving care in the community health centers.