August 10, 2011

A new and collaborative program led by medical experts at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus aims to bring together local, state and national leaders focused on improving primary care, mental health care and substance abuse treatment. The Advancing Care Together (ACT) program will tap the expertise of clinicians on the front line and work with them to change their practices by addressing the fragmentation that has led to the separate treatment of physical and mental health problems. This three-year program is funded by the Colorado Health Foundation and will be housed at the CU School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine.

“It is time to move beyond the separate histories of physical and mental health, and to achieve whole-person care for everyone,” said ACT Director, Larry A. Green, MD, professor of family medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

In July 2011, state and national leaders on the ACT Steering Committee selected 11 Colorado practice sites that comprise the ACT portfolio. These Colorado innovators are people who work tirelessly in primary care practices and community mental health centers in different types of communities serving diverse populations under varied business models. These awardees offered their best ideas about how to redesign their systems of care, and proposed practical solutions to better integrate the care of their patients and clients. Colorado and other states stand to learn a great deal from these innovators about how to work together to improve care.

ACT has a strong evaluation team led by Dr. Deborah Cohen of Oregon Health Sciences University who will assess the effects of the proposed strategies and help learn how to make sustainable changes.

“The ACT program findings will be invaluable for other community partners and their integration efforts,” said Kelly Dunkin, vice-president of philanthropy for the Colorado Health Foundation. “We also hope that ACT will continue to encourage the integration movement in Colorado, which falls in line with the Foundation’s mission to make us the healthiest state in the nation.”

The formal launch of this program takes place September 16-18 at Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs.

The 11 Sites that Make Up the ACT Portfolio

Axis Health System, Durango

Practice: Cortez Clinic

Project:  Using a Personal Health Profile to Facilitate Integrated Care

Principal Investigator:  Pamela Wise-Romero, PhD


Bender Medical Group, Inc., Fort Collins

Practice:  Miramont Family Medicine

Project:  AIMS:  Automation of Mental Health Services

Principal Investigator:  John Bender, MD


Denver Health and Hospital, Denver

Practice:  Lowry Family Health Center

Project:  Meeting Patient Preferences for Behavioral Health Screening and Treatment

Principal Investigator:  Rob Keeley, MD


Jefferson Center for Mental Health, Wheat Ridge

Practices:  Independence Outpatient Services, West Colfax Outpatient Services, Cedar Adult Intensive Services

Project:  Healthcare Homes without Walls

Principal Investigator:  Donald Bechtold, MD


Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Denver

Practice:  TBN

Project:  Practical Approaches to Integrating Mental and Physical Healthcare

Principal Investigator:  Arne Beck, PhD


MidValley Family Practice, PC, Basalt

Practice: MidValley Family Practice, PC

Project:  Optimizing Healthy Lifestyle Management

Principal Investigator:  Glenn Kotz, MD


Plan de Salud del Valle, Inc. 

Practice:  Salud Family Health Center, Brighton

Project:  Integrated Primary Care Workforce Development in the Medical Home

Principal Investigator:  Andrea Auxier, PhD


Primary Care Partners, PC, Grand Junction

Practices:  Western Colorado Pediatric Associates, Family Physicians of Colorado, Behavioral Health and Wellness

Project:  Expanding the Patient Centered Medical Home

Principal Investigator:  Patrice Whistler, MD


Southeast Mental Health Services , La Junta

Practice:  High Plains Community Health Center

Project:  Lamar REACT:  Rural Excellence in Advancing Care Together

Principal Investigator:  Jay Brooke, LCSW


Univ. of CO, Colorado Springs/CU Aging Center, Colorado Springs

Practice:  Peak Vista Community Health Centers

Project:  Cognitive and Psychological Screening to Enhance Integrated Care for Seniors

Principal Investigator:  Michael Kenny, PsyD


Westminster Medical Clinic, Westminster

Practice: Westminster Medical Clinic

Project:  Behavioral Health-A Shared Service Model

Principal Investigator:  Scott Hammond, MD

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