NCH, Gosnold Launch Behavorial Health Integration Program

Nantucket Cottage Hospital and Gosnold on Nantucket have launched a pilot behavioral health integration program to embed Gosnold’s behavioral health consultants in the hospital’s primary care practices.

This collaborative pilot program aims to identify patients at risk for behavioral health issues in the primary care setting and develop a treatment plan before their issues become a crisis.

By embedding with the hospital’s primary care practices, Gosnold on Nantucket staff members will work with hospital providers to offer treatment and services without patients having to leave the comfort and familiarity of their doctor’s office, helping to further reduce the stigma and challenge of seeking help for behavioral health issues.

“The benefits of having this program co-located, rather than a referral, is that generally speaking when a primary care provider makes a referral for behavioral health services, some people have trepidation or resistance,” said Catie Dotolo, LICSW, the program director for Gosnold on Nantucket. “By meeting patients where they are and discussing these things in the safety of their primary care office, it’s a setting that will lend itself to openness.”

Nantucket Cottage Hospital has been collaborating with Gosnold on Nantucket since December 2017, and the new pilot behavioral health integration program represents the next step in that collaboration to better serve patients and the island community, said NCH President and CEO Dr. Margot Hartmann.

“We believe that this program will demonstrate patients are better served when behavioral health issues are flagged and treated as early as possible, and in a setting that allows them to have a free and open dialogue with providers and counselors,” Dr. Hartmann said. “Our hope is that this pilot program will become effective and sustainable for both organizations.”

The pilot program will feature the SBIRT model, a comprehensive, integrated approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment of patients with substance use disorders. SBIRT stands for “Screening, Brief Intervention, And Referral to Treatment” and is a model promoted by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Gosnold’s behavioral health consultants have specialized training in the behavioral management of health problems. Together, with the hospital’s primary care providers, they can consider the physical, behavioral, and emotional aspects of a patient’s health concerns and help determine a course of action that will work best for them. The service will be available to all patients within Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s primary care offices.

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