By Shanon Hardie, Chief Operating Officer
Unity Care NW began providing access to behavioral health services at the Point Roberts clinic in mid-April. Though the contract between Unity Care NW and the Point Roberts Hospital District is solely to provide primary care services and access for urgent medical needs (such as colds, flu, ear infections, cuts, etc), there have been community requests to add behavioral health services. In response, Unity Care NW is piloting a program to bring their psychiatric nurse practitioner, Janet Clingaman, to the Point two Mondays per month.
Behavioral health care is an integral part of overall health. Managing chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease becomes much more challenging for patients if they are also experiencing stress disorders such as depression, anxiety or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). It is difficult to fix one without addressing the other. Unity Care NW believes strongly in whole person care and that achieving overall health is a combination of caring for the mind, body and spirit.
It is important that this pilot proves to be self-sustaining if it is to become permanent. Based on the business plan it is important that we maintain a steady number of patient visits. It is common when rolling out a new program that there can be small financial losses. This is true for this program in that in the first four months of the program, Unity Care NW has experienced a small loss. One of the challenges in achieving the visits necessary to support the program has been ‘no shows’. ‘No shows’ are patients who are scheduled but fail to cancel in advance and end up not showing up for their appointment. The good news is, this is something that can be easily solved. We are asking for your help to ensure that if you are scheduled for an appointment and are unable to keep it, that you please call the clinic to cancel or reschedule your appointment 24 hours in advance so that the slot may be used by someone else.
If you are interested in receiving medical and behavioral health care at the Point Roberts Clinic, please call (360) 945-2580 to schedule an appointment. We’d love to be your partners in health!