News Article Details

Medical group opens site at mental health center

Naples Daily News - 5/3/2017

May 03--Imagine finishing an appointment with a mental health counselor and walking a minute or two to a different building for a primary care visit.

The convenience is possible because the Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida this week opened a primary care location for adults on the campus of the David Lawrence Center off Golden Gate Parkway.

David Lawrence is Collier County's dominant nonprofit mental health organization, which includes inpatient and outpatient addiction services.

The two entities have been part of a collaboration spearheaded by the Naples Children & Education Foundation, NCEF, to integrate medical and mental health care services for children in an initiative called Beautiful Minds.

NCEF sponsors the Naples Winter Wine Festival each year and pours millions into children's services.

The health care network has used the integrated approach toward medical and mental services for years, said Mike Ellis, chief executive officer of the health care network.

Offering the primary care component on the David Lawrence campus grew out of a conversation with Chief Executive Officer Scott Burgess, Ellis said. The two staffs work well together, Ellis said.

An open house will be held May 12, where David Lawrence will debut a new children's outpatient center and welcome Genoa Pharmacy on the campus. The event is for 3:30-6 p.m.

"We will have a provider here three days a week," said Karen Smith, director of administrative operations at the network's new location at David Lawrence.

The center has five exam rooms and five staff members. Eventually an advanced nurse practitioner will be added to the fold.

The health care network estimates the cost to operate the center will be $725,000 a year with about 2,200 patient visits. The patient volume is projected at 900 adults.

The expectation is that David Lawrence counselors can refer clients for same-day primary care visits, Smith said.

"If David Lawrence has patients who needs primary care, they can bring them over to us, and we can work them in that day," Smith said.

That immediacy improves the chances of patients being compliant with treatment for medical conditions, she said.

In turn, the health care network patients will be able to access the specialty mental health services of the David Lawrence staff.

The primary care staff could see potentially 20 patients a day with two or three time slots left open for walk-in adult patients from David Lawrence, she said.

The patients are likely to be a mix of government insured through Medicaid and Medicaid, privately insured and uninsured, Ellis said.

Opening a spot at David Lawrence is the 21st location for the health care network, along with its two mobile programs, Ellis said.

Founded in 1977, the network provides primary care and dental care to more than 60 percent of Collier County's children, along with providing women's care and behavioral care to more than 50,000 patients.

For more information visit www.healthcareswfl.org or call 239-658-3000.

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(c)2017 the Naples Daily News (Naples, Fla.)

Visit the Naples Daily News (Naples, Fla.) at www.naplesnews.com

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