Recently, a unique and successful partnership was formed when Neighborhood Health, formerly known as Alexandria Neighborhood Health Services, Inc., began offering primary health care services one day per week at the Community Services Board's Gartlan Center. By marrying up primary health care with the center's existing behavioral health services and the existing QoL Pharmacy, this partnership provides for "one stop health care" for both mental and physical needs.
About three years ago, Alexandria Neighborhood Health Services, Inc. (ANHSI), a Federally Qualified Health Center, partnered with the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB), to explore an approach to build access to health care. The result is the first integrated primary and behavioral health care center in Fairfax County. ANHSI, in partnership with the Gartlan Center, focuses on the "whole health" of the people they serve, providing medical, behavioral health and dental programs to people with and without insurance. ANSHI serves over 14,000 people and receives close to 50,000 health care visits each year.
The CSB provides a continuum of services for people with mental illness, substance use disorders, and intellectual and developmental disabilities. Studies indicate that many people typically served by CSBs have more difficulty accessing quality health care and have poorer health outcomes than the general population.
A unique partnership between ANHSI and the CSB is focused on changing these health disparities by increasing health care access and improving health outcomes. The two organizations worked together to open a health clinic in one of the CSB's largest sites, the Gartlan Center. The Gartlan Center is named for the late state Senator Joe Gartlan and his wife Fredona who were both strong advocates for those suffering from mental illness, cognition disabilities and addictions. Now, people accustomed to visiting the site regularly for behavioral health services can also receive on-site primary health care two days a week and fill their prescriptions -- all under one roof! In addition, a variety of health and wellness activities are offered to add a preventative care focus.
With a shared vision, no additional funding, and in a truly collaborative spirit, the CSB provides space for the ANHSI clinic. ANHSI provides on-site enrollment, primary care, and handles all insurance billing. And people in the greatest need for improved health get convenient and quality care. All of this contributes to a stronger, healthier community.