OP3portunities Newsletter

Neighborhood Health

neighborhood health logoRecently, 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.
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  • Smoking cessation, disease self-management and other wellness activities including yoga are being added on site as needs emerge.
  • In 2013 14,036 patients were served through 48,079 health care visits
  • It started without any funding and now serves people with and without health care services. Staff strives to keep a healthy balance between insured and uninsured referrals to assure a sustainable model.
  • A 2006 study by the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors finding that people with mental illness die, on average, 25 years earlier than the rest of the population. Most of these deaths are due to health conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and metabolic disorders which can sometimes be associated side effects of some psychiatric medication and a sedentary lifestyle.

All this wouldn't be possible without strong partnerships in the community. ANHSI works closely with health departments and a variety of neighborhood organizations that provide critical support to help meet the needs of ANHSI's patients.

 

The Gartlan Center, which already has an on-site pharmacy, thanks to another partnership between the CSB and QoL (Quality of Life) Pharmacy.

 

The Health Department's Community Health Care Network has also been a strong partner in this effort. The Health Department's Community Health Care Network, works to enroll eligible uninsured residents of the county with CHCN services, further supporting ANHSI's success.

ANHSI helps ensures resources, staffing and facilities necessary to provide access to affordable healthcare for families in our community. To help you can give direct donations via their website or you can help in other ways.

Does your office participate in United Way? You can donate through the United Way National Capital Area Campaign and through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). To designate Alexandria Neighborhood Health use codes United Way #8094 / CFC# 25087

Do you buy from Amazon? Visit smile.amazon.com log in and select and Alexandria Neighborhood Health Services. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Neighborhood Health, Inc. This is a great way to support Neighborhood Health (ANHSI) while you shop!

And if time is your gift you can volunteer to help ANHSI on your schedule

 

 

 

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