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Improving the Continuity of Mental Health Care: Innovative Ideas

  • Capitol Plaza (Montpelier Room) 100 State Street Montpelier, VT, 05602 United States (map)


Click here to access the agenda; and here to download Capitol Plaza parking pass. Please print this pass in color and display on the dash of your car.

9:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.: Opening Remarks - “Between the Idea and the Reality Falls the Shadow” - Peter Albert, LICSW, Sr. VP Government Relations and PrimariLink, Brattleboro Retreat

 9:30 a.m.–10:00 a.m.: Mary Moulton, Executive Director, Washington County Mental Health Services  - Immediate Access and Delivery System Model

The Access Hub is a model in development for the Central Vermont region. If implemented as a pilot, it will accept immediate referrals from primary care offices, psychiatric units, emergency rooms, individuals and other providers in the community, striving to provide an immediate linkage to mental health and substance use treatment services. The Access Hub is not meant to take the place of current natural connections, but will provide linkage coordinators to assist people who are having difficulties with access. The presenter will describe process steps used to assist the region in determining the need for this service, will describe the model and its benefits for clients and providers.

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.: Billie Lynn Allard, RN, MS, Administrative Director of Nursing for Community Health & Putnam Medical Group – Southwestern Vermont Health Care & Medical Center - Community Care Team – Integrated Delivery for Vulnerable Populations

The SVMC Community Care Team was initiated to address ways to better assist frequent users of the emergency department with mental health and substance use disorders. Many were receiving complex medical work-ups based on presenting symptoms that were not addressing their “root cause” issues. Since the inception of the Community Care Team Model, SVMC has decreased ED visits for this population by 44%. The team identifies the major benefit of this work as the opportunity to transform lives and positively impact one's quality of life through working as a collaborative team.  

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.: Break

10:45 a.m.-11:15 a.m.: Dr. Simha E. Ravven, Senior Medical Director, Brattleboro Retreat & Clinical Assistant Professor in Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine – Law & Psychiatry Division, with Dr. Sarah I. Pratt, Sarah Pratt, PhD, Assistant Professor in Psychiatry, The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth & Meghan Santos, LICSW, Project Director, Dartmouth-Hitchcock


 Telefriend Project

Telemedicine technology enables the delivery of innovative approaches to improve education, assessment, and self-management training for chronic health conditions. Researchers at Dartmouth developed the “Telefriend,” a tablet-based intervention that collects daily information about the health of people with serious mental and physical illness, monitored by a Telecoach who feeds information to the mental health treatment team to optimize care. Positive outcomes from two pilot studies led to two large clinical trials underway in three mental health centers. Presenters, including the Dartmouth faculty who created the program, will demonstrate the functionality of the Telefriend and describe a planned project to use a modified version of TeleFriend to prevent re-hospitalization among adults who have frequent admissions at the Brattleboro Retreat.

11:15 a.m.-11:45 a.m.: Q&A

11:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: Closing Remarks