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Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative Completes Integrated Behavioral Health Care Contract

Cornerstone Care Waynesburg facility

In July, the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) concluded their six-month Perfecting Patient Care contract with Cornerstone Care, a non-profit network of Federally Qualified Community Health Centers serving Southwestern Pennsylvania and Northern West Virginia.

With PRHI's support, Cornerstone Care integrated behavioral health into their services and created a new team role, the Integrated Care Coordinator. This new key role has strengthened the connection between physical and mental health providers within the system. With PRHI's support, Cornerstone Care integrated behavioral health into their services and created a new team role, the Integrated Care Coordinator. This new key role has strengthened the connection between physical and mental health providers within the system.

PRHI completed on-site workflow observations at 6 Cornerstone Care sites, and two in-person training and coaching sessions before the pandemic began. Despite the challenges presented, the team swiftly transitioned to a virtual weekly series. Participating Cornerstone Care staff included frontline Integrated Care Coordinators, practice managers, and administration across four sites. The sessions empowered Cornerstone Care staff to clearly define their new ICC role, initiate a systematic case review process to identify and assist patients needing additional support and coordination, and build referral systems of care for patients needs outside of Cornerstone.

Lesa Trunzo, M.A., Psychiatry and Counseling Department Manager at Cornerstone Care, said, "PRHI sent us the dream team from the beginning. Jennifer Condel, Carol Frazer, and Dr. Bruce Block are an incredible group of individuals that provided us with valuable advice, a lot of patience, and dedication to our Integrated Care project. They provided us with a lot of unique perspectives, and challenged us with questions that made us structure this program in the way that honors its true purpose to provide our patients with the best outcomes for their healthcare needs."

Cornerstone Care had also contracted with the University of Pittsburgh Program Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU) through a HRSA grant to support the implementation of SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) interventions. PRHI worked collaboratively with Pitt/PERU, including helping Cornerstone to establish data reporting and a registry to track patients working with Integrated Care Coordinators.

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