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Janet Sevier Gilbreath Award 2013

Compass Behavioral Health - Change the First 5 Years in Frontier & Rural Counties...and You Change Everything

2013 Recipient
Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Project Recognition Award

In places where a therapist might have to drive two hours to see one child, this program is bringing mental health services to young children living in very rural and frontier regions of southwest Kansas. Even more important is early screening to help prevent the need for more intensive services later. The name of this project -- "Change the First Five Years...and You Change Everything" -- is more than a title. It is recognition of a window of opportunity for a lifetime of health and is based on the most recent brain research showing how early experiences shape the architecture of the brain and create a foundation for success in school and in society.

Presentation of the 2013 Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Project of the Year award to Compass Behavioral Health
Health Fund Board Chair Sheila Frahm (R) presents the 2013 Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Project Recognition Award to Christie Reed representing Compass Behavioral Health at a May 6, 2014 ceremony in Hutchinson while Kim Moore, Health Fund President, looks on.

Compass Behavioral Health is based in Garden City, KS and provides mental health services in thirteen counties of southwest Kansas. With a United Methodist Health Ministry Fund grant, it expanded its early childhood work into nine of its most rural counties: Grant, Greeley, Hamilton, Kearny, Lane, Morton, Scott, Stanton and Wichita.

The collaborative project brought together early childhood programs, physicians' offices, public health departments and the mental health center to organize screenings of young children from birth to age six and to assure the availability of timely and appropriate services. Mental health screenings are also conducted for new mothers. Prior to this project, no depression screening for pregnant women and new mothers was taking place in these counties and screening of young children for social and emotional development was very limited. Today, five county health departments routinely screen young children and the remaining four are working toward implementation. Depression screening has also been adopted for WIC clinics held at the health departments. The Healthy Start Home Visitor program participates as well.

To engage medical providers in screening, workshops have been offered along with screening and referral materials. In the first two years of the project, 1757 screenings were completed for young children, pregnant women and new mothers and 145 young children received mental health services. Many other families were referred to other supportive services appropriate to needs identified. New services for young children have been developed and expanded through this program, along with continuing education opportunities for mental health and early childhood education professionals. Parent education is offered in all nine counties. A new marketing program, "Ready, Set, Grow!" was launched and extends awareness throughout the region about the importance of healthy social and emotional development in early childhood.

With these accomplishments and for leadership in early childhood mental health in rural and frontier regions of Kansas, Compass Behavioral Health is presented the 2013 Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Recognition award for its project titled "Change the First Five Years...and You Change Everything."

With partial support from a Health Ministry Fund grant of $49,500 and the guidance of TransforMed, a nationally-recognized medical practice enhancement consulting firm, the education of family medicine residents as well as the delivery of health care at a community health center has been transformed to emphasize access, teamwork, and technology in order to deliver quality care and improve health.

Electronic health records and health information technology have been integrated into patient care. Innovations improved management of patients with chronic illnesses, added support for patients managing their medical problems, and introduced alternatives to the routine office visit.

Patient satisfaction surveys reflect the success of the project and many of the graduating residents are now champions for patient-centered care in their own medical practices and communities.

The program received the National Committee on Quality Assurance's highest recognition as a Patient-Centered Medical Home. This is the first rural clinic, the first Federally Qualified Health Center, and the first residency program in Kansas to achieve Level III distinction based on the 2011 Patient-Centered Medical Home standards.

Salina Family Healthcare's goals can be seen in the success of the collaborative medical home transformation project and are an excellent summary of the reasons this project was selected as the Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Project of the Year. They are...to lead the way in training family physicians for rural Kansas; to provide access to quality healthcare regardless of one's ability to pay; to be the employer of choice in the community; to demonstrate good stewardship of entrusted resources; and to be a center for innovation and learning. While this is a remarkable list, it is not complete eithour recognition of the excellent teamwork that makes these achievements possible.


Representing the project at the awards ceremony were: Christie Reed, Kid Crew Coordinator; Kent Hill, Regional Director; and Missi Martinez, Regional Director.

Awarded May 6, 2014

Learn more about the Janet Sevier Gilbreath award