A Look Back at 2023 and a Peek Ahead to 2024
It’s so gratifying to see how 2023 amplified the thrive. What thrive am I referencing?
Embedded in Wellpoint Care Network’s mission is a commitment to restoring connections, to create thriving children and families. This thrive is at the very core of our work and within this mission context, 2023 was a good year. I am grateful to our teams for staying focused on the needs of the people in our care, while honoring their strengths. In our commitment, we provided quality care and healing practices that led to hope.
Agency values guided Wellpoint Care employees to provide this quality care.
Innovation is one of our values. In 2023, our clinical services team developed the staffing and the service framework for Wellpoint Care’s Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (known by the acronym CCBHC), which focused on the integration of mental health and substance use disorder services, regardless of a person’s diagnosis or insurance status. The CCBHC is funded by a federal SAMHSA grant for four years and $4 million, and is a model that supports clinic costs of expanding services and increasing the number of clients served while improving flexibility to deliver client-centered care. We operate one of the only two CCBHCs in Wisconsin.
Compassion is another Wellpoint Care value. By creating an intentional approach to community engagement, we connected with individuals and organizations across Milwaukee County in 2023. We listened to them and learned of their successes, their needs and their dreams. We shared services and supports in return, including hosting 2,200 people at the August Back to School Bash, sharing backpacks and school supplies with 1,100 children who attended.
Integrity is the Wellpoint Care value that drove our employee recruitment and retention efforts in 2023. Post-pandemic staff turnover had created a shortage in some key positions, which resulted in higher caseloads and employee stress. Early in 2023, it was difficult to provide the level of quality care which met our expectations. Targeted hiring efforts helped build back the Wellpoint Care workforce to restore service delivery and reduce staff compassion fatigue. We ended 2023 in a much better place than we started, and our restored workforce is engaged to fulfill our mission.
Excellence is our fourth and final value. In summer 2023, we created excellence by strengthening our commitment to Trauma Informed Care (TIC). We launched the inaugural cohort of our TIC Practice Certification program. 20 Wellpoint Care employees are digging into a 50-hour professional development program to learn how to consistently put trauma-informed concepts into practice with the people in our care. They’ll complete this certification in early 2024.
In acknowledging these accomplishments, I am grateful that 2023 was a good year.
I see many things ahead in 2024 to be hopeful about, including the continued renovations of our Capitol Drive campus, which open up our spaces to the community to create and restore connections. I anticipate ongoing expansion of our community engagement efforts, alongside partner organizations such as the Milwaukee Diaper Mission and Voices of the Elders. CCBHC will continue to grow, and the strength of our workforce buoyed by the hiring in 2023 will show up in our work, in the community and with each other.
I look ahead to 2024 with optimism and with the commitment to serve the community within our mission to support the thrive. I invite you to join Wellpoint Care in this optimism for the year ahead — as an employee, a donor, or a partner.
Happy New Year.