Wellpoint Care Network Adds Medication Management, Hires Medical Director to Expand CCBHC Services
Wellpoint Care Network is excited to announce we are now a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC).
“CCBHCs were created to transform mental health and substance use treatment across the country and are seen as key to expanding and strengthening equitable access to behavioral health services for all Americans,” said Jody Pahlavan, Vice President of Clinical Services at Wellpoint Care Network. “That really applies to our mission as an organization as well because we want to assure that there’s equity in access and equity in quality treatment for all the people we serve — especially in the City of Milwaukee, where we are located and have a heartfelt commitment to helping things improve.”
Aside from providing equitable, culturally relevant treatment, one of Wellpoint Care’s goals in becoming a CCBHC is to make an impact on some of the key areas that are devastating our community.
“Data from CCBHCs across the country show a significant decrease in homelessness, which is such a key issue for us in Milwaukee,” added Pahlavan. “By providing a ‘whole person’ type of treatment, the people served not only had a therapy session or got a prescription, but their issue of homelessness was addressed and supported. We know that when people have those basic needs met, they’re more successful in recovery. Data also shows more success transitioning from incarceration to a stable life. Those are both issues that really are prominent in Milwaukee, and we are excited to provide those resources.”
The grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to become a CCBHC has also supported Wellpoint Care in training all therapists in the most up-to-date and evidence-based models.
“All of our therapists are now trained in motivational interviewing, which is very important in helping people, especially those with substance use disorders,” said Pahlavan. “Soon, our therapists will also be trained in evidence-based models that are effective in working with people from the Armed Forces and veterans. We’ve trained our team in completing a substance use screening upon admission for every program that we provide —trying to uncover issues early on and address them immediately. We’ve offered training in suicide screening, assessment and intervention, which we know the populations we’re serving are at high risk for.”
Another big steppingstone on the road to helping children and families thrive is that Wellpoint Care will now be offering Medication Management.
“It’s going to be provided via telehealth,” said Pahlavan. “That will be helpful to those we serve who may have barriers of transportation or who do not have much time in the day. They can do these appointments from their home or office. Clients also have the option to come to our Capitol Drive campus, and our staff will be there to support them and get them set up in one of our telehealth offices.”
To lead the program, Wellpoint Care has hired Dr. Scott Orth, who will serve as Medical Director.
“Dr. Orth will oversee the overall integration between physical health care and mental health care,” said Pahlavan. “He will also be providing psychiatric assessment for our clients and prescribe medications. He can then provide follow-up checks and oversee ongoing prescription management.”
Dr. Orth is a dual board-certified psychiatrist, which means he is certified both in adult psychiatry as well as child adolescent psychiatry.
“That’s wonderful for us because we do see people of all ages at our clinic,” added Pahlavan. “He has years of experience with indirect care, and also has strong experience in substance use treatment.”
Pahlavan says Orth is “conservative, yet reasonable” when it comes to prescribing medications.
“He has a very client-centered approach to medication and the monitoring of it in a safe fashion. And, a trauma-informed perspective.”
Dr. Orth is a longtime Midwesterner, completing medical school in Missouri, followed by nearly two decades of work in Minnesota.
“That’s a great bonus because he is aware of the struggles that our community endures. He’ll understand our clients well and is experienced in the needs of the people we serve.”
With a growing number of patients and referrals, the timing is great for this added service and additional staff.
“The mental health crisis or the need for mental health services and the awareness of the benefit isn’t slowing down at all,” said Pahlavan. “People are struggling, so being able to respond is really important.”
To schedule a Medication Management appointment, call (414) 465-5770 or email [email protected] and a member of our staff will get back to you.
To learn more about Wellpoint Care Network’s Mental Health Services, click here.