Whole Health Care. Whole Lives. Whole Community

Innovative initiative connecting stable housing and physical/mental health services for Portland’s homeless community.

By Naseem Attaran
Whole Health Care. Whole Lives. Whole Community
Our country continues to struggle with providing adequate services and support for people living at the intersection of housing instability and mental illness. Increases in housing costs and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with even more challenges. Yet, there are innovators reimagining how different components of health and health care can work better together.  These types of disruptions are needed to meaningfully address social determinants of health.

Historically, components of the health care system have worked independently creating a fragmented and difficult experience for people being served. It’s critical that health care delivery becomes more interconnected – coordinating care among primary care physicians, mental health providers, addiction specialists and others with people at the center. Whole health care focuses on bringing these components together and creating diverse teams of care providers working together with patients to find the best solutions and outcomes.

Through a grant from the Cambia Health Foundation, Cascadia Behaviorial Healthcare funded an innovative “reverse-integration” pilot program at their Prescott Terrace supportive housing program that provides housing and other support to individuals who have spent decades on the streets and suffer from significant physical and behavioral health challenges.

“If we can address health from the behavioral health perspective first, and then add on substance use treatment, physical health treatment, housing, employment, social factors, wellness – you put all of those together and that really wraps around someone creating a sense of whole health,” says Chief Medical & Health Integration Officer Jeffrey Eisen, MD, MBA.

Watch this video featuring Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare leaders as they discuss solutions and the impact of creating a community where everyone benefits from whole health care, experiences well-being, and has a self-directed, connected life.

Whole health care. Whole lives. Whole community, on Vimeo