Editorial| Volume 20, ISSUE 6, P247-248, December 2006

A Novel Approach to Integrating Mental and Physical Health Care for Vulnerable Populations: Why Isn't This Program Routine?

      I RECENTLY RECONNECTED with a colleague, a mental health professional who practices in Philadelphia, and learned about a creative program implemented 2 years ago by the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania. The program is designed to address the overall health care needs of those who are most vulnerable, a goal that many of us strive to achieve. My immediate reaction was why isn't this program offered throughout our cities? Health CHECK, the program, stands for Consumer Health, Empowerment, Connection, and Knowledge, and is designed to accomplish all of these goals. Some of the distinguishing components of Health CHECK include the fact that individuals who access the services are not required to make appointments, fill out our forms, or present medical or any identification cards on arrival at the center. The clients and the health care professionals like it this way, as both parties view the “paperwork” requirements as impediments to care.
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