Catalpa Health expands to make renewed commitment to reduce wait times for children and teens’ mental health services

Catalpa Health expands to make renewed commitment to reduce wait times for children and teens’ mental health services

(Appleton, Wis. – April 8, 2014) – Catalpa Health opened the doors to its Access Center Wednesday, April 2. The Access Center is located at 442 N. Westhill Blvd. in Appleton, right next to Catalpa Health’s mental health clinic.

By opening the Access Center, Catalpa Health is making a renewed commitment to serve area children, teens and their families by significantly reducing wait times for mental health assessments.

“We have made a commitment to our community to improve the way children and teens are provided mental health services,” said Lisa Kogan-Praska, president and CEO of Catalpa Health. “When Catalpa Health opened its doors a little more than one year ago, our plan was to provide care to more children in our communities over five years, but five years is not soon enough. We listened to the voices of our patients and their families as well as other community organizations, and we are asking for their help as we begin changing the way we provide care.”

The goal of the new model offered at Catalpa Health is designed to work as follows:

  • When clients or parents call Catalpa Health, call specialists in the Access Center will assess clients through a series of questions to determine needs. If necessary, a more in-depth clinical triage will be provided.
  • If the client’s need is urgent, the goal is to offer an appointment within 24 hours. The goal for clients with non-emergency needs is to offer an initial assessment within five days.
  • For clients and families who are receiving mental health services through Catalpa and who have additional needs or barriers that may affect receiving treatment, a case manager may be assigned to help with those needs and to overcome barriers.
  • After a client’s initial appointment, the goal is to schedule follow-up appointments either at Catalpa Health within 10 business days, or with one of Catalpa’s many qualified community partners.

The Access Center has four intake specialists whose roles are to facilitate the initial evaluation process, which includes providing a preliminary mental health diagnosis and connecting children and families to a therapist or connecting them to other mental health services that are the best match to meet their needs.

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Catalpa Health provides a full continuum of mental health, wellness and preventative services to children and adolescents in the Fox Valley. A collaboration of Affinity Health System, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and ThedaCare, Catalpa Health believes in community partnerships and works with other mental health providers to ensure that all children are receiving the care they need.