News

Catalpa Health expands footprint into Oshkosh

(Appleton, Wis. – July 1, 2014) – Catalpa Health began offering mental health services to children, teens and their families in the Oshkosh area by opening the doors to its Oshkosh treatment center on July 1. The treatment center is located at 1821 Witzel Ave.

There are three master’s-level mental health therapists onsite, offering mental health therapy to children and teens, ages two to 18, as well as their families.

All initial evaluations for mental health therapy take place at Catalpa Health’s Access Center in Appleton, located at 442 N. Westhill Blvd. Following the evaluation, clients are matched with an appropriate mental health therapist based on specialization and timely access. Clients now have Oshkosh as a location option for receiving treatment.

“Our goal with expanding into Oshkosh is to continue carrying out our vision of offering mental health services to those who need it at the right time, in the right place, close to home,” said Lisa Kogan-Praska, president and CEO of Catalpa Health. “We are so grateful for the community support and collaboration, which continues to allow us to improve access and expand our services within our communities.”

The new treatment center has a “Catalpa café” look and feel. The idea is to make clients and their families feel welcome and relaxed during appointments.

“We offer coffee and juice at our coffee bar, free of charge, with light snacks,” Kogan-Praska said. “We want our clients to feel instant comfort when they walk through our doors. Our hope is to provide a calming environment to help decrease any anxiety or stress clients may feel when they come in for an appointment.”

Along with the clinic opening, Catalpa Health also recently expanded to provide HOST (Helping Our Students Thrive), a school-based therapy program within the Oshkosh Area School District. Funding partners for HOST include Oshkosh United Way and J. J. Keller Foundation, Inc.The program was established for students who have identified barriers that prevent them from seeking mental health therapy outside of the school. These barriers include transportation issues, financial issues, parent work hours and others.

Each participating school has a lead staff member, usually a school counselor, who identifies students appropriate for referral based on behavior or other mental health concerns, as well as barriers to receiving outside services.

Earlier this year, Catalpa Health opened its Access Center with the goal of decreasing wait times for initial mental health evaluations to five days or less, or within 24 hours if the need is urgent. Now, nearly three months in, Catalpa Health has been able to deliver on that promise.

“Our wait times for initial evaluations decreased from about 50 days down to our goal of five days or less, with same-day appointments for a crisis,” Kogan-Praska said. “Again, the strides we are making are a result of a community effort. We could not do this alone.”

For more information on Catalpa Health, please visit www.catalpahealth.org.

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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.

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.

For more information, please visit www.catalpahealth.org.

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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.

 

Catalpa Health adds three providers

(Appleton, Wis. – March 26, 2014) – Catalpa Health recently hired three providers, including two mental health resident therapists and one licensed professional mental health therapist. Catalpa Health now has a total of 30 providers on staff.

Alison_Jacobs_LPCIT

Alison Jacobs, LPCIT, is a mental health resident therapist who specializes in treating those with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, self-esteem issues, trauma and cross-cultural adjustment issues. Jacobs treats patients ages six to 18 years old. She has a special interest in cross-cultural adjustment and the many factors that affect an individual’s mental health in the cultural transition process. Jacobs received her Bachelor of Science degree in French and Spanish education from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and her Master of Science degree in counseling psychology from Evangel University. She has a professional counselor training license credential through the state of Wisconsin. Jacobs is working toward her 3,000 hours of supervised clinical practice needed to obtain full licensure.

Angela_Savides_LPCIT

Angela Savides, LPCIT, is a mental health resident therapist who works works at Catalpa Health as an intake specialist. Angela treats patients ages 18 and younger. She has a special interest in urgent and crisis counseling, as well as suicide and depression assessment. Savides received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in counseling. She is a nationally certified counselor through the National Board for Certified Counselors and has a professional counselor training license credential through the state of Wisconsin. She is working toward her 3,000 hours of supervised clinical practice needed to obtain full licensure.

Candy_Knaide_LPC

Candy Knaide, LPC, is a mental health therapist at Catalpa Health. She treats patients ages 18 years old and younger. Knaide has special interest in attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues and self-abuse. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay and her master’s degree in community counseling at Lakeland College. Knaide is licensed through the state of Wisconsin as a licensed professional therapist.

Catalpa Health adds five providers

(Appleton, Wis. – Jan. 3, 2014) – Catalpa Health recently hired five providers, including two mental health therapists, a mental health resident therapist, an advanced practice nurse prescriber and a psychologist. Catalpa Health now has a total of 26 providers on staff.

Holly_Wohlfeil_LPC

Holly Wohlfeil, MA, LPC, joins Catalpa Health as a mental health therapist who treats abuse and trauma; issues related to adoption and foster care; self-harming behaviors; and depression and anxiety in children of all ages. She has special interest in treating those with abuse, trauma, attachment and adoption issues. Wohlfeil graduated with her Master of Arts degree in community counseling from Marquette University.

Amy_Morrissey_MSE,LPC

Amy M. Morrissey, MSE, LPC, is a mental health therapist who treats a wide range of topics including trauma, abuse, depression, anxiety and family system issues. Morrissey has special interest in the utilization of play and art interventions (symbolic language of self expression). She treats children ages four years and older. Morrissey received a bachelor’s degree in social work and master’s degree in counseling from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. She is a nationally certified counselor through the National Board for Certified Counselors, a licensed professional counselor through the state of Wisconsin and a member of the Association for Play Therapy.

Gina_Leonardelli_LPC-IT

Gina Leonardelli, LPCIT, is a licensed professional counselor in training who treats patients with ADHD, anger, anxiety, behavior management issues, self-esteem issues, social skills, autism spectrum disorders and depression. She has a special interest in homelessness/displacement issues and Spanish-speaking clients. Leonardelli sees patients ages birth to five years of age and adolescents. She holds her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and Spanish from St. Norbert College and her Master of Arts degree in community counseling with child/adolescent specialization from Marquette University. Leonardelli has a professional counselor training license credential through the state of Wisconsin. She is working toward her 3,000 hours of supervised clinical practice needed to obtain full licensure. Leonardelli receives weekly supervision from a state-approved clinical supervisor and attends regular clinical collaboration with other Catalpa Health therapists, nurse practitioners and clinical psychologists.

Jillian_Schuh_PHD

Jillian Schuh, Ph.D., joins Catalpa Health as a psychologist. She provides neuropsychological assessments for children and adolescents with difficulties related to attention and hyperactivity; communication; memory; learning; and social and emotional functioning and behavior. Schuh has specialty training in neuropsychological assessment with children who have medical or neurological complexities and treats children ages 2 – 18. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her Master of Arts degree and Ph.D. from University of Connecticut, completed an internship at the University of Chicago Medical Center and completed her fellowship and two-year training program specializing in neuropsychological assessment at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Beth_Boehnlein_MS,RN,APNP

Beth Boehnlein, MS, RN, joins Catalpa Health as a psych-certified advanced practice nurse prescriber who focuses on treating those with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mood disorders and psychotic disorders. She sees patients ages 13-18. Beth received a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, her Master of Science in psychiatric nursing from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and is ANCC certified as a psychiatric/mental health clinical nurse specialist.

Catalpa Health adds new psychologist

(Appleton, Wis. – July 16, 2013) – Catalpa Health recently added clinical psychologist Susan M. Oestreicher, Ph.D., to its team of providers. With this addition, Catalpa Health now has six psychologists, two prevention specialists, four psychiatrists and 12 master’s-level therapists.

Susan_Oestreicher_PHD_web

Oestreicher joins Catalpa Health as a psychologist who specializes in the mental health evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of children and adolescents. She has a special interest in anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders, depressive disorders, ADHD, oppositional behaviors and parent-child issues. Oestreicher will see patients ranging from ages two to 18 years of age. She earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and completed her internship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

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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.

Lisa Kogan-Praska Named President and CEO of Catalpa Health

(Appleton, Wis. – May 14, 2012) – The Catalpa Health board of directors today announces it has named Lisa Kogan-Praska as president and CEO of the organization. Formed in February of 2012 as a joint venture of Affinity Health System, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and ThedaCare, Catalpa Health will provide comprehensive, community-based, outpatient behavioral health care to children.

“I am thrilled to accept this new position,” said Kogan-Praska. “Having worked in the health care industry for nearly 20 years, I recognize the dire need for the services Catalpa Health will provide. To have the opportunity to help shape this organization is a true privilege.”

In her role as president of the newly formed organization, Kogan-Praska will be responsible for hiring staff, developing the Catalpa Health program and working with area health care providers, schools and community organizations to ensure children have access to Catalpa Health services.

“Lisa is a perfect fit for Catalpa Health,” said Board Chair Dave VanderZanden. “As we continue to build the Catalpa Health program we need someone with clear direction and a proven management track record and Lisa excels in both areas. The board of directors looks forward to seeing Catalpa Health develop quickly under Lisa’s leadership.”

Kogan-Praska joins Catalpa Health after 12 years of service with Affinity Occupational Health, the last four spent as the director of Occupational Health and patient experience. She has worked in health care her entire career and spent time working in both behavioral health and children’s health fields.

Catalpa Health is a stand-alone entity that will provide outpatient services including: individual and group therapy, psychological and neuropsychological testing, medical management (psychiatry) and prevention services for the local public schools. Inpatient behavioral and mental health services will continue to be provided by St. Elizabeth Hospital.

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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.

Three Fox Valley health care organizations announce the creation of Catalpa Health to meet child and adolescent behavioral and mental health needs

Affinity Health System, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and ThedaCare collaborate on creation of new organization

(Appleton, Wis. – Feb. 27, 2012) – Affinity Health System, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin andThedaCare are creating a new organization to provide outpatient child and adolescent mental health services. Catalpa Health is being formed to provide seamless, accessible, collaborative behavioral and mental health services.

“The current approach to providing mental health services for children and adolescents in the Fox Cities is not optimal,” said Daniel E. Neufelder, president and CEO of Affinity Health System. “Our current model is fragmented with limited access to care and not financially sustainable. It was time to think differently about our collective approach to care.”

The 2006 LIFE study (http://www.foxcitieslifestudy.org/) showed that the community needs to focus on children’s mental health, and in response, Affinity, ThedaCare, and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin began collaborating. That led to the Fox Valley Children’s Mental Health Center. The 2011 LIFE study confirmed that a need still existed, and in February 2011, Neufelder along with Dean Gruner, MD, president and CEO of ThedaCare and Peggy Troy, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital and Health System, formed a committee to lead a strategic planning process to take the next step in addressing the community’s pediatric mental health care needs.

The process led the committee to form Catalpa Health, a stand-alone entity that will provide outpatient services including: individual and group therapy, psychological and neuropsychological testing, medical management (psychiatry) and prevention services for the local public schools. Inpatient behavioral and mental health services will continue to be provided by St. Elizabeth Hospital.

“It was clear from the start we needed to create a single, unified entity to provide the full continuum of pediatric mental health services,” said Dr. Gruner. “Catalpa Health is our response to the desire to find better ways to serve the mental health care needs of children in the Fox Valley.”

“We set lofty goals and we believe we can achieve them,” said Troy. “We are absolutely committed to increasing the number of children and adolescents whose behavioral/mental health care needs can be served. Catalpa Health will allow us to improve access to all levels of mental health care, eliminate duplication and improve operational effectiveness and create tighter connections with schools and community agencies.”

Catalpa Health is focused on:

  • Providing consistent best practices across the care continuum
  • Creating a common electronic medical record for outpatient services
  • Removing insurance barriers and other barriers to care
  • Improving the ability to attract, retain and develop talented physicians, providers, management and staff

Community representatives have been involved in defining the scope of the challenges, helping develop recommendations and helping engage the community in fundraising efforts.

A board of directors for Catalpa Health has been named. There are three board members representing each of the three partners and one from each organization must be a community member. Board members to date include:

  • Travis Andersen, president, St. Elizabeth Hospital
  • Larry Donatelle, MD, vice president of medical affairs, St. Elizabeth Hospital
  • Tom Schmidt, executive chairman, U.S. Venture, Inc.
  • Mary Downs, executive director, ThedaCare Behavioral Health
  • John Edwards, MD, pediatrician, ThedaCare
  • Dave VanderZanden, former president and CEO, School Specialty, Inc.
  • Mary Hosmer, director, Children’s Hospital & Health System Foundation, Inc.
  • Tim Klunk, executive director, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
  • Marne Keller-Krikava, vice president of strategy and business planning, J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

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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