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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.

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