News Article Details

Clinic now offers behavioral health services

Messenger-Inquirer - 2/24/2019

Feb. 24-- Feb. 24--Audubon Area Community Care Clinic, a nonprofit medical office that serves homeless, uninsured and underinsured clients, now offers a full slate of behavioral health services.

Last autumn, the clinic received $249,942 in federal funding to expand into mental health and substance abuse services. The grant provides funds to help fight the nation's growing opioid crisis. However, that funding also may be used for any substance use problem, such as alcohol abuse or methamphetamine use.

Jonathan White, a behavioral health specialist, has been hired. The clinic now offers substance use disorder screenings and therapies, along with treatment for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and trauma. Grief therapy and mental health counseling for individuals and families are also available.

In the future, the clinic plans to offer group therapy, said Dana Wilson, clinic program director.

Last year, the clinic started offering Vivitrol injections, which are once-a-month treatments to prevent relapse in opioid-dependent patients. AACCC is one of only a few local places that offer Vivitrol.

Besides medical and behavioral health services, the clinic staffs two care coordinators who help vulnerable populations with other needs, such as housing, employment and food.

"We're treating the entire patient," Wilson said. "If we help with other insecurities, such as housing, health outcomes improve."

The clinic, in the former McAuley Clinic building at Ninth and Center streets, accepts Medicaid and most insurances. AACCC operates on a sliding-fee scale, including self-pay patients.

Wilson estimates 60 percent of the clinic's patients rely on Medicaid. The clinic's Medicare population is growing, too.

When the clinic opened on July 5, 2017, it started with one nurse practitioner. A year later, a second was hired. White makes the third health professional added.

AACCC serves Hancock, Henderson, McLean, Ohio, Union and Daviess counties. The largest percentage of patients come from Daviess County, Wilson said.

She feels more would come from outlying areas because the need for services exists, but a lack of reliable transportation to get to Owensboro and a lack of awareness about AACCC remain barriers to care. In the future, Wilson hopes to add clinics in surrounding counties. "We're hoping in the next couple of years to start that expansion."

Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, rbeasleyjones@messenger-inquirer.com

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