UW Clinic Receives Grant for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

The Albany Community Health Clinic (ACHC), a program in the University of Wyoming College of Health Sciences, recently received a grant to help expand access to mental health and substance abuse services.

The $175,700 grant is from Health Resources and Services Administration for AIMS (Access Increases in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services) funding.

“The purpose of the AIMS funding is to expand access to mental health services and substance abuse services focusing on treatment,” says Dr. Katy Hartman, program director of the ACHC.

She says the clinic will enhance these services by increasing personnel, and it also will leverage health information technology and provide training to support the expansion of mental health services and substance abuse services. The goal is to focus on the treatment, prevention and awareness of opioid abuse and its integration into primary care. AIMS funding is to expand and integrate access to mental health and substance abuse services into a primary-care setting.

“This is, in part, to address the overuse and misuse of prescription medications,” Hartman says.

She says services will be enhanced with the addition of trained mental health personnel, through education and training of existing personnel, and through improved use of health information technology.

“The mind and the body cannot be unlinked. In order to best treat the body, mental health issues must be addressed, and good physical health, in turn, supports good mental health,” Hartman says. “Integration of mental and physical health services will allow us to better treat each client as a whole person. I am excited for the opportunity that the AIMS grant has provided.”

The health clinic, operated by UW, opened in April.

Late last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded a three-year grant to the UW Health Sciences’ Educational Health Center of Wyoming (EHCW) to open the ACHC. The funding, in the form of a New Access Point (NAP) grant, allows the EHCW to operate the only Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Laramie. The clinic provides comprehensive health care services to Albany County residents, regardless of ability to pay. The EHCW is among 75 NAP award recipients in the nation.

In addition to direct federal funding, the FQHC designation provides enhanced Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. The clinic operates on a sliding fee scale for those between 100 and 200 percent of poverty, and a proof-of-income component is included.

The clinic, located at 920 E. Sheridan St., Suite A, is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; and from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. each Tuesday.

For more information, email Richelle Keinath, clinic manager, at rkeinath@uwyo.edu or visit the website at www.uwyo.edu/hs/albany-clinic.



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