The mind and body aren’t separated- and neither should the health-care delivery system- especially for folks with a serious mental illness. People with a serious mental illness die more than 25 years earlier than the general population… an unacceptable health disparity in anybody’s book. The increased mortality is largely from treatable medical conditions caused by modifiable risk factors like smoking, obesity, substance abuse, and not accessing primary and acute medical care. Population health issues.
We recognized the need to address this unacceptable health disparity when we put together our Strategic Map and Plan that includes integrating behavioral and acute healthcare. It’s been a long haul and a lot of work- and we passed a major milestone today when we awarded the next contract for the delivery of behavioral health services in Maricopa County. The contractor will also be responsible for delivering acute and primary care for folks with a serious mental illness. You can visit our Behavioral Health Services blog for more information about who was awarded the contract, links to the solicitation materials, and summary information about the proposal that received the award.
It’s difficult to put into words how much work has gone into this solicitation. I know that many of you put this work on top of all your normal work, had put off other projects, and sacrificed some of your home-life for this product- and I just really want you to know that I appreciate it. It’s going to save lives. Stay tuned.