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The Chicago Forum for Justice in Health Policy: Innovative Strategies for Integrated Care

On June 21st, Health & Medicine's Behavioral Health-Primary Care Integration Learning Collaborative—an interdisciplinary group of community behavioral health providers, federally qualified health care providers, and people in recovery—welcomed a diverse group of providers, advocates, policy makers, and people with lived experience to a forum designed to share lessons learned in two years of the collaborative and  advance the discourse around state-wide mental health and Medicaid reforms.

“We have been working together to identify and adopt innovative strategies for behavioral health-primary care integration in Illinois. We’ll be sharing on-the-ground approaches to improve behavioral health services and address policy barriers. We hope to revitalize conversations around mental health and encourage further discussions.” - Sharon Post, Director of Long Term Care Reform

Members of the Learning Collaborative led a dialogue with invited participants from the House Mental Health Committee, officials from the Department of Healthcare and Family Services and the Department of Human Services, and recovery and empowerment activist from Next Steps, Gift of Voice, DBSA, Thresholds, and Access Living.

Proceedings, Speakers, & Presentations:
Click here to view the Forum Proceedings

Behavioral Health-Primary Care Integration Learning Collaborative Conceptual Framework and History
View the presentation.
-Renae Alvarez, Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

Data Exchange—How can we improve information sharing between hospitals, primary care, and behavioral health providers to reduce fragmentation in services? View the presentation.
-Marvin Lindsey, CBHA
-Mary Talen, Erie Family Health Center

Hospital transitional care—Can a behavioral health provider embedded in a hospital successfully transition care of an individual who admits with a behavioral health diagnosis to a primary care provider?
-Matt Hammoudeh, LSSI

Financial Sustainability—What does it cost to design, start-up, and run an integrated model using a behavioral health organization in a major urban setting, with primary care embedded and how do we maximize integrated funding streams between the behavioral health organization and the primary care provider? View the presentation.
-Gwenn Rauch, HHC
-Susan Doig and Alice Geis, Trilogy

Respondent Panels: The event included two response panels  with key stakeholders on mental health and Medicaid reform and the integration of behavioral health and primary care services including people with disclosed mental health conditions and State of Illinois officials.
-Diana Knaebe, DHS, Division of Mental Health
-Sue Atkinson, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
-Lore Baker, DHS, Supportive housing, Employment First
-Susan Ciano, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Recovery Support Specialist
-Kelly Cunningham, HFS, Deputy Administrator, Long Term Care and Behavioral Health
-William Korte, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
-Allison Gaiter, Thresholds

Forum Resources:


Support for this event was provided by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of Illinois and the Chicago Community Trust.

Thank you to our co-sponsors Loyola University’s Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy and the Civitas ChildLaw Center.