The ultimate goal of the GCBHRC is to give voice to each of the community partners while working toward the goals set forth through the settlement parameters. The GCBHRC has held and continues to conduct extensive discussions with the multitude of players in the communities of Mobile and Baldwin counties in order to: assess their needs and priorities, determine what GCBHRC's role will be in helping to meet those needs, and explain what the dictates of the settlement are in order to establish goals and limitations. Through these discussions, it has been determined that in order to best serve the community, the GCBHRC must remain flexible and work with the fluidity of the community stakeholders' needs and changing environments. Consequently, the nature of our work with each project is subject to ongoing revision as we follow the Plan, Do, Study, Act method of project development and improvement.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services definition of federally qualified
health centers (FQHCs):
"Federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) include all organizations receiving grants under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act (PHS). FQHCs qualify for enhanced reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid, as well as other benefits. FQHCs must serve an under-served area or population, offer a sliding fee scale, provide comprehensive services, have an ongoing quality assurance program, and have a governing board of directors. Certain tribal organizations and FQHC Look-Alikes (an organization that meets PHS Section 330 eligibility requirements, but does not receive grant funding) also may receive special Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement."
One goal of the GCBHRC is to increase access to mental and behavioral healthcare (MBH) services through integrated healthcare practices in FQHCs and look-alike health centers. Currently, we are working with the Mobile County Health Department and Franklin Primary Health Center. Our activities include:
- Integrated Health Teams: The establishment of Integrated Healthcare Teams within the healthcare systems by MBH professionals working alongside primary healthcare professionals, both screening for MBH needs in a routine fashion and responding to crises as they arise in the healthcare setting.
- Strengthening Infrastructure: Currently, this equates to helping strengthen the electronic health records (EHR) system to include coding, billing, and scheduling for MBH sessions.
- Workforce Development: The GCBHRC is committed to enhancing evidence-based competencies of MBH providers, social service staff members, physical health providers, and other FQHC staff members by facilitating and/or offering training opportunities, in-services, and workshops along with developing a network of local evidence-based certified trainers.
- Community Needs Assessment: The GCBHRC is collecting data to be analyzed to determine the needs of the community and to establish a baseline of the mental and behavioral health status of the area. This is being conducted in a manner which includes as many community "voices" as possible including an integration questionnaire, needs assessment questionnaire, literature review, and data analysis.
- Project Assessment: Data analysis of the information coming from the GCBHRC's work with clients in the FQHCs will continue to inform the Center in community needs and evaluate the effectiveness of the GCBHRC's activities.
Enjoy the Orientation video for Behavioral Health Services at the Mobile County Health Department below:
Marriage and Family Resiliency Center (in development) - The goal of the MFRC is to provide high-quality mental and behavioral health services to families, couples, individuals, and larger systems within the Mobile community in order to strengthen a families’ ability to meet life’s challenges and to thrive in their environment. The clinic will be administered through the University of South Alabama Psychological Clinic and serve as a major training site for doctoral students in the Combined Clinical and Counseling Doctoral Program in Psychology at the University of South Alabama (USA).
ADHD Assessment Team (in development) - The goal of the ADHD Assessment Team is to provide evidence-based ADHD assessments within community school settings. The assessment team will be part of a multidisciplinary unit which will include USA psychiatry residents. The team will identify students who struggle in the academic environment because of this disorder and provide appropriate support and/or community referrals.
USA Center for Continuing Education and Conference Services (CCE)- A primary objective of the GCBHRC is to establish sustainable mental and behavioral health awareness/literacy programs for the community and evidence-based professional development programs for training existing and developing Mental and Behavioral Health Providers. GCBHRC has partnered with CCE to promote the expansion of mental and behavioral health programs within the community through courses such as Crisis Intervention Team training programs for law enforcement, Mental Health First Aid to for specific populations such as Higher Education, Public Safety and Veterans, and other mental and behavioral health training programs.
USA Department of Family Medicine- A primary objective of GCBHRC is the provision of integrated behavioral healthcare within primary care facilities in order to establish and embed behavioral health services into primary care. The sponsorship of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker will guarantee that a behavioral health provider will serve as a part of the USA Department of Family Medicine's integrated health team.
USA Hospitals (USAH)- GCBHRC has partnered with the USAH to assist in the development of greater systematic and coordinated mental and behavioral healthcare for children and families in south Alabama. With the use of several USAH Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residents, GCBHRC will provide service relief to the community and contribute to the educational preparation of the future supply of mental and behavioral health providers in this area. Photographed below are USAH's Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residents.
Emerging Scholars Environmental Health Sciences Academy Program- The Emerging Scholars Environmental Health Sciences Academy (ESEHSA) gives current
9th-11th grade students, with an interest and curiosity in the sciences, the opportunity
to gain knowledge in the environmental health and marine sciences. Faculty and research
staff will mentor and guide the students’ experiences, while helping them develop
their skills in scientific inquiry. Two weeks will be spent on the University of South
Alabama campus where students are introduced to the human health impact of environmental
contaminants. Four weeks will be spent at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in the Discovery
Hall Summer Program that introduces students to the marine environment through classroom
lecture, laboratory and field activities. The second aspect to the ESEHSA focuses
on teachers in Mobile and Baldwin Counties. The Environmental Health Sciences Teacher
Workshop provides high school science teachers with the opportunity to receive education
and train on a specific area of marine science, the impacts of environmental toxins,
and to provide them skills to implement teaching of these topics within their high
school. Teachers receive an incentive for attending the Environmental Health Sciences
Teacher Workshop and for attending a workshop at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab or another
appropriate workshop elsewhere. Another component of the ESEHSA is the fulfilling
of wish list items that will benefit the teachers and students at participating high
schools. During the Teacher Workshop, teachers create their wish lists for science
equipment and tools that will improve their science laboratories and classrooms. Wish
lists are fulfilled at the Fall Program.
Family Counseling Center of Mobile, Inc. d/b/a Lifelines Counseling Services- A primary objective of the GCBHRC is to establish sustainable mental and behavioral health awareness/literacy programs for the community and evidence-based professional development programs for training existing and developing Mental and Behavioral Health Providers. GCBHRC has partnered with Lifelines Counseling Services to train education professionals, community groups, service organizations, college and university students and personnel in Mobile and Baldwin County. Lifelines Counseling Services are using Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Gatekeeper training, an evidence based program that simultaneously raises awareness of suicide and reduces the stigma of talking about suicidal thoughts or feelings.
Mobile Area Education Fund (MAEF)- Mobile Area Education Foundation was awarded a grant from the National Academies of Science with an overall goal of developing and administering an environmental health and safety leadership training curriculum for high school juniors and seniors, in order to create a pipeline of environmentally knowledgeable and safety-certified workers. Dr. Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling received a subaward entitled Mobile Area Education Foundation Environmental Health and Safety Leadership Training Curriculum. Her role in this project is to facilitate the program through the assistance of a USA graduate student, to provide guidance on curriculum development within the proposed high school Environmental Health and Occupational Safety leadership program, to facilitate the identification of the critical components of the leadership program, and to function as a liaison between the program and the program evaluators.
Project THRIVE is a multidisciplinary coalition lead by the Mobile Police Department Office of Strategic Initiatives to address the effects of trauma on the citizens of the City of Mobile. The Mobile Police Department, the University of South Alabama, the Mobile County Public School System, and the Health Department are teaming up with the city to offer support to people impacted by trauma. It's an initiative called "Project THRIVE."
The mission of Project THRIVE is to make Mobile a trauma-informed community – so that helpers in every agency and every part of our system are cared for and know how to care for others. As Project THRIVE, we are committed to weaving our community closer together and making strong community partnerships. We are dedicated to Trauma Healing and Resiliency In the wake of Violent Events. Our vision is to create an enduring culture of safety, trust, and hope where all individuals and families in Mobile, Alabama are empowered to achieve optimal health and well-being.
We no longer want doctors, and teachers, and police officers to see us, our family members, our children as bad or broken – thinking and saying "what's wrong with you?". Instead, we believe we can all be more helpful and respectful through understanding "what happened to you?" This shift is possible with a better appreciation of the impact of trauma. Project THRIVE will also serve as a resource hub where individuals and families impacted by trauma will be provided with wrap-around case management services to help them lead happier, more productive, and more successful lives.