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Published on January 07, 2019

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Gundersen Boscobel introduces new model of care

Gundersen Boscobel Area Hospital and Clinics now offer a way to treat your behavioral health needs through a team-based model of care.

Joni Downs, PhD

Joni Downs, PhD

The Collaborative Care approach closes the gap between mind and body and focuses on health and wellness for comprehensive, whole-person care, explains Joni Downs, PhD, Gundersen Boscobel licensed psychologist. In this model of care, healthcare professionals work together to improve patient outcomes and self-management.

"Collaborative Care offers better care for patients, increased patient satisfaction, lower total medical costs and greater provider satisfaction," Dr. Downs says.

The Collaborative Care model brings behavioral health services to primary care to address problems at their onset. If an issue is identified during your primary care appointment, our behavioral health provider will partner with you and your primary care provider to offer short-term behavioral health services, assessment and referrals if you need additional support.

Patients engaged in Collaborative Care will have a better understanding of the connection between emotional experiences and their body's response to them. You can learn coping skills to manage stress and see improvement in your short and long-term health.

Collaborative Care also is an effective way to change the stigma surrounding mental health, increase access to behavioral health resources and can lower the cost of care by preventing more significant issues that could lead to additional appointments, hospital stays and emergency room visits.

"We know that patients do not present their illness as physical vs. mental. Patients come to us as a whole person," Dr. Downs says. "Having the right care at the right place at the right time is the ultimate goal of this model of care."

Mandy Pettit, RN, MSN, Gundersen Boscobel director of clinics says the concept now offered in the Boscobel area is modeled after similar models offered by Gundersen Health System.

"We felt this model of Collaborative Care could be beneficial and impactful as we brought Dr. Downs onto the team and entered the field of outpatient behavioral health," Mandy says.

Behavioral health providers can help address:

  • Insomnia
  • Chronic disease self-management, including diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fear of needles
  • Stress
  • Grief or loss
  • Medication changes
  • Pain management
  • Relationship concerns
  • LGBTQ+ and gender identity

If you have any questions, please talk to your primary care provider at Gundersen Boscobel Area Hospital and Clinics by calling (608) 375-4144.

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