WATERBURY — St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation received a three-year, $30,000 grant from Liberty Bank Foundation to support the creation of a Greater Waterbury Community Care Team. David Glidden, president and CEO of Liberty Bank and the Liberty Bank Foundation, presented the first installment of the grant to hospital officials last month.
The Community Care Team is designed to coordinate regional health and human services agencies in addressing the multiple needs of individuals with behavioral health and/or addiction issues who make frequent use of the hospital’s emergency department.
“These patients have complex healthcare needs, but no primary care physician or other ‘medical home,’ so they turn to the ED for care,” said St. Mary’s president Dr. Steven Schneider. “The goal of the Community Care Team is to wrap around these patients, marshaling the community resources necessary to address not just their health needs but also the other barriers that are preventing them from achieving better health.”
The core of the team is made up of members of the Greater Waterbury Health Improvement Partnership: St. Mary’s Hospital, United Way of Greater Waterbury, StayWell Health Center, Waterbury Bridge to Success, Waterbury Hospital, Connecticut Community Foundation and the Community Health Center.
In building the Community Care Team, GWHIP is reaching out to human services providers, including those engaged with housing, to create a network of support.
“Supporting the Community Care Team made sense for our foundation, since ending homelessness is a key priority for us,” said David Glidden.
“The Community Care Team takes a holistic approach that recognizes and deals with the various obstacles that are preventing patients from achieving better health.”
The Community Care Team model also generates economic benefits by using healthcare resources more efficiently.
“When people’s lives are stabilized and they have regular access to quality care, they no longer need to make repeated, high-cost visits to the ED, which is the most expensive form of healthcare,” said St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation Executive Director Carrie Fuller-McMahon.
“That relieves overload on the system and reduces costs for everyone.”