Local summit to blend physical and behavioral health with new care plan

Missoula Current

Missoula County will bring together more than 40 local leaders and advocates in health care, criminal justice and other fields this week in a two-day summit intended to create an integrated care plan for the county.

“Missoula County hopes to address disparities in health care by supporting an integrated system of care for our community,” Missoula County Grants Administrator, Erin Kautz said. “This Summit will be a great first step in making that happen.”

The gathering will include local experts across a number of fields, including education, behavioral health, criminal justice and other supporting agencies. Together, they will look to craft the Collaborative Care Plan for Missoula County.

Those behind the effort said the gather will enable community leaders to develop a comprehensive continuity of care system, in which physical health is recognized as a crucial component for individuals with behavioral health issues.

By reducing barriers between physical and mental health care, they believe, individuals can be better stabilized and experience improved outcomes. The summit will explore emerging models of care, as well as payment barriers and the need for better coordination.

Funded by a grant from the Montana Healthcare Foundation, the summit is sponsored by Missoula County, Western Montana Mental Health Center, St, Patrick Hospital, Community Medical Center, and Partnership Health Center.

The Summit will take place on Oct. 18 and 19 at the Missoula Children’s Theater, located at 200 N Adams Street in Missoula.