2014: Summer of change for long time Valley agency

After nearly 50 years of service to the Verde Valley and Sedona communities, the Verde Valley Guidance Clinic has become Spectrum Healthcare. C. E. O. Robert Cartia says the new name better reflects the organizations' scope of services, including primary medical care.

The addition of primary medical care is part of a nationwide trend known as "integration" which recognizes the link between mental health and physical health and the need to address both when assessing a person's overall health and well- being.

According to SAMSHA, the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, primary and behavioral health care integration is the systematic coordination of primary and behavioral health care. Since physical and behavioral health problems often occur at the same time, health care professionals want to consider all health conditions at once. Integrating mental health, substance abuse, and primary care services produces the best outcomes and proves the most effective approach to caring for people with multiple healthcare needs.

Spectrum Healthcare first added primary care five years ago specifically to address the healthcare needs of the agency's seriously mentally ill patients. Now, Spectrum's primary care services are open to the general public in addition to behavioral health clients.

In order to centralize services and improve care coordination, Spectrum Healthcare, has opened a new outpatient treatment center at 651 W. Mingus Avenue in Cottonwood. The new facility houses Spectrum's primary care, psychiatry, and pharmacy services, all in one location.

An open house is planned for Oct. 9 to show off the new facility. Counseling, group therapy, and children's behavioral health services remain located at the agency's other Cottonwood location, 8 E. Cottonwood St. Services at Spectrum's Sedona and Camp Verde offices are not affected by the move.

Spectrum Healthcare continues to provide a full complement of behavioral health services under contract through NARBHA, the Regional Behavioral Health Authority for Coconino, Navajo, Yavapai, Apache and Mohave counties.  Funds for services are provided through a contract with the Arizona Department of Health Services/Division of Behavioral Health Services and AHCCCS.

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