It has been a busy start to the year for the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division - and for many of you who are partnering with us on this progress.
As I shared in February, the Mental Health Board accepted the Joint Task Force’s recommendation to negotiate exclusively with Universal Health Services (UHS). This means that UHS will build a new acute psychiatric hospital in Milwaukee County. We look forward to finalizing a contract early this summer and will share more with you at that time.
As BHD transitions into a new hospital, psychiatric crisis and emergency services will also evolve. To address this, BHD and the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership have engaged The Human Services Research Institute (HSRI), in collaboration with the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) and the Wisconsin Public Forum (WPF) to create a plan to guide the re-design of these services for Milwaukee County. We expect to also receive this plan in summer will share more with you then.
With this transition to a new hospital, BHD will also move its resources out of the mental health complex and into the community. We anticipate this transition will be completed in 2021 at the earliest. However, we have already started expanding resources, service offerings and access out in the community. Most recently, we added a fifth CART team to respond to crisis calls in partnership with police departments - we are seeing tremendous results - 90% of these interactions result in a connection to voluntary care versus jail or hospitalization.
To continue to provide person-centered and integrated care offerings to our community, we are also continuing conversations with our federally qualified health centers on both Milwaukee’s north and south sides. By providing access to both medical and behavioral health care, we can ensure that the whole person is cared for - mind and body. In fact, the brain-body connection is the highlight of our Mental Health Month campaign this May (see more below).
We are certainly proud of the work being done at BHD and by our providers and partners. It truly takes this collaborative approach to care for our community members in need and together, we are ensuring they receive the highest quality care.
Thank you for your commitment to our community.