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Mental Health Association in Essex County Launches Promising Crisis Prevention/Emergency Room Diversion Initiative

A new crisis prevention/emergency room diversion initiative recently implemented by the Mental Health Association in Essex County has shown early promise. Shelby Davis, Mobile Crisis Prevention Coordinator, has stepped in to help the organization’s care management team, diligently working with people identified as emergency room high-utilizers to prevent unnecessary visits and improve outcomes.

According to Marisa Gaddor, the organization’s Chief Care Coordinator, the team accesses client records daily. Gaddor explained, “I log into PSYCKES (Psychiatric Services and Clinical Knowledge Enhancement System) to pull up indicators and look at progress reports, narrowing my search to clients who have been flagged. We investigate emergency department visits to see what happened. What triggered the visit? Was it a legitimate visit?” Once Gaddor has a better handle on each situation, she forwards the information to Davis who then sends an introductory letter to the client and calls to set up an initial in-person meeting. “She figures out what happened. Is there anything missing? Is this a situation that keeps repeating itself?” said Gaddor. Once the picture becomes clearer, Davis then shares information with all involved providers, the client, and family members, if appropriate, so everyone is on the same page.

“We look at things like the (client’s) medication management plan, current diagnosis, safety screenings, and more, so we can come up with a more holistic care approach. At the end of the day, we’re trying to coordinate the work of our care managers and ER staff, sharing information and presenting data that we hope is useful,” said Gaddor.

“Shelby is also a 9-1-1 dispatcher and an EMT, so she’s linked everywhere,” stated Gaddor. “What she’s accomplished so far with these clients is very impressive. She’s really hustling. We are very excited to see how her hard work will impact future outcomes.”

For more information on this initiative, contact Gaddor at [email protected], or Davis at [email protected].

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