Health Care Organizations Partner to Help Improve Physical and Behavioral Health

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Three leading Maine health care organizations are partnering to better serve the health needs of people living and working in southern and mid-coast Maine.

Today, three leading Maine health care organizations are pleased to announce a collaborative partnership designed to better serve the health needs of people living and working in southern and mid-coast Maine. Behavioral health specialists from Spurwink Services and Sweetser will soon be located at several Martin’s Point Health Care Centers, and will be able to treat patients referred by Martin’s Point providers. It is hoped that by having behavioral health specialists conveniently located within Martin’s Point Health Care Centers, more patients will be able to receive both primary care and behavioral health services in the same place – helping to minimize the stress, stigma, and inconvenience of managing behavioral health symptoms.

Beginning in July, behavioral health specialists from Sweetser will be located at the two Martin’s Point Health Care Centers in Brunswick (Farley Road and Baribeau Drive) and behavioral health specialists from Spurwink Services will be located at the Martin’s Point Health Care Centers in Portland and South Portland. Because the in-house behavioral health specialists are intended to be an integral part of a patient’s care team, only Martin’s Point patients will be able to schedule appointments with the behavioral health specialists as part of their overall health care plan with their primary care provider.

Close integration of primary care and behavioral health services has been shown to dramatically improve the health and wellbeing of many patients. There is a close, interwoven relationship between physical and behavioral health. Patients with chronic or other medical conditions such as chronic pain who receive integrated care often have improved self-management skills and experience improvements in remission rates of depression.

By offering primary care and behavioral health services conveniently in one facility, patients can benefit from early identification and prevention of underlying behavioral health conditions and can more easily access behavioral health services that complement and enhance the physical care they are already receiving. By treating both physical and behavioral health issues together in a whole-person approach, better overall health can be achieved while at the same time improving the patient’s health care experience and reducing costs both for the patient and the health care system as a whole.

“At Martin’s Point, we are committed to providing our patients with the best possible health care experience. Offering behavioral health at our primary care health centers is a logical next step in our continuing efforts to best meet our patients’ needs.” said David Howes, M.D., President and CEO of Martin’s Point Health Care. “We are so pleased to be partnering with both Sweetser and Spurwink toward making meaningful health care improvements in Maine and in the lives of our patients.”

“Spurwink is very proud of the collaborative effort to integrate primary care and behavioral health services with Martin’s Point and Sweetser. Evidence increasingly confirms that patients benefit from this model, which finally recognizes and treats the whole individual, and alleviates the stigma once associated with behavioral health treatments. We are excited to be a part of this pioneering effort in Maine,” said Dawn Stiles, President of Spurwink.

“We’re excited to be embarking on this endeavor to offer a better continuum of care for Martin’s Point patients in southern and mid-coast Maine. We’ve been working toward this goal for a while, and it speaks to the strength of all organizations involved, that we can now move forward with providing patients seamless access to appropriate services across both behavioral and physical health systems,” said Carl Pendleton, Sweetser President and CEO.

About the Partners

Martin’s Point is a progressive not-for-profit health care organization committed to creating the best possible health care experience for its patients and members. It operates nine primary care health centers in Maine and New Hampshire, where all commercial insurances are accepted. Select specialty and ancillaries services are also offered at many of the health care centers. Martin’s Point also administers three health plans: the only 5-Star Medicare Advantage plan in Maine, the US Family Health Plan for military families and retirees throughout New England, and a new program called MaineSense for Maine employers. For more information, please visit: http://www.martinspoint.org.

Sweetser: As one of Maine’s most comprehensive behavioral health networks, Sweetser is a nonprofit organization serving approximately 15,000 adults and children throughout Maine. Sweetser promises to do whatever it takes to connect adults and children to the behavioral health treatment and related support that they need and deserve. Nationally recognized and accredited, Sweetser has nearly 200 years of experience caring for adults and children who are living with mental illness, behavioral disorders, or substance abuse problems. (http://www.sweetser.org)

Spurwink Services is a nationally accredited non-profit organization that provides a broad range of behavioral health and educational services for children, adolescents, adults, and families. Spurwink is among a handful of behavioral health agencies that engage in pioneering research and setting the standard for continuous quality management. Spurwink has a commitment to quality services and the recruitment of caring, compassionate professionals, Spurwink has gained a reputation for excellence in evidence-based treatment and service delivery throughout New England. For more information, please visit http://www.spurwink.org

Media Contact:
Kate Leahy, Public Relations Specialist
Martin’s Point Health Care
Kathleen.leahy(at)martinspoint(dot)org
O: 207-253-6351, C: 207-650-1540

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John Farrell
Spurwink Services
207-871-1211 2187
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