The New Home of Jackson County Health & Human Services
New Opportunities for Jackson County Citizens
By pooling resources and partnering to provide the services most needed by those in our community, HHS believes they will meet the expectations of the Coordinated Care Organizations’ triple aim which is to provide services to more individuals, for less money with better outcomes. HHS currently serves local citizens covered by Oregon Health plan, fee for service clients, commercial payers and indigent citizens. As of January 1, 2014, they also began serving those newly insured through Cover Oregon.
This large scale building design and planning effort began in February 2012, when a group of staff and community partners began meeting to develop the floor plan for the new HHS building. Some of the discussions held centered on how the design of the new building could enhance the experience of those served. In an effort to gain client input into the design process, DeeAnne Everson, Executive Director of Jackson County United Way, agreed to interview 40 people who either currently receive services at HHS or have in the past. A common theme that came from the interviews was ways the new facility could help those served feel more welcome and included in their care. Things like height adjusting conference tables enabling those in wheel chairs to sit at a table with those they are meeting with. Simple requests such as empty space left in waiting rooms where those in wheelchairs could wait for their appointment without moving furniture or waiting in the middle of the room. Some suggested hanging photographs throughout the building of people in the community doing what they love. DeeAnne also found that many people she interviewed requested more clarity around what services they are eligible for and how they would access those services. A formalized screening and referral process is being developed to help those seeking assistance engage in needed services both in the facility and off site. A request for expanded crisis services was also mentioned by a number of the people interviewed.
The new facility planning team agreed that many of the suggestions made would enhance the plan for the building and offer a better experience to those served. The new facility will include a child watch area where parents can leave their children while they are on site in a safe, child-friendly environment. A resource center where information can be found related to mental health, developmental disabilities, nutrition and child development is also located on site and available to the public.
Construction considerations such as rounded corners, wide hallways and more accommodating restrooms, along with the purchase of furnishings that better serve all individuals, are just some of the ways HHS is striving to serve clients better. Asking for input from those we serve, and including their ideas and suggestions in the plans for the new building, has helped to develop a facility offering opportunities not provided in the past.
In an effort to increase effectiveness, HHS has developed and adopted a new service delivery model. The new vision includes integrating staff from several HHS divisions forming multi-disciplinary teams focused on the populations they serve in common. Where it makes the most sense for those served, community partners have joined these teams on-site. These multi-disciplinary teams provide a full array of services driven by unified service plans that address coordination across multiple systems of care. During the process of defining the new service delivery model, clusters of populations served were identified. One of the populations identified were children and families who engage with multiple services providers. In this new health care delivery system is an array of HHS staff and partners that team up to serve these families more effectively. A multi-disciplinary team may consist of a children’s mental health therapist, a developmental disabilities case manager, and a maternal child health nurse who may visit the family’s home to help oversee care for a medically fragile child. Also located in this area in the building and working with the team is the non-profit provider Families for Community. Families for Community’s focus is on empowering parent advocates and connecting them with other parents who are walking similar paths. The organization exists to cultivate community, among families who have children that experience disabilities of all kinds, through relationships and support opportunities.
It is the hope and commitment of the staff and partners who are housed in the new Health and Human Services facility to ensure that the new service delivery model leads to increased collaboration and greater outcomes for those accessing services.