Background & Goal
Individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) are at higher risk for serious conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity because they are less likely to access health care services. The lack of proper health care for this high risk population results in increased mortality rates and a life span that is 25 years less than the general public. Integrated Healthcare Center’s goal is to dramatically improve health outcomes of people with SMI by transforming fragmented physical and mental health care to an integrated evidenced-based system of care provided by Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) in collaboration with community partners.
Integrated Health Care (IHC) is a nurse-managed center with the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Nursing run by faculty APRNs which provide integrated, ongoing primary and preventive care, education, behavioral and mental health care to individuals with SMI. IHC coordinates care with Thresholds’ (Chicago’s largest interdisciplinary freestanding psychiatric rehabilitation organization) case managers and psychiatrists. Services are provided in four clinics. Recognizing clinic-based services remained inaccessible for homebound Thresholds’ members, IHC received 5 year HRSA funding in 2008 and began ‘IHC Without Walls’ (WOW) for the homebound population. IHC also received one of ten Affordable Care Act awards to nurse managed centers to expand services to underserved populations and increase capacity for Nurse Practitioner education.