Partnering to Improve Mental Health Care

UCSandSVMC300WSVMC and United Counseling Service (UCS) have partnered to improve patients’ access to mental health services. As of May 1, UCS prescribing practitioners have started consulting with patients in the Emergency Department or hospitalized at SVMC.

“By partnering with UCS, we are able to provide mental health services sooner than in the past,” said Trey Dobson, an emergency medicine physician, chief medical officer at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, and medical director of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Physicians. “This is crucial in relieving some of their stress and improving their stay at SVMC.”

The providers include Drs. Catherine Hickey, Lisa Howard, and Alya Reeve and Debra Lucey, APRN. All are employees of UCS who are contracted to provide services at SVMC. All come to the positions with significant clinical experience. They will consult to the Emergency Department and Inpatient Services for patients who have a primary or secondary mental health diagnosis. They will also assist with policy and guideline development, attend interdisciplinary rounds, and conduct educational sessions for staff.

“Like many places all over the country, there is a big need for mental health care in our area,” said Alya Reeve, MD, MPH, UCS’s medical director. “We are hopeful that our providers will promote healthy outcomes for people seeking treatment at SVMC.