Integrated Health Care without Walls (IHC-WOW)
Health Maintenance examinations are done periodically to assess rick factors for illness. Usually a detailed medical history of family and individual health is necessary in order to recommend the activities that are necessary to maintain health. Immunization, cancer screening, TB testing, risk factor analysis are all health maintenance activities.
National practice guidelines are adapted to the individual needs of people with serious mental illness (SMI) who also have diabetes. These guidelines teach them the most effective way to deal with medication and lifestyle recommendations.
McDevitt, J., Snyder, M., Breitmayer, B., Paun, O., & Wojciechowksi, E. (Expert Reviewed Edition, 2003). Diabetes Management in the Context of Serious and Persistent Mental Illness: Clinical Practice Recommendations. Evidence-Based Guidelines for Integrated Care. Expert Panel: M. Amdur, B. A. Hatipoglu, P. Janicak, L. Quinn, M. Schneiderhan. Chicago: The Nursing Institute, College of Nursing, University of Illinois
One of the IHC Centers in located at the Lauren Juhl Young Adult Center. Here 16-21 year olds go to school, learn real life skills and prepare for employment. Adolescence is a tumultuous time, even more so for those newly diagnosed with a severe or persistent mental illness. The availability of advanced practice nurses to aid in mental health care as well all health maintenance and medically related needs for young adults is enhanced by a center in the building. Hypertension, eating disorders, diabetes, sexual health, and lifestyle issues are being addressed with individuals within this group.
The Thresholds Mother's Project addresses the needs of mother's with adjustment problems and mental illness. Their children's needs are also addressed within the program. Advanced practice nurses help with all the mental and physical health care needs of both the mother's and the child. Immunizations, guidance on child care as well as family planning issues and sexual health are frequent issues with this group. Case finding by nurse practitioners using heath screenings for tuberculosis hypertension, diabetes, asthma results in early identification, treatment and referral if necessary.
Thresholds is one of the only social service agencies to address the needs of deaf individuals with severe mental illness. A collaboration to use online tools to enhance the communication between this population and the advanced practice nurses is underway.