08:39 AM

St. Mary's Medical Center Announces Funding For Mesa County Behavioral Health Program

Funds will support people with severe and persistent mental health issues.

SMMC Check Presentation

Grand Junction, CO - A new Intensive Case Management (ICM) program will start serving Mesa County in September, thanks to a $300,000 financial gift from Intermountain Healthcare. In a state with the nation's highest rate of mental health illness for adults, the Grand Valley community has low access to care. 

“This program will help decrease hospitalizations or higher levels of care, increase enrollment in other support services, maintain medication compliance when applicable, and increase participation in recovery programs,” said Mark Korth, Intermountain Healthcare’s regional president. “This program should also help decrease criminal activity and keep those experiencing a behavioral health challenge out of jail.” 

St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction, now part of Intermountain Healthcare, is helping lead the establishment of the ICM program. Bryan Johnson, president of St. Mary’s said, “The program will ensure our most vulnerable residents have access to the proper behavioral health care at the right time and to ensure that we’re coordinating that care across agencies and with caregivers to ensure adequate follow-through.” 

The Collaboration's vision is that the Case Management Team will comprise Case Managers, Peer Recovery Coaches, and a Psychiatric Nurse. A contract with two yet-to-be-named Mesa County non-profit organizations will be finalized this month, and they will be responsible for successfully running the program. 

More than 300 people a month are seen in Mesa County hospital Emergency Departments who need behavioral health treatment. On any given day, 49% of Mesa County jail inmates are experiencing severe behavioral health challenges. Many of these inmates should be receiving mental health treatment, but they aren't due to a lack of connection to support services. 

“We’re committed to continuing our investment in and partnership with Mesa County and our entire community following our merger,” said Marc Harrison, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Intermountain Healthcare. “Today is just the next step. We are honored to join other funders in taking steps to support the behavioral health needs in the Grand Valley.” 

The $300,000 gift from Intermountain Healthcare will be combined with funds from the Office of Behavioral Health and the Mesa County Sheriff’s Seizure Funds to launch the Mesa County Mental Health Collaborative Intensive Behavioral Health Management Program. The program will likely start in September and serve approximately 70 people in need through 2023, when permanent funding mechanisms are in place. 

About St. Mary’s Medical Center 

St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction, Colorado, is the largest medical center between Denver and Salt Lake City. Serving the healthcare needs of western Colorado and eastern Utah for more than 125 years, St. Mary’s was founded in 1896 by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth and has a rich history of serving the many needs of its community. St. Mary’s Medical Center is part of the Intermountain Healthcare system. Based in Utah with locations in seven states (Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming) and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit healthcare system comprised of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,800 employed physicians and advanced practice providers.