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Waterfall To Expand Mental Health Services

The Waterfall Community Health Center has announced it will increase mental health services by creating a mental health cooperative model for community providers. The announcement by Chief Innovation Officer Lance Nelson comes on the heels of Bay Area Hospital’s announcement it would shut down Behavioral Health Services in response to budgeting issues. Nelson says Waterfall has always been in the business of searching for ways to provide better mental health care for Coos County and the recent decisions impacting the delivery of mental health services solidified their resolve to do more. In a press release, Nelson believes the effort will involve centralizing both psychiatry and counseling services with multiple mental health providers within the community. It will also allow for increased collaboration and improve ease of access for citizens needing services. First steps identified will be to intensify recruitment of mental health counselors and prescribers, reallocating clinic space and adding the addition of a new psychiatry department. Dr. Robert Gerber, who is the current medical director of Bay Area Hospital’s Acute Psychiatric Unit will be transitioning to become the full time Psychiatry Program Manager at Waterfall whose priority will be to bring more psychiatric providers into the co-op. Waterfall plans to have increased access for psychiatry services beginning July 1st.
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