United Services Seeking State Assistance to Construct Consolidated Windham Regional Clinic
Willimantic, CT – Congressman Joe Courtney toured United Services’ Outpatient Behavioral Clinic in Willimantic on Thursday afternoon . The tour was conducted by United Services’ President & CEO Diane Manning who discussed United Services’ initiatives to expand physical health and wellness programs for clients and explained the pressing need for a modern facility to benefit the Windham Region.
United Services has been seeking state Bond Commission support through the Governor and regional General Assembly delegation to consolidate and expand Windham Regional services since 2011. Mental Health was also recently identified as the number one health priority in Eastern Connecticut by a Hartford Healthcare Community Needs Assessment.
“Since the start of the Great Recession United Services Outpatient Mental Health volume has more than doubled – growing by 248%,” said United Services President & CEO Diane L. Manning, citing an increased volume of units of outpatient mental health services provided from 8,644 in 2007 to a total of 23,072 as of the end of the FY14, with no end in sight to the increased demand for services.
The existing USI Willimantic clinic space was constructed in the 1950s and includes space leased from WindhamHospital. The facility cannot accommodate the existing or expected growth in demand for services, nor accommodate co-located services for children and families, including services offered by the UnitedServicesCenter for Autism. Federal Health Care Reform and other government mandates also require that United Services begin offering integrated primary care for clients with Serious Mental Illness, who die, on average, 25 years earlier than the general population due to the additional challenges and complications their treatment requires.
“We appreciate the leadership of Congressman Courtney in helping to make behavioral health care a higher priority in the nation and remain hopeful that state assistance can be secured to allow us to quickly move forward to meet the growing demand of our community,” added Manning. “Every dollar invested in our proposed WindhamRegionClinicalCenter can ultimately achieve significant taxpayer savings by providing services in a community setting, compared to more expensive alternatives of hospitals, prisons, and emergency room admissions.”
United Services is currently involved in Connecticut’s Behavioral Health Home initiative to provide and manage primary health care and promote wellness initiatives for clients who have incurred high hospitalization costs, seeking to improve the health care of individuals while saving state taxpayers significant dollars. United Services was also recently competitively selected to implement the InShape pilot project to promote healthy living among many of the clients it serves.
Since 2005, United Services has invested over $8 million in agency capital projects to accommodate growing demand for services and has self-funded 87% of these expenditures utilizing bank and other available financing with 13% of the expenses funded through the state Bond Commission assistance. Given the scope and pressing need for this project, United Services requires significant state assistance to quickly meet growing demand for comprehensive behavioral health services.
Children and families in the Windham Region in need of behavioral health services are currently served in United Services’ Columbia clinical offices. United Services’ proposed Windham Regional Clinic would consolidate both adult and family services in a location in Mansfield, located on public transit routes just over the Windham town line with locations in downtown Willimantic unable to accommodate the more than 3,000 clients who make over 25,000 visits to the clinic each year.
The current site is shovel-ready, has the strong support of the Windham Regional Chamber of Commerce and has been granted all zoning and site plan approvals from the Town of Mansfield to proceed with construction once United Services has secured financing.
About United Services, Inc.
United Services, Inc. is a private, non-profit and comprehensive behavioral health center, creating healthy communities throughout northeast Connecticut for over 50 years through mental health and social service programs, chemical abuse treatment, domestic violence programs, and community behavioral health prevention and education programs. With 12 locations and a staff of over 250, United Services operates more than 30 separate behavioral health programs, including the only domestic violence shelter for women and children in the region. United Services is also the designated Youth Service Bureau in 10 towns within its service area, and its Center for Autism has recently brought specialized treatment and programs for children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families to eastern Connecticut and surrounding areas. United Services, Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. To learn more, visit www.UnitedServicesCT.org.