Health Care

The Albany Community Health Clinic won a $175,700 grant to enhance its mental health and substance abuse services.

Clinic Manager Richelle Keinath said the grant will go toward hiring personnel, offering training and leveraging health information technology.

“We want to integrate the care to work with all the doctors and nurses and counselors and psychological nurse practitioners and have them all work together to help people,” she said.

Established by the University of Wyoming in April, the Albany Community Health Clinic is managed through the School of Health Sciences’ Educational Health Center of Wyoming.

A three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services supports the clinic, which provides free, comprehensive health care to Albany County residents, regardless of ability to pay.

“We’re a clinic that’s here for the whole town,” Keinath said. “If you have insurance and you come here, you’re helping support the clinic that supports lower income people that might not have the means to get medical services.”

The new grant comes from the Health Resources and Service Administration, an agency under the Department of Health and Human Services. The clinic plans to hire a counselor and psychological nurse practitioner, Keinath said.

She added the grant — in part, a response to the current nationwide opioid epidemic — will address both treatment and prevention.

“We’ll target young ages, as well as older people,” she said. “This grant is for everyone.”

Dr. Katy Hartman, program director for Albany Community Health Clinic, says in a news release the grant will help the clinic bring mental health and substance abuse services into a primary-care setting.

“The mind and the body cannot be unlinked. In order to best treat the body, mental health issues must be addressed, and good physical health, in turn, supports good mental health,” Hartman says. “Integration of mental and physical health services will allow us to better treat each client as a whole person.”

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