By Patreice Massey
Providing care to the more than 75,000 children and adults it serves in Wayne County for more than 50 years, the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority is changing its name to the Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network, effective October 1. The new name reflects the change it is taking in providing a more well-rounded approach to the care it provides. According to its site, “Integrated Health Care is a systematic, holistic approach to the overall care of an individual. It is the coordination of services for physical health, mental health, substance use disorder, and development disabilities.”
The Network assures its clients that changing the name of the organization will not affect the members or the services that DWMHA offers. They will continue receiving services by their providers, in the locations they are accustomed to and they will still be able to contact any staff at the Authority, as their contact information will remain the same.
“We are moving more toward the intersection of behavioral and physical health to provide a fully integrated system of care to the people we serve, and we wanted our name to reflect the change as well,” said President and CEO Willie E. Brooks, Jr. “We want people to know we provide services and supports to a wide range of populations including children with serious emotional disturbance, those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and individuals with substance use disorder and mental illness.”
The DWIHN Board of Directors approved the name change several months ago believing that it is a better reflection of all the services and supports offered by its provider network while at the same time ensuring quality of care, treatment and consistency to its members. In addition, the organization will continue to focus on establishing itself as a national leader that improves the behavioral and overall health of the communities it serves.
According to the American Psychological Association, “The benefits of an integrated health care approach extend to patients, caregivers, providers and the larger health care system. Coordinated care reduces depressive symptoms, enhances access to services, improves quality of care and lowers overall health care costs.
“The timing is right for this change as we are in the midst of a system transformation where we are changing the way we do business by working directly with our service providers and offering a more holistic approach to care,” said Brooks. “We are also beginning a pilot project, partnering with one or more Medicaid Health Plans to truly integrate mental and physical health so we can provide the best possible services and supports to people.”