By Jim Shanks, Pres./CEO, Park Place Behavioral Health Care
When another healthcare organization, or another member, thinks of Park Place Behavioral Health Care what do you want them to visualize?
Park Place Behavioral Health Care wants to be recognized as the premier provider of Behavioral Health Services for Osceola County. We want individuals to recognize our commitment to those we serve. We understand that mental health and substance use issues impact all levels of our community and we accept the responsibility for providing needed services to all. We have wrapped our arms around this community for the past 45 years and have held tight to those in need of services during times when funding has been available and when funding has been tight.
How has growth affected Park Place Behavioral Health Care over the years?
Osceola County has been experiencing incredible growth over the past two decades, and has been identified as one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. Park Place has worked to meet the demands that have come with this growth through staff development and program expansion. We have expanded our Crisis Stabilization Unit for adults and children, creating a large, open, state-of-the-art space for those in need of crisis services. We have more than doubled our capacity in Substance Use Disorder services expanding the number of withdrawal management beds and those for short term residential.
During Hurricane Maria, Osceola became a destination county for those from Puerto Rico, increasing the demands for services and support for those who were displaced from their homes. We increased our bi-lingual work force to ensure that we can provide services and written materials to those for whom Spanish is their preferred language. Osceola is continuing to grow in both health care and biomedical fields. The professional growth in the area is being met with increased development and skyrocketing housing prices. Park Place, along with all other human service agencies, participates in community conversations to ensure that those who may not have as much are not left behind in this time of regional development.
Are there any recent new programs or new innovative services you would like to highlight?
While we love our core programs, Park Place is very excited to highlight some of our more recent partnerships. We are a partner with County Corrections and provide Vivitrol® to those with an opioid use disorder. We provide the first dose of Vivitrol® while individuals are incarcerated so that as re-emerging citizens they are already engaged in Medication Assisted Therapy and prepared to continue with treatment as they re-enter the community. We are the second largest provider of Vivitrol® in the state of Florida. We have partners with Advent Health to provide Peer Recovery Support Services for those with substance use disorder in the Emergency Departments, engaging those while in the ED and linking them to needed services. We have worked with Advent Health and the University of Central Florida on a response to the Zero Suicide Initiative ensuring that all of our staff are trained in QPR or QPRT to impact those at risk of suicide. Our partnership with Osceola County Public Schools continues to develop and we are piloting programs to put therapists in the classrooms of those who are most vulnerable, and now provide wrap around services for families identified by the school as in need of support to ensure their successful functioning. We have formed a partnership with Peer Support Space. Providing this peer run organization space to operate a drop in center and, soon, a respite program for those with mental health or substance use related issues. We hope that this partnership is lasting and enriches the lives of those we serve by providing them with additional support.
What is the most common challenge you find when speaking with executives at other community-based behavioral health care organizations?
I believe our biggest challenge is finding ways to creatively meet the needs of those who are most in need of our services. Barriers such as stigma, lack of funding, a fee for service environment that dictates how and where funds can be used, sometimes keeps us from being able to do everything we know is needed for those we serve and our communities. The shifting landscape toward value based care may be a challenge as we move forward but in the long run may provide the flexibility we have all longed for when treating individuals across our systems of care.
How does your organization define successful outcomes?
Like all agencies, Park Place responds and tracks outcomes required by funding agencies, encouraged by evidence practice manuals and desired by program directors. However, I believe that the lives of those we serve are the truest testament of our outcomes. It is in the individuals, who return to share the stories of their recovery with others who are in treatment with us, and those who bring family and friends to us for services, because of the difference we have made in their lives that we truly see success.
Are there any awards or recognitions received by Park Place Behavioral Health Care that you would like to share with readers?
Being one of eight Central Receiving System of Care grantees has provided the impetus for much of our most recent growth and has helped to connect us even more deeply with the system of care in the region.
What else is important to know about Park Place?
We want everyone to know that if they don’t know where to turn for help that they can turn to us. If we are not able to meet their needs, we will do all we can to connect them to the right place.