Treating minds and changing lives
Treating minds and changing lives
Quality mental health services are critical to people struggling for access to limited resources. Thanks to Bridgeport Hospital’s REACH Program, patients in Fairfield County are able to receive life-altering care.
“We couldn’t be offering this type of program without the support we receive from the community,” said Charles Morgan, MD, chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Bridgeport Hospital. “Th e funds that we have attracted this year have gone directly into quality patient care and it’s something that we’re really proud of.”
REACH is an intensive, outpatient psychiatric program for children, adolescents and adults designed to help them manage their illness through mental health assessments, group therapy, medication management, case management and after-care planning.
“This is not just a Bridgeport issue,” added former Bridgeport Hospital Foundation board member Sonja Narcisse, who helped spearhead the program’s initial fundraising push. “This is an issue that impacts all of us and if we don’t provide mental health support early on, that gap in care will create even larger issues for everyone down the line.”
Despite the REACH Program’s importance, insurance funding often fails to fully meet the need.
“Mental health services aren’t reimbursed appropriately,” Dr. Morgan explained. “I know that Yale New Haven Health, Bridgeport Hospital and our patients see the value in the program, but it appears our payers do not. I’m speaking about all insurances, but particularly our government sources like Medicare and Medicaid.”
Donors are key to making up the insurance shortfall. These contributions directly impact the lives of REACH patients by allowing the program to hire and retain excellent staff .
“We couldn’t be offering this type of program without the support we receive from the community,” said Charles Morgan, MD, chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Bridgeport Hospital. “The funds that we have attracted this year have gone directly into quality patient care and it’s something that we’re really proud of.”
“The way the community and donors have responded to the REACH Program is an incredible boost for us. It has allowed us to hire a medical director, Dr. Margarita Munoz, who is passionate and bright and innovative. We have always had good staff , but to see the excitement and energy that they now bring… it’s gone to another level.”
Donations are also used to expand existing program offerings like child transport. The state of Connecticut mandates that a trained employee accompanies children on the bus as they are shuttled to and from mental health programs like REACH.
Thanks to the generosity of donors, REACH hired someone to fill this position and now offers this service.
“This eliminates a barrier to care that families would otherwise have,” Dr. Morgan said. “The alternative would be to have parents leave work to bring their children to and from the program and in many cases that simply isn’t feasible.”
Narcisse underlined the importance of philanthropy, saying, “We need to make sure that we’re providing the kind of program that is going to make a difference to someone who is dealing with mental health issues. Contributions from our donors allow the talented people at REACH to do that.”