Open Door Family Medical Center Announces Integrated Behavioral Health Care Model to Expand Access

Dr. Daren Wu, photo courtesy Westfair Communications

Cost-effective depression screening during primary medical care visits improves population health

As a culture, we simply de-value behavioral health, and we must set our goals far higher”

— Dr. Daren Wu, Chief Medical Officer, Open Door

OSSINING , NEW YORK, USA, October 11, 2018 / — Ossining, NEW YORK — Oct. 11 2018 – Open Door Family Medical Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center dedicated to improving health equity in Westchester and Putnam Counties, announced that it has screened 66% of its patients ages 13 and over for depression during the most recent 12 month period measured. Screening leads to expedited care delivery, which is essential in reducing rates of suicide, substance use and depression in the community. The announcement comes as the Federal government’s “Healthy People 2020” initiative, which aims to eliminate health disparities and improve the health of all groups, calls for increased depression screening nationwide. Open Door’s ability to screen nearly two-thirds of its patient population, the majority self-identifying as Hispanic, is particularly striking when set against the national target of screening just over 2% of the population for depression.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, African Americans and Hispanic Americans access mental health services at only about one-half the rate of Caucasian Americans. At the heart of Open Door’s approach is integrated care, in which patients seeing primary medical care doctors for wellness visits or medical treatment can be screened for several risk factors, including depression.

“As a culture, we simply de-value behavioral health, and we must set our goals far higher. We have shifted away from the traditional silo-mentality that still characterizes the way medical and behavioral health sectors work,” said Dr. Daren Wu, Chief Medical Officer at Open Door. “Our Care Teams are made up of primary medical care and behavioral health care specialists, sitting side by side. With upwards of 40% of our patients dealing with depression, anxiety, trauma, and other disorders, our medical clinicians do not ignore the possibility of behavioral health conditions affecting any individual walking into our facilities seeking care.”

Open Door patients have seamless access to behavioral health care in a setting that seeks to eliminate the stigma that is often associated with behavioral health related issues.

Shonny Capodilupo, LCSW, Senior Director of Behavioral Health at Open Door added, “Although many patients feel reluctant to seek out help for depression or other behavioral health conditions, when care is provided holistically, patients are more receptive.” She added, “We work continuously on risk reduction and early intervention strategies, including screening robustly for depression using evidence-based screening tools.”

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness:

• Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year
• Only 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year and only 50.6% of children aged 8-15 with a mental health condition received mental health services
• Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year
• Individuals living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions

About Open Door Family Medical Center
Open Door Family Medical Center provides health care and wellness programs to individuals and families in need throughout Westchester and Putnam Counties, New York. A pioneer Federally Qualified Health Center, Open Door provides more than 300,000 patient visits annually and expects to serve more than 57,000 individual patients who might not otherwise have access. Open Door offers integrated services and a holistic approach to building healthier communities. Primary medical care, dental care, integrated behavioral health care, clinical nutrition, wellness programs, and chronic disease management are the foundation of its clinical programs. Founded as a free clinic in 1972, Open Door’s mission of building healthier communities through accessible, equitable, culturally competent health care has led to site and service expansions. Today, Open Door operates centers in Brewster, Mamaroneck, Mt. Kisco, Ossining, Port Chester, and Sleepy Hollow, in addition to seven School-Based Health Centers in the Port Chester and Ossining School Districts. Open Door is accredited by the Joint Commission and is recognized by the National Committee on Quality Assurance as a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home. Open Door has won the prestigious national Davies Award from HIMSS, the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society for its advanced use of clinical information systems. Open Door achieves clinical results that consistently surpass national benchmarks for patient outcomes. For additional information, please contact Amy Wolfson, Chief External Relations Officer (914) 502-1416 or online at

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Source: EIN Presswire