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Marshalltown Health Center Receives $150,000 Grant to Provide Urgent Care for Mental Health Crises

Posted on January 23, 2023 in Foundation

centerassociatesCenter Associates in Marshalltown will open a behavioral health urgent care clinic with the support of a $150,000 grant from Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation. The clinic will provide emergency services for individuals 4 years and older experiencing acute mental health crises in the Marshalltown area.

For 64 years, Center Associates has provided mental, emotional, behavioral and social care services to patients in Marshall, Hardin and Tama counties. Access to emergency mental health services is currently unavailable in the area, with the nearest behavioral health urgent care clinic located more than an hour away.

Grant funds will be put toward renovating space at Center Associates to accommodate the behavioral health urgent care clinic, purchasing additional equipment, coordinating care, and growing community awareness of the new urgent care services available. Leaders anticipate 2,000 patient visits in the first year of operation.

“Immediate access to care in the event of a mental health crisis can be crucial to a patient’s outcome,” said Suzanne Heckenlaible, executive director of Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation. “Our mission is to enable Iowans to live their best lives. Delta Dental is proud to support this project and its focus on improved access to mental health care for the benefit of Iowans’ overall health and wellness.”

Current wait times for patients experiencing mental health concerns in the Marshalltown area is six to eight weeks for psychiatric care and four to five weeks for counseling services. When immediate care is needed, waiting several weeks may not be a safe or viable option.

Additionally, local emergency departments (EDs)have seen an influx of patients needing urgent mental health services, with one in eight visits associated with a mental health need. The opening of the behavioral health urgent care clinic is expected to reduce strain on local emergency services by providing individuals with another avenue for accessing immediate care. Center Associates recently relocated their primary clinic to a building within walking distance of the Marshalltown UnityPoint hospital ED, which will remove transportation barriers for someone in need of immediate care.

“Following the pandemic, we have seen a rise in the number of people struggling and those seeking mental health services,” said Dr. Paul Daniel, executive director, Center Associates. “The urgent care clinic is an immense need in our community and will help individuals gain timely access to services. In addition, we will continue our work to raise awareness about the importance of seeking behavioral and mental health care as well as the services available in our area.”

The behavioral health urgent care clinic will be staffed with professionals specialized in acute crisis care. Staff will include a social worker, medication provider, triage nurse and case workers to follow up after a visit. Center anticipates urgent care services to begin in the spring of 2023.

Additional financial contributions to this project are welcomed and donations are tax deductible for those who contribute. For more information about supporting the behavioral health urgent care clinic at Center Associates, contact Dr. Paul Daniel, executive director, Center Associates at (641) 752-1585 or [email protected].