Celebrate Rural Health!
Governor Walz has proclaimed November 17, 2022 Rural Health Day! Read the proclamation here.
Nearly 85% of the mental heath professionals in Minnesota live inside the 494/694 beltway, which makes for severe access disparities for clients that live elsewhere. Lorenz Clinics are intentionally located on the outer edge of the metropolitan area because the clinic’s mission is to expand access. Historically, this has included offering in-person services within a reasonable car ride from communities like Howard Lake, Gaylord, New Prague, Faribault, and Cannon Falls.
Lorenz has continued its access-focused mission with the launch of a new Integrated Behavioral Healthcare program, which embeds mental heath professionals with medical staff. The program is open to suburban and rural heath systems that seek to round out their on-premises mental health supports.
In the summer of 2021, Lorenz Clinic began a partnership with Glencoe Regional Health (GRH) in an attempt to help them expand access to mental health care for their patients while also working to fulfill our mission and bring mental health resources to main street.
Currently operating as a co-located service (part of the spectrum of Integrated Behavioral Health), Lorenz provides GRH mental health professional staff and resources and works closely with primary care doctors to ensure their patients receive the care they need.
Located in McLeod County, GRH is an independent, not-for-profit healthcare system that offers a wide array of medical services, nursing home facilities, and senior living. McLeod County has an approximate population of 37,000 residents, 28% of whom are under 18 and 53% between ages 18 and 65, with the median income being approximately $63,000 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021). Located 55 minutes from Minneapolis and 30 minutes from the outer western suburbs of the Minneapolis metropolitan area, the community is primarily rural.
The partnership with Glencoe Regional Health aligns with Lorenz Clinic’s values, particularly Social Obligation, Development, and Quality. Lorenz Clinic is housed on the same floor as GRH Primary and Speciality Care providers, share an electronic health record (EHR) and have the opportunity for in-person collaboration of care with the other GRH members of a patient’s care team.
Being on the ground at GRH provides the clinicians with opportunities to collaborate with care teams, be readily available for patients, and to also promote mental health and wellbeing within the community. This partnership enables clinicians to bring the Clinic’s resources and expertise directly to patients in an approachable, convenient, and accessible setting.
With nearly two years’ worth developing the program, it continues to evolve and continuously improve. In addition to adding staff and services, the program’s charge is to transition from a “co-located” service to an integrated part of GRH patients’ healthcare experience. Our long-term vision is to be able to offer behavioral health care (psychotherapy and psychiatric services across the lifespan) in multiple formats to increase access and decrease barriers to care, including a traditional outpatient model of care, being embedded into routine primary and specialty care visits, and a consultation-liaison service at GRH Hospital.
The future is bright for Lorenz Clinic and expansion of this program and department. As communities assess their needs for increased mental health resources, Lorenz Clinic aims to have a model in place that is adaptive to other partners, making it efficient to implement. The mission of the Clinic is to expand access and resources for mental healthcare right to mainstreets around Minnesota and co-located/integrated health partnerships are a model that can work for any community.
Interested in learning more or partnering with Lorenz? Contact Program Director Dr. Karen Chinnock to learn more.