Mercy C.A.R.E.S. Invests In Programs Serving the East Valley's Most Vulnerable

Mercy C.A.R.E.S., the Community Reinvestment grant program of Mercy Care, has awarded the Dignity Health Foundation – East Valley three grants in the total amount of $47,000. Mercy Care is a not-for-profit Medicaid managed care health plan headquartered in Phoenix that provides access to physical and behavioral health care services for Medicaid-eligible families, children, seniors, and individuals with developmental/cognitive disabilities.

The C.A.R.E.S. grant funds three important programs serving the well-being of vulnerable patients in the east valley: Let’s Talk support group for postpartum depression, Zero Suicide initiative to provide training for front-line staff to help prevent suicide visits to our hospitals and the HUGS program at the Transitional Care Clinic that helps staff identify and provide follow up care to vulnerable populations post discharge.

"Mental Health services continue to be vital to the well-being of our community. As a non-profit healthcare provider, we at Dignity Health, intentionally extend our mission of advocacy to our most vulnerable and underserved communities who might not otherwise have access to critical mental health services. We cannot thank Mercy Care enough for our valued partnership that ensures compassionate access to needed healthcare services." 

Kathleen Dowler, Director of Community Health


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Zero Suicide Initiative

According to Dignity Health’s Chandler Community Health Needs Assessment published in 2019, mental health was ranked as the most critical health concern impacting the east valley community. It is crucial for our hospitals to respond to mental health issues, as they do other medical issues, particularly in emergency situations. The donation from Mercy Care will allow our team the opportunity to train staff on this new and innovative program, called Zero Suicide Initiative, whose goal is to prevent all self-inflicted deaths.

 


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Let's Talk: A Safe Space for New Moms Experiencing Postpartum Depression

Another important mental health issue facing our community is perinatal mood disorders. In fact, these conditions are considered the number one medical complication of childbirth, with statistics showing that 1 in 7 moms and 1 in 10 dads suffer from postpartum depression. While perinatal mood disorders are often referred to as postpartum depression, these disorders can take many forms and can also occur during pregnancy. Perinatal mood disorders range from depression, anxiety and OCD, to panic disorder, PTSD and psychosis. The funding allows trained professional therapists to provide support group therapy every six weeks for parents who are identified with PMD.


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High Utilizations Groups (HUGS Program)

Funding from Mercy Care supports a key program in Dignity Health's Transitional Care Clinic. The weeks following hospitalization can be particularly challenging times. Approximately 1 in 5 patients experience adverse events and hospital-related complications during this period. Certain patient populations, including older adults, the chronically ill and those hospitalized with stroke and heart attack, are at greater risk in the post-hospitalization period. With funds from Mercy Care, the Transitional Care Clinic will purchase the equipment needed to perform close medical monitoring, support and education for high risk under-served cardiac patients through the HUGS Program.


**These programs are a few of 28 that were funded this year through the Mercy C.A.R.E.S. Community Reinvestment grant program, which supports organizations that address Mercy Care’s comprehensive health focus areas: addictions, housing, school-based services, women’s health and food insecurity. In total, $3,573,000 was provided during the grant cycle across Arizona.

 

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