Using an Integrated Approach to Improve Access to Care

Objective: To improve health outcomes for indigent population and clients with both mental health and physical health problems and recognizing using an integrated approach to a person’s overall health.

Description: Health Wise, an integrated care program, is a relatively new program but is based on years of experience with the community. This is a collaborative effort between Asian Pacific Family Center (APFC) and a local health care center. They implement strategies that focus on tangible outcomes such as ways to improve sleeping, eating, and activities that engage the families without having to focus on depression. They learn about diet, nutrition, health education and use of traditional healing practices and activities that include acupuncture, healthy Chinese cooking, tai chi, walking presentations by herbalists, and find ways to tie this to discussions around a healthier lifestyle. Once they establish the relationship with the community, they are able to talk about the importance of health insurance.

The key to being successful is developing trust and using a team approach. This approach allows the staff to work at multiple levels and provide case management and make the necessary referrals. APFC staff talk about a “warm hand off” which requires personal attention as opposed to just handing out printed materials about services. If an individual needs to apply for benefits, a bi-lingual staff member ensures the person receives the proper information, has not missed deadlines, and is able to ask questions which helps considerably in reducing their anxiety. Information on benefits, citizenship and other critical issues is usually sent through the mail, and the individual will not trust their mail to a stranger.

Population of Focus: Asian, Immigrant, Limited English Proficient, Adults, Elderly

Setting: Community health center, community mental health center

Level of Intervention: Individual, Family, Community

Background: Asian Pacific Family Center is located in Rosemead, California and was established in 1985. They provide a wide array of mental health services to children/youth and families; adults and elders. Each year they see 2,300 individuals in their mental health programs and another 2,400 children, youth and families in their youth prevention programs. They have an active clinical case load of 1800 – 1900 at any given time. These services and programs are designed to reach individuals who are frequently difficult to access which requires more individualized effort and time. They provide services in Khmer, Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese and Vietnamese.

Contact:

C. Rocco Cheng, Ph.D.
Corporate Director
Asian Pacific Family Center aka Pacific Clinics
800 S. Santa Anita Avenue
Arcadia, CA 91006
RCheng@PacificClinics.org
626/962-6168 x 168
www.pacificclinics.org