15:34 PM

Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital Addresses Timely Access to Behavioral Health Care

Northwestern Medicine provides grant to support the Josselyn Center

To help address community health disparities, Northwestern Medicine provides funding to local organizations that work towards meeting the most urgent needs for their residents. With behavioral health identified as a top need for those across Lake County, Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital has partnered with the Josselyn Center, a provider of mental health services in the far north suburbs for more than 70 years, to support the opening of their new Grayslake location.

Two key factors were identified in order for local patients to have a successful behavioral health care experience: having timely access to see a professional, and physically attending the first assessment appointment.

In 2020, Lake Forest Hospital conducted an initial pilot program where patients discharged from their emergency department and Transitional Care Clinics were referred to the Josselyn Center’s newly opened Waukegan site. A Josselyn Center behavioral health care coordinator would contact the patient within 24 hours of a referral and support them in scheduling an appointment and helping them navigate the common barriers to care, including transportation, scheduling, understanding and navigating insurance and cost.  (The Josselyn Center accepts all patients so cost isn’t a barrier).

In 2021, the program expanded to include patients served at additional Northwestern Medicine Medical Group sites in the northern suburbs and those discharged from all inpatient units at Lake Forest Hospital (not just the emergency department as before).

In 2023, more than 390 patients were referred to the Josselyn Center from Lake Forest Hospital and other local Northwestern Medicine sites, where 61% of patients completed a first assessment appointment within 72 hours of the referral, and 45% of patients completed a first treatment appointment within seven days.

The Josselyn Center recently celebrated the opening of a new location in Grayslake, where it can serve additional patients in other areas of Lake County. This will help to support nearby patients and those from the Family Medicine practice at the Northwestern Medicine Grayslake Outpatient Center.

“With the need for behavioral health services at an all-time high, we are proud to support community agencies such as the Josselyn Center,” said Paul Williams, vice president of operations at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital. “Patients needing behavioral health assistance now have another resource to help them see a professional sooner with the new facility in Grayslake, as well as receive support to ensure they are able to get to their first appointment, which is critical in the treatment process.”

Since 2020, Northwestern Medicine has contributed $250,000 to support this community partnership. For more information, please go to www.nm.org.

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