New medical facilities are nothing new to the Connecticut shoreline. But the most recent addition may be the most transformational, and have the largest impact at how residents look at and receive quality healthcare.
Shoreline Family Health Care opened its doors this month, the result of a collaboration between two well known nonprofits with a history of serving Branford and the shoreline, BH Care and Fair Haven Community Health Care. The new facility is based on a team concept, where multiple areas of well-being can be addressed in one place, by multiple professionals, at the same time.
Traditionally, healthcare is based on a primary care provider. You feel sick, you visit the doctor. If in that visit another issue is discussed, such as related to mental health, an addiction issue, or physical ailment, you get a referral, make an appointment with a specialist, and a few days, or even weeks, later, you see that specialist. This process is repeated over and over, and often the issue lingers or worsens.
Now imagine if healthcare were based on, say, a Nascar race. Think of a healthcare visit as a pit stop on a racetrack. A car pulls in for a pitstop, and in the same stop, have tires, fuel, mechanical issues all addressed. Each area is a focus of a specialist, and the result is an improved vehicle, and a better race.
Likewise, your child may have a cold, and you take them to visit the doctor. But in that visit, your child mentions some anxiety they are experiencing relating to school issues. The doctor leaves, and a few minutes later, a psychologist walks in. No referrals, no separate appointment.
Now imagine, in the same place, you can schedule future preventive care appointments, attend group therapy sessions, get blood work results from an in-house lab, all with a strong focus on overall health. All by healthcare specialists and professionals. And it starts with birth, and continues ones entire life.
That’s the concept behind Shoreline Family Health Care. One place, complete care.
To do this, the professionals on staff must be used to something that may not always be easy: being interrupted. At any point during the day, they may be called on to see a new patient, and need to be integrated into what is being called an “interruptible” model.
When the model is combined with additional resources on-site, the end result is optimum care for a patient.
So also in-house is a pharmacy, a Quest labs for bloodwork, multiple group therapy rooms, access to routine physicals, group and family therapy, mental health and substance use assessment and treatment and more.
For children, Shoreline Family Health Care provides routine immunizations, sports physicals, behavioral health, sick and acute care, and same day urgent care visits.
The new facility will work with patients who have private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid/HUSKY, and those who are uninsured.
The overall concept has shown success in other areas of the country, and the new Branford facility is the second of its model in the state. With a focus on complete care, and almost immediate access to professionals that focus on both physical and mental health, and in turn help address issues early on, something that leads to not only improved health but significant costs savings long-term.
As designed, the approach can transform the healthcare experience for countless families along the shoreline.
Shoreline Family Health Care is located at 221 West Main Street in Branford, the former Porter and Chester location. For hours and more information, visit their website at https://www.shorelinefamilyhealthcare.org/.