New Program Provides Patients Both Medical and Behavioral Health Services at Banner Family Medicine Clinics

A new program implemented by the UA Department of Family and Community Medicine and Banner – University Medicine provides primary care patients the opportunity to also receive behavioral health-care services at the same location.

A new program implemented at Banner – University Medicine Family Medicine Clinic at South Campus and Banner – University Medicine Family Medicine Clinic at Alvernon is providing primary care patients the opportunity to receive medical and behavioral health-care services at the same location.

The program, known as TIP (Targeted Investment Program), was created by AHCCCS to enable providers to develop these systems. The University of Arizona Department of Family and Community Medicine and Banner – University Medicine worked together for the past few years to develop the program and establish it at the Alvernon and South Campus family medicine clinics.

“We now are able to have the resources available to support our patients with unmet behavioral health needs,” said Ann Mathias, DO, Banner physician and UA clinical assistant professor and associate chief of clinical affairs. “In addition, we also are able to continue to build our wellness resources, which will have a very positive effect on all our patients’ health concerns.”

Wilton I. Hall III, Banner health and wellness program manager, recently was hired to manage the new program. “Services we can provide, either in-house or by referral, include therapy, psychiatric care, legal assistance, food assistance, employment information, housing information and more,” he said.“By integrating medical and behavioral care for our patients, we are able to better meet their needs. Plus, if we need to refer the patients to services outside our clinics, we will coordinate those services as well.”

Victoria Cannon, LCSW, Banner behavioral health case manager, who meets with patients regularly at Banner – University Medicine Family Medicine Clinic at South Campus, said many patients have noted significant improvements in their health.

“Patients have told me this service is immensely helpful,” Cannon said. “They appreciate seeing their primary care doctor and then meeting with me on the same day, at the same location. When we have a patient who has just started on medication, it’s really helpful that I can speak directly to the patient’s doctor and can discuss adjusting their medication, if needed,” Cannon said. “One huge benefit is that we can get information more quickly because we’re all in the same location. And patients are not responsible for coordinating care between their primary care doctor and their behavioral health provider—we do that.”

So far, the program has received positive reviews from patients, and more are being enrolled each week.

“We’re in the process of adding a therapist at our Alvernon clinic, and a wellness coach at the South Campus clinic,” Hall said. “We’re happy that we can provide this service for our patients who need it and are working hard to fully integrate medical and behavioral care moving forward.”

To learn more about the program, please call Wilton I. Hall III at 520-874-6408.

About the UA Department of Family and Community Medicine

The UA Department of Family and Community Medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson is one of the top-ranking family medicine programs in the country. The department is known for outstanding pre- and post-doctoral education, groundbreaking research and innovative community outreach programs designed to improve the health of individuals, families and communities in the region and beyond. The department places strong emphasis on research, particularly in the fields of tobacco cessation, substance abuse, obesity and related diseases, cancer survivorship, behavioral health and disabilities, and Native American and Latino health.

About Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and South

Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center South are part of Banner – University Medicine, a premier academic medical network. These institutions are academic medical centers for the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. Included on the two campuses are Banner Children’s Diamond Children's Medical Center and many clinics. The two academic medical centers are part of Arizona-based Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country. Banner Health is in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, please visit www.bannerhealth.com/locations/tucson/banner-university-medical-center-tucson or www.bannerhealth.com/locations/tucson/banner-university-medical-center-south