EAST HELENA – Starting this week, a new partnership will bring primary care and mental health services to East Helena.
On Monday, PureView Health Center and Intermountain will begin operating a new clinic adjacent to Prickly Pear Elementary School.
“We’re really, really excited,” said PureView executive director Jill Steeley. “We have been planning this for at least a year now.”
PureView will provide comprehensive primary care and dental services. They will also make daily pharmacy deliveries and offer case management and insurance assistance. Intermountain will offer behavioral health services for children and families, including outpatient psychotherapy and medication management.
Steeley said many of their current patients are coming from places like East Helena, the North Valley and Broadwater County. She’s hopeful the new location will not only make it easier for them to come in, but encourage other people in the area to do the same.
“I think it means that we are meeting our mission, in trying to provide services and access to quality health care services to more people in our county,” she said.
Intermountain CEO Jim FitzGerald said he sees value in integrating physical and mental health services together in one location.
“Sometimes if you have a chronic health situation, you may also have behavioral health, anxiety, depression,” he said. “It’s more of a holistic approach.”
Leaders say working together is crucial to making the clinic possible. East Helena Public Schools built the clinic building and provided the lease, while PureView and Intermountain will pay for the clinic’s operations.
Steeley said there’s evidence that having a clinic located so close to school grounds can help reduce absenteeism, as it’s easier for kids to get in for treatment. She also said this clinic could break down some of the stigma around mental health.
“When you’re right on the school grounds and you do all the services we do, other kids don’t know why kids are coming into this building,” she said. “It could be because they’re getting a sports physical, or it could be because they’re seeking mental health services. So it tends to reduce the stigma around seeking help.”
FitzGerald said their services will go along with the other efforts in recent years to address mental health challenges and suicide in East Helena.
“East Helena’s been very progressive and had great leadership in trying to understand and tackle mental health issues with their young population here,” he said. “This clinic will be a great opportunity to provide some of the services that are needed.”
The new clinic will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Currently, medical services are scheduled to be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays. A dentist will be at the clinic on Tuesdays, and a dental hygienist on Thursdays. Behavioral health specialists will be available Monday through Thursday.
Leaders say the clinic is open to everyone and accepts all forms of insurance. A sliding fee scale will be available for those who qualify.
-Reported by Jonathon Ambarian/MTN News