This move is especially important considering recent data that shows Rhode Island residents struggle with mental health and substance abuse issues at higher rates than the national average.
While so many of our residents are struggling with behavioral health issues, we know we can do something about it and our partnership with Gateway is an important next step, said Timothy J. Babineau, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Lifespan. By working together we can advance our shared vision of improving access for residents; and continue creating a truly integrated delivery system that is built around a patient-centric model. We look forward to working with the payers and the state to improve outcomes and stabilize costs.
Richard Leclerc, president of Gateway, said the partnership combines the expertise and reach of two of the regions leading health care providers. As the regions largest community behavioral health organization, Gateway is able to leverage its network of community-based services with the robust hospital-based services offered by Lifespan through its partner hospitals. In the environment of health care reform, this is an imperative alliance as we work toward not only making care more accessible, but also making it more cost-effective, said Leclerc. We are excited about this partnership and the benefits it will bring to patients.
Lifespan and Gateway have a proven track record of working together. For the past four years, Gateway has provided behavioral health triage services in the emergency departments of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Childrens Hospital. Recently, Gateway and Bradley Hospital, a Lifespan partner, launched a joint program called KidsLink, a hotline for children in emotional crisis.
In addition, Richard J. Goldberg, M.D., senior vice president for Psychiatry and Behavioral Health for Lifespan, noted, The capabilities that Gateway brings to Lifespan will help us to re-integrate psychiatric, behavioral and medical issues. This is especially important because of the impact of behavioral issues on the course and outcome of so many medical disorders.
Lifespan currently offers mental health services through programs at Rhode Island, The Miriam and Newport hospitals. In addition, childrens mental health services are provided by Bradley Hospital, the nations first psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents, and Hasbro Childrens Hospital. Gateway, which will maintain its name, will continue to manage its widespread network of partners that offers care in 42 locations. Those partners include: Capital City Community Centers, Caritas, Inc., FRIENDS WAY, The Autism Project, New Hope for Families and South Shore Center.
The approval by the states Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities & Hospitals comes a year after Lifespan and Gateway first announced their intent to affiliate. The two organizations plan to finalize the partnership on July 1, 2013.