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St. Francis Hospital and Merakey granted $2.5M partnership

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St. Francis Hospital Trinity | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

WILMINGTON – Saint Francis Hospital of Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic and Merakey has been awarded $2.5 million to provide integrated primary and behavioral health care to individuals in Wilmington and northern New Castle County by Delaware’s Community-Based Mental Health Services Fund.

Through the partnership, St. Francis Hospital will develop a Wellness Recovery Team that will be led by Merakey and will offer comprehensive behavioral health services, including addiction recovery, aging/elder care, and mental health issues. In addition to behavioral health specialists, the team will also consist of a registered nurse, who will serve as the physical health professional, and a peer-wellness coach.

Together, the Wellness Recovery Team will assess patients and develop care plans that integrate services from St. Francis Hospital, Merakey, and other community-based resources. Individuals with complex, multi-faceted conditions who enter the St. Francis Health Care System can be referred to the Wellness Recovery Team and will have complete access to the holistic services offered.

“At Merakey, we believe in providing the communities that we work and live in with an umbrella of services that help individuals be the best they can be,” Joe Martz, CEO at Merakey, said in a statement “Sometimes that means providing more than addiction recovery or mental health services. Through this partnership with St. Francis Hospital and with the support of the Community-Based Mental Health Services Fund, we can ensure that individuals are equipped with all the tools needed to reach and maintain a healthy and positive lifestyle.”

The Community-Based Mental Health Services Fund was established in 2021 to support the delivery of mental health services in Delaware communities. Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, the Community-Based Mental Health Services Fund is open to nonprofit, faith-based, and for-profit organizations that provide community-orientated mental health services that are trauma-informed and focus on the whole person.

“We’re thrilled to be awarded a grant through the Community-Based Mental Health Services Fund to provide our patients and the community with full-service care,” Jim Woodward, President and CEO, of Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic, said. “The launch of this partnership will be the start of our goal to be a Healthy Village and act as a one-stop-shop for traditional hospital services and community-based human/social services.”

The Wellness Recovery Team is scheduled to launch in Fall 2022 and will be housed at a street-level care clinic on the St. Francis Hospital campus, with the ability to be mobile and in the community.

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