Shore Behavioral Health celebrates growth

CAMBRIDGE — Representatives and staff with Shore Behavioral Health held an open house to give thanks for the recent growth in programs and services offered by the group.

Doctors, nurses, social workers and administrators gathered Tuesday evening at the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Dorchester. Based in Cambridge and Easton, Shore Behavioral Health serves the Mid-Shore. The behavioral health response team provides mental health and substance abuse evaluations and referrals 24 hours a day. The group also offers addiction services programs, an intensive outpatient program, inpatient treatment services and a newly formed bridge clinic.

Medical Director Dr. Eric L. Anderson joined Shore Behavioral Health in July 2013. He was honored for his leadership and given a cigar box and some of his favorite cigars at the open house.

“When I came here a couple years ago, I already walked into a family. The nurses were already working well together. The social workers were working well together. There was a team in place,” Dr. Anderson said. “There was a program in place that was working already. What they didn’t have is they didn’t have the consistency of the physician providers.”

Dr. Anderson and others helped grow the team of physicians.

“When we came here, we were an inpatient unit. We had two intensive outpatient programs: one for substance use, one for mental health. We wanted to grow both of those programs. We wanted to grow the inpatient program,” Dr. Anderson said. “We also knew that there was a large gap between what people can get in the community and when they need the hospital.”

The doctor said there is a growing need for mental health services on the Mid-Shore.

“Unfortunately, because there are so few providers on the Eastern Shore, individuals have a long waiting list to get the services they need,” Dr. Anderson said. “The demand is much higher than the supply.”

Shore Behavioral Health has now grown to include its Bridge Clinic which assists patients in need of psychiatric assistance and support immediately following discharge from an inpatient program.

“By increasing intensive outpatient program services, and increasing and creating the Bridge Clinic, we’re able to bridge the gap between hospital and the community,” Dr. Anderson said. “The whole idea is to create a network of care,” between Shore Behavioral Health, other clinicians, outpatient clinics, solo practitioners, support groups and other community services.

Shore Behavioral Health has partnered with Horizon Health to better serve the community. Horizon Health offers comprehensive advisory and behavioral contract management services to hospitals and provides tools to better serve patients.

Dorchester Banner/Bob Zimberoff Jacki Crawford, nurse manager with Shore Behavioral Health, acknowledges an improvement in services and thanks her staff after receiving a plaque naming Shore Behavioral Health as one of five national finalists of the Horizon Health Clinical Program of the Year award. At left is John Mistrangelo, program director, administrator, Shore Behavioral Health.

Dorchester Banner/Bob Zimberoff
Jacki Crawford, nurse manager with Shore Behavioral Health, acknowledges an improvement in services and thanks her staff after receiving a plaque naming Shore Behavioral Health as one of five national finalists of the Horizon Health Clinical Program of the Year award. At left is John Mistrangelo, program director, administrator, Shore Behavioral Health.

At the open house, a representative from Horizon Health presented a plaque naming Shore Behavioral Health as one of five national finalists for Horizon Health Clinical Program of the Year. The plaque was given to Jacki Crawford, nurse manager with Shore Behavioral Health. The group was named a finalist because of its attention to patient care, growth in services and vision for the future.

Part of the vision for the future is to offer more support groups and to work more with other clinicians. Dr. Anderson also said he hopes to expand telepsychiatry to more remote areas where distance can be cost prohibitive and there is sometimes an immediate need for services.

“The intent is to grow so that we have a footprint in every county other than the inpatient unit,” the doctor said. “Having a preventative footprint in all counties is one of our goals.”

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