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Local nonprofit Clínica Médicos strives to make quality healthcare accessible to Chattanooga’s underserved Latino community. They recently received a grant in order to emphasize the integration of behavioral health support into their primary care clinic to enhance their health care services. Clínica Médicos plans to integrate not only behavioral health clinicians working in mental health and substance abuse services into their existing clinic, but care management and health navigators as well. Community leaders in innovation, Clínica Médicos received an Innovation Grant through our Community Investment process to support this integrative health program. Their ultimate goal is to deepen understanding of and expand capacity to address the social determinants of health. 

Recently, a local student and mother came to the Clínica Médicos clinic for medical services and mentioned concerns about being bullied at school. While a health navigator assisted the mother with medical needs, the Clínica Médicos team involved a behavioral health specialist to follow up with the student. After the follow up, the teenager agreed to return for counseling, and arrived for a session in the midst of a panic attack. The behavioral health team was able to calm her, help her to understand her panic symptoms and triggers, work on relaxation techniques and assess her for intake and medication. Since then, she has returned for multiple appointments, is compliant with medications, and has yet to experience another panic attack. Her mother shared that her daughter is engaging more with the family and that her mood seems increased and more stable. Meanwhile, the health navigator worked with the mother to gain her trust and retrieve her medical records from Mexico, as well as complete a referral for imaging. The experience greatly reduced the mother’s anxiety about her own health. These interactions addressed immediate health concerns and built trust with the family, positioning Clínica Médicos to respond quickly and effectively to future concerns.

To read more success stories and learn about the impact made in the Greater Chattanooga community, see our impact report.