At Citizen Advocates, we devote our passion, energy and expertise to making peoples’ lives better. In fact, that is our organizational mission—Making Lives Better. So, how do we work to accomplish this? Fundamentally, we provide quality care and services that address the needs of the communities we serve. But, how we deliver those services makes a critical difference. Making lives better depends upon providing comprehensive treatment and services in a way that produces the most effective, efficient and high quality experience for those we support and our communities.
To us, that means person-centered care—focusing on the whole health of a person, not just the symptoms that brought them to us. To strengthen our whole-health focus, we have recently undertaken an organizational transformation. We will no longer view and diagnose individuals we serve solely through the behavioral health or intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) lenses. Instead, our holistic approach will look at the person’s overall needs and provide the supports necessary to address the various factors affecting their mental and physical wellness. Three components comprise this evolved approach: Community Living, Community Supports, and Health Operations.
It is well known that safe, affordable and stable housing forms a cornerstone for positive health and wellness. Through our community housing residences, apartments, supported housing, and respite and homeless apartments, we provide the 24/7 care that our behavioral health and IDD individuals need. This housing offers more than security and stability though. It also includes weekly check-ins, community outings, socializing and skill building, transportation to and from employment, and assistance with appointments. The combination of these services provide those we support with a balanced, well-rounded environment that contributes to their growth and development as both individuals and members of a bigger community. Additionally, it provides a supportive, safe environment so they can focus more energy on their mental health, recovery or life goals.
We continue to provide various community supports—community clubs, prevention, respite and support services, day habilitation, meaningful work programs, self-direction, and health home care management. We will do so now, however, with a focus on creating person-centered plans that include bundled supports for whole health. Our goal is to guide those we support on their individual journeys, to becoming active members in the community through the right mix of services. Services ranging from employment opportunities to developing personal budgets to socializing with friends. We will also collaborate, both internally and with external stakeholders, to expand our community supports for even more wraparound care.
A variety of factors intersect to impact a person’s overall health. Consequently, we believe healthcare must look not only at the person, but also the environment in which that person lives. With empathy, dignity and kindness, we will build upon our proven care model for emotional well-being to also address physical and social well-being. We offer a complete range of mental health and addiction prevention, treatment and recovery services, including individual and group therapy and medication assisted treatment. Since 80% of a person’s health is impacted by what goes on outside a healthcare provider’s office, we work to address the adverse social impacts affecting those we support and their communities (e.g., food security, available transportation, poverty) to further support the emotional and physical well-being of those we serve.
Underlying all three of these components and, most importantly, what ties them all together, will be a system of coordinated communication and integrated care that ensures the individuals in our care receive the combination of shelter, support and treatment they need for their health and well-being. As a result of this transformation, we will continue to make lives even better.
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