News and Events
Northwestern Mental Health Center, Inc. invites you to a:
Monday, April 30, 2012
100 Gretchen lane, Crookston, Minnesota 56716
Please come and help us celebrate the ground breaking of this important new addition that will provide
designated space for crisis assessment, stabilization and additional program areas for residents of the
New Executive Director hired at Northwestern Mental Health Center in Crookston, MN.
Northwestern Mental Health Center is pleased to announce that Ms. Shauna Reitmeier, MSW has accepted the position of the Executive Director of the Northwestern Mental Health Center, effective May 29, 2012. She will assume the role following the retirement of Mr. Dan Wilson, who has served in that capacity for over 25 years.
Ms. Reitmeier holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. She began her career at the Northwestern Mental Health Center from 1999 to 2002, after which she pursued a graduate degree in Social Work in Ann Arbor. After completion of her graduate work, she was employed in a number of administrative and leadership capacities with the Washtenaw Community Health Organization focused on mental health service delivery.
Most recently she worked with the National Council of Community Behavioral Healthcare in Washington D.C., providing project support for a special National Council, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) partnership for demonstrating the integration of primary and behavioral healthcare in 62 community behavioral healthcare organizations across the nation.
“We are delighted to welcome Ms. Reitmeier back to Crookston” states Dan Wilson. “Her connections to the area, experience and community relationships are great assets.” Ms. Reitmeier grew up in Crookston and she has family ties in the region.
Northwestern Mental Health Center featured by National Health Service Corps:
Dan Wilson, LCSW, Executive Director NHSC Member Site Crookston, MN The Northwestern Mental Health Center (NMHC), in Crookston, MN, has been with the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) for over 17 years, and in that time we’ve benefitted from 20 NHSC providers. We serve six rural counties in northwest Minnesota, and the widely distributed locations of our services reflect the sparsely populated geography of the area. We are very much an integrated, rural mental health program, integrating mental health with primary health care services and public education through co-location. The facility operates in 12 locations in the area and in client homes.
The average income in our community is below the state-wide average, and several of the counties are the poorest counties in Minnesota. Also, one of our counties is located in the Indian reservation, which presents the challenge of providing a culturally-sensitive care program. We also address language barriers when providing care, so we have staff members who are bicultural and capable of bridging the cultural barriers to address those populations.
One of the pioneering services we are developing is real-time care. Rather than the arduous process of making referrals and setting up an appointment a month later, with a small probability that the patient would actually show up, we try to have real-time care so that access can improve dramatically. But, you can’t do that unless you have enough staff. The NHSC allows us to retain enough people to do some cutting-edge access management for a rural mental health area.
The NHSC has also helped us to make incredible connections. We had an NHSC Scholar from Portland for a four-year NHSC commitment; after which, he moved back to Oregon. The Northwestern Mental Health Center was able to ensure that he continued working with our community through the use of Instruction Television Technology (ITV) technology—“seeing” patients from where he is in Portland. He now has hundreds of our patients who are cared for with ITV technology. It is a great resource for us, because we can easily move him around and place him in alternate settings, including the local corrections facility and nursing homes.
This represents a new way we are achieving access to services in remote areas. At the end of the day, we want to make it possible that any patient, anywhere in this region, can be seen on a same-day basis and get an immediate response, without having to leave their community. One of the things I am proud of, even though we are rural, is that when you examine the data about the amount of people who get access to mental health care in Minnesota, we are ahead of the state-wide average.
Most of the NHSC providers this site has had over the years have stayed in their positions long after the NHSC service commitment was met. Our retention rate is excellent—I believe the loan repayment program is a tool that helps to retain providers. In the past, we would have a six-month delay to see a patient, and now it’s a few weeks at most. The NHSC has allowed us to stabilize our programs and to continue to grow our services in each of these small communities. Learn more>> http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/sites/innovativesites/northwesternmentalhealth/index.html