Sanford Health partners on community mental health triage

Triage center will provide alternative to hospitals & jail starting this fall

Two nurses work behind windows at the front entrance to the emergency room, checking computer screens.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — People dealing with addiction and other mental health issues will have an alternative to unnecessary visits to hospitals and jail thanks to a health triage center developed by local governments and care providers.

Wednesday, the Sioux Falls regional Community Triage Center’s organizing partners signed its bylaws for governance. A new nonprofit will lead the program’s implementation.

The CTC is a collaboration among Sanford Health, Avera, the City of Sioux Falls and Minnehaha County. When patients are able to stabilize in a triage center setting, they are more likely to have successful outcomes.

“Addiction and mental health challenges continue to be one of the primary barriers to success for many in our community,” said Mayor Paul TenHaken. “Since taking office, our administration has been committed to moving this triage center project forward in a collaborative fashion. I’m proud of the work that’s been done by so many and look forward to this facility serving some of our most vulnerable populations.”

Minnehaha County also stands to benefit. County staff manage social services for both Lincoln and Minnehaha counties as well as providing jail services for the region.

“The concept of a triage center was embraced early on by Minnehaha County,” said Minnehaha County Commissioner Dean Karsky. “We recognize the importance of early intervention for individuals and families who are struggling with addiction or mental health issues.”

Health care collaboration

Sioux Falls’ major health care providers are also key partners in the formation and governance of the health triage center.

“Sanford Health believes in investing in the communities that we serve. We feel strongly about giving back to those areas where we know it will do the most good,” said Paul Hanson, President, Sanford Health Sioux Falls Market.

“With 60 years of behavioral health dedication, Avera views addiction as a disease that needs to be treated rather than a character flaw. That’s why we support the development of this center to meet pressing needs that exist in our community,” said Dave Flicek, president and CEO, Avera McKennan Hospital/Avera Medical Group.

Next steps include finalizing the partnership agreement, including annual financial contributions. A service provider will be chosen using a request for proposals. The CTC, which is located at 132 N. Dakota Ave., is set to open later in 2020.

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Posted In Behavioral Health, Community, News

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