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Spotlight on the CARE Center. Donna Christianson, Crisis Program Director Vicki Riley, CARE Center Program Director. Background. The initiative started as a result of La Crosse County Clinical Services Process Improvement initiative Training Screening/Filtering Mandatory Services

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Spotlight on the care center

Spotlight on the CARE Center

Donna Christianson,

Crisis Program Director

Vicki Riley,

CARE Center Program Director


  • The initiative started as a result of La Crosse County Clinical Services Process Improvement initiative

    • Training

    • Screening/Filtering

    • Mandatory Services

    • Continuum of Care

  • Continuum of Care subgroup identified “gaps” in our current service system

    • Crisis Center

    • Community Bridges

Mission statement
Mission Statement

  • Create a crisis assessment center and detoxification center by the end of 2009 in order to provide more cost-effective triage and intervention for area individuals undergoing distress due to mental health or substance abuse concerns.

  • Enhance available supports and services to help people maintain stability in community settings (Community Bridges)

Facility criteria identified 2 nd focus group 6 09
Facility Criteria Identified: 2nd Focus Group 6/09

  • Unlocked facility (home-like setting)

  • 8 bed capacity for adults (male and female)

  • Non Ch 51 (detentions will go to the hospital)

  • Non medical detoxification

  • Centrally located in La Crosse

  • Well trained staff

Care center timeline
CARE Center Timeline

  • Request for Proposals reviewed (9/09)

  • Tellurian, UCAN selected as the top applicant

  • Awarded the contract (10/14/09)

  • Site search, selection and construction

  • Hiring and training staff

  • Budget/contract negotiations

  • Certification process and completion

  • Policies and procedures

  • Open House (4/10) and Grand Openning (5/18/10)

Care center staff
CARE Center Staff

  • F.T. Program Director: Vicki Riley

  • F.T. Community Liaison: Teri McDougle

  • 10 FTE Human Service Assistance

  • P.T. Registered Nurse

  • 2 Peer Support Specialists

Care center admission process for law enforcement
CARE Center Admission Processfor Law Enforcement

  • Law Enforcement contacts Mobile Crisis to assist with assessment when involved with mental health situations in the field

  • If there are immediate medical concerns, arrange for transport to the hospital and then contact mobile crisis

  • However, if there are no medical issues, assessing the crisis should occur in the community (ie.the home, CARE Center, etc)

Care center admission process for hospitals
CARE Center Admission Process for Hospitals

  • After assessment in the ER, the Crisis Responder and Hospital Staff collaborate on the disposition. If CARE Center is deemed appropriate, CARE staff is contacted and they provide transportation to the CARE Center

  • CARE Center is also used as a step down from the inpatient units. County crisis staff facilitate this also between the hospital and CARE Center

Alcohol detox challenges
Alcohol Detox Challenges

  • The statutes are restrictive as to who can be served at this level of care

  • No other substances can be in the person’s system other than alcohol and benzodiazapines (received the OK for THC)

  • The withdrawal score (CIWA) needs to be within a certain limit

  • If there are other medical issues or a history of seizures they would be deemed inappropriate for admisson

Problem solving strategy
Problem Solving Strategy

  • With every new process, there are bound to be problems that arise

  • There are many players involved in these crisis situation

  • Meetings have occurred twice/month, including CARE staff, Law Enforcement, Consumers, Crisis and Hospital staff to problem solve situations and improve our collaboration

Consumer satisfaction
Consumer Satisfaction

  • “It’s not very often that you find a bunch of people that actually want to help people they don’t even know… It’s really nice to know that there are people out there that actually care.”

  • “This environment is very healing.”

  • “This facility is 100% better than what we had.”

  • “The staff went above and beyond in meeting my needs. I felt safe here and the staff is very knowledgeable and friendly.”

Contact information

Donna Christianson

La Crosse County Human Services

  • 608-785-6118

  • christianson.donna

    Vicki Riley

    CARE Center

  • 608-519-3080