Mental illness and addiction are big issues everywhere — but especially in rural areas like Osceola, Wisconsin, that lack local treatment resources. As my partner, Nicole Smith, M.D., said well, “What we lack at Osceola, is we don’t have integrated behavioral health, we don’t have therapists on staff. For better or for worse, Osceola doesn’t have mental health beds.”
All of that is about to change!
Osceola Medical Center (OMC), a rural health clinic and critical access hospital, has committed to rapidly creating local services for mental illness and addiction. The Osceola Community Health Foundation (OCHF) recently raised $61,000 at its annual gala to launch an integrated behavioral health program. And OMC’s board of directors just prioritized creating “psych safe” hospital beds so we can stop boarding patients in the emergency department and transferring them far from home.
“We want to be known as the people who show up in the best and worst of times for our patients and their families,” said Kelly Macken-Marble, OMC’s chief executive officer.