Inova Pairs Mental Health With Primary Care

Breaking barriers in behavioral health

Ribbon cutting of new inpatient behavioral health unit

An inpatient behavioral health unit recently opened at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus. Above (L to R): Loring Flint, MD; Michael Clark, MD, MPH, MBA; Michelle Mullany, LCSW; and J. Stephen Jones, MD, MBA, FACS, President and CEO, Inova.

With the mind-body connection well established, Inova Medical Group’s pairing of primary care and behavioral health providers in the same offices has reaped rave reviews.

Since July 2017, most Inova primary care clinics have counselors and other mental health clinicians on staff, under the same roof, creating a seamless transition between physical and emotional wellness. In the past year, the Integrated Behavioral Health program has served more than 1,300 patients, with interest rapidly growing.

“We’re breaking down barriers,” explains Program Manager Shana Grady, PsyD. “It just makes good sense. For a long time, the services were separate and we know that doesn’t really benefit patients.”

The new standard of care means Inova primary care providers screen patients for mental health issues such as depression during routine visits. When appropriate, patients are referred to in-house counselors — who either see them the same day or schedule a prompt appointment — so patients can access care in the same office. “If they want to schedule an appointment, that’s done before they leave the clinic,” Grady explains. “And they come back for a full appointment, which includes a full assessment and treatment.”

Besides convenience, this collaborative and comprehensive approach offers patients privacy, Grady notes. “It has been so rewarding to see the responses from patients. Many say they wouldn’t have considered accessing behavioral health if therapists were not in the clinic,” Grady says.

Make an Appointment for Your Mental Health

To learn more about Integrated Behavioral Health services, call the Behavioral Health team at 703-289-7560.