SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. —
Team Scott is embracing a “Targeted Care” mental health initiative, which is a newly installed Air Force-wide program prioritizing the well-being of service members.
This initiative aims to expedite specialized mental health appointments at each member’s local clinic, but also optimize the quality of care for each individual patient.
The Targeted Care program had a soft launch in 2022, and received positive feedback from patients and mental health workers involved. Patients were seen at an optimized rate with no reducement to the quality of care they received.
This program “…aims to improve and boost the patient quality of care,” said Capt. Abbey Damore, 375th Medical Group staff clinical social worker. “With this initiative, we are also able to render care to each and every service member who is in need while ensuring they receive the optimal counseling resource at the same time. The bottom line is that our service members need help, and we want to make sure that those individuals get the assistance and support that they both need and deserve.”
Across the Air Force, there has been an increase in Airmen using mental health care facilities. One standout feature of the new program is the referral process, which starts with a vectoring system run by providers. This system connects patients to appropriate counseling resources including Primary Care Behavioral Health, group therapy, health promotions, Family Advocacy, Military One Source, a chaplain, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment office, among others. Some Airmen can expect meeting with multiple patients in a group setting rather than a one-on-one session with a specialist on certain occasions.
Senior Airman Gabrielle Smith, a medical health technician with the 375th MDG, added that “what’s really nice about this vectoring process is that it allows us to get patients to the appropriate resource based on their needs and their symptoms. It also allows for other mental health resources to shine, because people do hear about resources like Military OneSource, but they don’t always seek them out. Now it’s not just the Mental Health clinic – all of our resources work together to ensure that we can take care of all of our patients, and ensure they are still able to complete the mission.”
Currently, the Mental Health clinic on base only supports active duty personnel and the transition is seamless for Airmen, who will still simply call the clinic to book appointments.
Senior Airman De’Nair Adams, a mental health technician with the 375th MDG, explained that “I talk to them over the phone and ask questions to further clarify their current stressors and how they are coping with them. Once I’m able to gain a better understanding of their current situation, I am then able to assist the member by booking them an appointment with that applicable resource.”
Knowing time is of the essence, this program further streamlines resources to reduce the timeline.
Smith said that “[At Scott,] we make sure to get patients in no later than 28 days, because we’re a specialty clinic. Essentially, this vectoring process allows us to get members the help they need in a timely fashion.”
If you have any questions regarding this new program contact the Scott Air Force Base Medical Group here at (618) 256-7386