Since 2001, the Regional Health Commission has undertaken a variety of regional planning initiatives to improve the St. Louis healthcare safety net and reduce health disparities in our region. As a result of these efforts, the Department of Health and Human Services has named St. Louis as a national model for transforming its safety net health care system.
Access to Care Initiatives
Our annual Access to Care Data Book provides a report on annual operating statistics from primary, specialty, and emergency care safety net health care providers in the St. Louis region.
We supported the development of the St. Louis Integrated Health Network and helped integrate behavioral and physical health services through the merger of Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health Center and Hopewell Center.
We funded four new dentists at community health centers in St. Louis City and County, which expanded access to high-quality dental care.
Behavioral Health Initiatives
We created the Eastern Region Behavioral Health Initiative to strengthen behavioral health service delivery.
We initiated the formation of the Behavioral Health Network of Greater St. Louis, an independent non-profit organization to facilitate the integration and coordination of behavioral health services in the region.
We collaborated with community health centers and community mental health centers through an innovative joint funding initiative between the RHC and St. Louis’ Episcopal-Presbyterian Health Trust.
We conducted psychiatric capacity planning for the St. Louis region and provided $1.5 million in funding which led to the opening of the Psychiatric Stabilization Center. This planning effort was in response to the state of Missouri’s request of the RHC to create a local plan to address issues created by the closure of the phased closure of fifty inpatient psychiatric beds at the St. Louis Metropolitan Psychiatric Center, the only public mental health hospital in the Eastern region.
Community Health Initiatives
We partner with Nine Network of Public Media to share important community health issues with the St. Louis region.
We launched the Community University Health Research Partnerships initiative to focus research efforts on health care problems of importance to the community and fund promising research collaborations jointly led by university researchers and St. Louis community organizations.
We developed a community-wide plan for improving health literacy, which led to the eventual formation of Health Literacy Missouri.
We established a Community Health Workgroup to conduct a yearlong, comprehensive Community Health assessment that involved broad, stakeholder participation and contact with more than 800 organizations to provide input on prevention services available in the region.