Clinical Social Workers are now part of the Primary Care Team

16 Jun 2015 3:39 PM | Deleted user


Clinical Social Workers are now part of the Primary Care Team

Perform direct delivery of behavioral health services on the spot rather than having patients wait for a referral appointment



After a six-month pilot project that placed licensed clinical social worker Anna D’Epiro Cushing in the Franklin Health Farmington Family Practice performing direct behavioral health services for patients proved successful, three licensed clinical social workers have recently relocated from the Franklin Health Behavioral Services medical practice to a primary care practice.


Having clinical social workers alongside health care providers is a new integrated model being used at four Franklin Health primary care medical practices. These social workers now perform direct delivery of behavioral health services on the spot—rather than by referral—providing immediate assessment and diagnosis and brief solution-based therapy for patients of all ages. They also provide patient education and support and complete referrals to case management and other services as needed.


“Adding a social worker to the team in a primary care setting removes barriers and improves access for patients. They now have immediate support from a group of health professionals who work together to coordinate care so our patients can be as healthy as possible,” said Dr. Kendra Emery. “We believe that this collaborative approach improves continuity of care and produces better health outcomes at lower costs for our patients.”


In addition to D’Epiro Cushing, the social workers and where they are now providing care is as follows: Paula Lumb, LCSW, Franklin Health Internal Medicine; Sheila Hoyt, LCSW, Franklin Health Livermore Falls Family Practice; and Christina Christie, LCSW, Franklin Health Pediatrics.


D’Epiro Cushing added that she enjoys being a part of the medical practice in this new model of care, working together with providers, to immediately address patients’ needs to improve their health and enhance well being.

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