Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services and Corewell Health in West Michigan have partnered to form the Collaborative for Behavioral Health, a commitment from the two healthcare leaders to intentionally and regularly identify behavioral health issues affecting the community, and to solve them through collaborative projects.
Under the newly formed collaborative, Michigan’s largest healthcare system and the country’s third-largest freestanding behavioral health provider commit their shared expertise to help West Michigan residents thrive, addressing issues such as wait times for care, the overall cost of behavioral health care, and barriers in access to pediatric behavioral health services, a crisis that has been exacerbated since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mark Eastburg, PhD, president and CEO of Pine Rest, notes that while both organizations will remain independent under the agreement and will continue to work with other providers, the Collaborative for Behavioral Health is a natural partnership for the two healthcare leaders as it is deeply rooted in the organizations’ shared commitments to serve Michigan communities and to create a more accessible, collaborative healthcare landscape.
“Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services and Corewell Health do not just serve this community; we are a part of it. West Michigan is our home,” stated Dr. Eastburg. “We have shared goals, values, and an understanding of the barriers to care our community members face because we, too, face the same challenges. Our organizations set out to create a healthier, thriving West Michigan because we care about our neighbors, family, and friends who are the heart of this community.”
Dr. Eastburg adds that both Corewell Health and Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services are nonprofits owned by the community and, as such, share a responsibility to work together if collaboration will lead to better care for Michigan children, adults, and families.
“We must ask ourselves, ‘What do our neighbors need from us right now? Can we help the community thrive if we tackle a problem together versus independently?’ And, if that answer is, ‘yes,’ both Pine Rest and Corewell Health have pledged to work toward that solution together,” Dr. Eastburg said.
According to Darryl Elmouchi, MD, president, Corewell Health in West Michigan, the Pediatric Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (PBHCE) project announced by Pine Rest and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital last July is a first step in the partnership, signaling the start of an ongoing and active intent to address Michigan’s most concerning behavioral health needs jointly.
“The Collaborative for Behavioral Health is founded upon the shared belief that we are in a new era of healthcare – one that recognizes we can only solve our community’s largest healthcare challenges through collaboration and innovation. Corewell Health and Pine Rest providers often work together in caring for the same patients. This collaborative is a formal statement of our shared goals and our vision to intentionally partner wherever possible to benefit the entire community.”
Both Pine Rest and Corewell Health note that in addition to identifying opportunities for partnership, the Collaborative for Behavioral Health will also seek to leverage technologies such as the Epic Electronic Health Record (EHR) platform to work more closely with other area healthcare providers to improve outcomes, quality of care, and accessibility of care throughout West Michigan.