April 4, 2017
Eastern Plumas Health Care’s new Behavioral Health Program, funded by a grant from the state, is taking shape on its Portola campus. The innovative program will integrate behavioral health with primary care. Offering mental health treatments in a primary care setting is convenient for patients, can reduce the stigma associated with treatment for mental disorders, builds on existing provider-patient relationships, and can help improve care for the many patients who have both medical and mental disorders.
We are currently hiring a licensed social worker and a psychiatric nurse practitioner. They will join our newly hired program manager and case manager. The program will start out in a new modular building that sits right next to the Portola Medical Clinic. Soon, however, a new wing will be built onto the existing Portola Clinic to accommodate the new program. This set up will facilitate collaboration between the behavioral and medical health care programs.
There has been very little in the way of mental health support at our end of the county, and research shows that this integrated model really helps patients get better! Look for more information as we get up and running in the coming months.
We continue to offer year round, low cost lab testing at our Graeagle, Portola, and Loyalton Medical Clinics. You don’t need an appointment, but some tests require fasting. Check our website http://www.ephc.org/low-cost-lab-testing.php for a menus of low cost lab tests and contact information, or call 530.832.6500.
The list of specialist services continues to grow at our clinics. Dr. J. Hibler, Dermatology Specialist, recently joined the Portola Clinic staff. He grew up helping his father in his Dermatology practice in Ohio where he grew up. Along with working at our Portola Medical Clinic, Dr. Hibler is currently in practice with Dermatologist Dr. Kimenensky in her Truckee practice.
Recently, we’ve added a newly graduated dentist, Dr. Daniel Hoffman, to our staff. He has family connections to our dentist Dr. Garibotti, and the lifestyle and small town practice seems to be a great fit for him.
We also continue the search for a new primary care provider. Finding good primary care providers is proving a challenge nationwide as doctors tend to go into specialty care, which pays much more. This challenge is even more acute in rural, isolated areas like ours. We’re coming up with creative solutions in order to bring a highly qualified, compassionate new provider to our area.