Projects Underway

Home / Projects Underway

Underway Projects

Engaging Parents to Inform Policies

Washington State has set a bold goal for 90 percent of children to be assessed as “kindergarten ready” by 2020, and for race to be eliminated as a predictor of success. Families, particularly low-income families and families of color, often experience barriers to accessing trusted information, resources and services in their communities. In order to make improvements toward closing the opportunity gap, families need access to resources and information that best support their children’s growth and development. In order to be responsive to families, state and local systems need better information about what families need and want.

Community Partner/Contact Person: Rowena Pineda   

E-mail/phone: rpineda@srhd.org

Evaluating a Program to Train Law Enforcement Officers to Carry and Administer Narcan to Opioid Overdose Patients

Opioid overdoses have become a National Crisis. The Medical Reserve Corps of Eastern Washington (MRC of EW) has teamed up with the Spokane Regional Health District, the Opioid Treatment Program and the Spokane County Sheriffs’ Office to embark on a training program to teach Deputies how to administer Narcan (naloxone) to opioid overdose patients in the field. Nationally, this program has shown great saving lives from opioid overdose. This project is establishing measurements and putting an evaluation plan in place in order to assess the outcomes of the program.  Program stakeholders are also interested in understanding other opportunities to strengthen the program to prevent opioid overdose and promote well-being and recovery among opioid users.

Community Partner/Contact Person: David L. Byrnes

E-mail/phone: dbyrnes@srhd.org  509-496-0496

Faculty Partner/Contact Person: Sterling McPherson

E-mail: smcpherson05@wsu.edu

The Impact of Efforts to Integrate Physical & Behavioral Health Care

In 2015, Frontier Behavioral Health services (FBH) and a CHAS Health clinic established a partnership to collaborate more closely in their care their approximately 7,000 shared patients in the Spokane, WA area. Central to this effort is the development of a two-component Care Connector program. The first component allows for a FBH Care Coordinator to provide assistance to CHAS patients by meeting with the client and the client’s healthcare providers. The Care Coordinator provides a variety of services, including education on diagnosis, symptom management, and helps to promote overall management and self-care. The second component places a CHAS medical provider on-site at an FBH location for a one half day per week. This service is designed to offer primary care to FBH clients at a convenient location.It is anticipated that this program will increase patient involvement in their healthcare resulting in improved overall outcomes. It is also anticipated that these initiatives will enhance coordination among providers by providing more in-depth knowledge of care history and care plans. This research employs four studies to gauge the impact of this program on patient and provider outcomes.

Study One: Client Interview Brickhouse Program: The purpose of this study is to assess client experience with the Brickhouse program. Accordingly, we ask:
RQ: How do clients describe their experiences with the Brickhouse program?
RQ: Has the Brickhouse program affected patient outcomes?
To answer our research questions participants will be identified by CHAS and /or Frontier Behavioral Health and interviews will be conducted by Gonzaga students and/ or faculty.

Study two: Client Interview Care Connector Program: The purpose of this study is to assess client experience with the Care Connector program. Accordingly, we ask:
RQ: How do clients describe their experiences with the Care Connector program?
RQ: Has the Care Connector program affected patient outcomes?
To answer our research questions participants will be identified by CHAS and /or Frontier Behavioral Health and interviews will be conducted by Gonzaga students and/ or faculty.

Study three: Client Interview Opt-Out: The purpose of this study is to understand reasons why clients who have been recommended for the Care Connector have opted out of participating. Accordingly we ask,
RQ: What reasons do clients report for opting-out of participating in either the Care Connector or Brickhouse Programs?
To answer our research question participants will be identified by CHAS and /or Frontier Behavioral Health and interviews will be conducted by Gonzaga students and/ or faculty.

Study four: Provider Survey Care Connector Program: The purpose of this study is to assess provider experience with the Care Connector program. Accordingly, we ask,
RQ: How do providers describe their experiences with the Care Connector program?
RQ: Has the Care Connector program affected provider outcomes?
To answer our research question participants will be identified by CHAS and /or Frontier Behavioral Health and electronic surveys disseminated to all participants

Community Partner/Contact Person: Mike Wiser (CHAS) or Kelli Miller (FBH)  

E-mail/phone: mwiser@chas.org 509-434-0427 / kmiller@fbhwa.org (509) 838-4651 ext. 122171 or (509) 838-4128 ext. 267203

Faculty Partner/Contact Person: Andrea McCracken

E-mail: mccracken@gonzaga.edu

The Summit Project: An Evaluation of Intensive Medical Case Management for the Sickest Medicaid Clients in Spokane

The Summit project will provide face-to-face intensive medical case management to the sickest Spokane patients insured by a Medicaid Health Plan sponsoring the project.  A nurse case manager and a community health worker will provide the case management in the patient’s home or other sites where the patient can be impacted and report to a physician medical director.  The project is an effort to make the most vulnerable Medicaid patients healthier while also reducing their health care costs by coordinating the patient’s care and encouraging healthy behaviors.  The project has partnered with the CHAS clinic to their patients and closely collaborate with the CHAS providers. Program staff will attend clinic appointments with the patient when possible.  The health plan has agreed to share all claims data before and after enrollment in an effort to determine if the intensive medical case management is cost effective.  Program costs are being analyzed by a WSU Health Policy and Administration Student to determine how the cost of providing the services.  The pilot will run for one year and starts December 1st.

Community Partner/Contact Person: Darin Neven, MS, MD  

E-mail/phone: darin@consistentcare.org/509-290-3173

Faculty Partner/Contact Person: Sterling McPherson

E-mail: smcpherson05@wsu.edu

City of Pasco Hot Spotters

A small percentage of our population in the City of Pasco account for a large percentage of spent resources.  In an effort to improve the health of these members and to reduce unnecessary costs we are bringing together our local healthcare system, City of Pasco Fire, Police/Sheriff, jail and legal system to identify members of the community that have complex medical, behavioral, and/or chemical dependency issues.  We are focusing on those members that are over-utilizing resources across all sectors of our community.  Our intent is to provide a broad range of services with the goal of stabilizing them and reducing their need for emergency services.  This may include providing intensive Case Management in order to establish stable housing, assist with transportation, arrange mental health or substance abuse treatment and more.

This project is focused on determining the effectiveness of our efforts.  We are working alongside a City of Pasco crime analyst to gather the needed information to answer this question.

Community Partner/Contact Person: Becky Grohs, RN, BSN, CCM   

E-mail/phone: becky@consistentcare.org / (509) 392-6964

Faculty Partner/Contact Person: Wendy Buenzli

E-mail: wendy.buenzli@wsu.edu