Northeast Delta Human Services Authority and Morehouse Community Medical Centers recently announced a Memorandum of Agreement to join together to provide citizens in Morehouse Parish with behavioral healthcare services.

“Through our primary care and school-based facilities, we anticipate this agreement will help us serve and reach even more residents throughout Morehouse Parish,” said Katie Parnell, CEO of Morehouse Community Medical Centers. “As a Federally Qualified Health Center, we want to improve health outcomes for every citizen who may need the services we offer.”

According to Northeast Delta HSA, they will accept appropriate referrals from MCMC to provide major mental health and/or substance abuse disorder services, and MCMC will accept appropriate referrals from Northeast Delta HSA to provide primary dental and health care services to patients.

According to Parnell, this partnership builds on services MCMC already offered to the Morehouse Parish community.

“It really is an expansion of what we're already doing,” said Parnell. “We can provide basic mental health services, but Northeast Delta can provide services to patients who need a higher level of care than what we can provide – [to patients] who have serious mental illnesses.”

Parnell also feels that the agreement will help streamline the referral process for patients.

“We've done it where I have designated two people in my office, and Northeast Delta has designated one person in their office so that there is point-to-point contact,” said Parnell, “We know when we need to contact somebody we are going to contact this person at Northeast Delta. They're going to track what we need down, and we're going to do the same thing for them. When they need to know about a medical condition a patient has and how medications affect it, they'll be able to work basically one on one.”

MCMC operates as a not-for-profit community health center that offers services to all Morehouse Parish residents, and the center directs attention at reaching low income, uninsured and underinsured populations. The partnership with Northeast Delta HSA does not alter this.

“Northeast Delta will see uninsured patients,” said Parnell, “They will offer a sliding fee scale just like we do, and another thing we will be able to help on is duplication of paperwork. If [patients] fill out a slide here, with the patient's permission, we can forward that information to Northeast Delta. Then the patient won't have to repeat paperwork or regather all their documents.”

Morehouse Community Medical Center also recently received a grant for $650,000 to open a second site in Union Parish at Marion. The corporate office for that location will be at the center in Morehouse Parish.

“Some of the funds that fund that project do stay here locally, because they pay for administrative services,” said Parnell.