Mark McDaniel’s encounter with a family going from agency to agency trying to arrange behavioral health and other services for an adult son got him to thinking about finding a better system for people to navigate.
“They were basically hopping and skipping around the community to get their services,” said McDaniel, executive director of the Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health Services. “I thought, ‘There has to be a better way.’”
Those thoughts led to exploration of a one-stop shop concept familiar to those visiting license/title bureaus or job centers.
The exploration led to the evolution the past few years of the proposed One Wellness Place project, a public-private partnership unveiled Thursday for Miami County by the Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health Services.
Representatives of government, health agencies, foundations and other supporters attended the project official unveiling at the Miami County Fairgrounds, down County Road 25A from the planned project site next to the Health Partners clinic.
McDaniel said financial and other support for the estimated $6 million project has been growing. Among major funding so far for the One Wellness Place is $2 million earmarked by the Tri-County board and $500,000 from the state capital budget along with a $220,000 pledge and in-kind support from CareSource. The Troy Foundation last year awarded $50,000 from its general fund while other foundations, businesses and trusts have pledged or contributed.
The key to success of the one-stop shop would be the front door process where the client would receive a full assessment and a full menu of services available in one location, McDaniel said. Other foundation and corporate support is being sought.
“This concept is indeed an innovation in the human services area,” said 5th District State Sen. Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City.
“The idea to make it easier on consumers, patients, is a wonderful idea. I suspect that you can free up money and save money which can be diverted to people in need and solve more problems,” Beagle said.
The project is even more attractive with the public-private partnership, he said. “People at the state will be watching this project. It does have the capacity to be a model if it works and works well.”
Among agencies who have signed memorandums of understanding for the facility are the Tri-County board, Community Housing Inc., NAMI of Darke Miami and Shelby Counties, Recovery & Wellness Center of Midwest Ohio, Miami County Recovery Council, Miami County Dental Clinic, Miami County Public Health and Safehaven Inc.
Those agencies spend around $500,000 a year for rent and related operating fees, a number that could be cut in half with the combined facility, McDaniel said. The savings, he said, could be directed back into services for clients.
Discussions are being held with other agencies whose services at the One Wellness Place might be beneficial, McDaniel said.