DANBURY, Connecticut – September 20, 2017 – The Danbury Hospital Foundation has received a $40,000 contribution from the Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation to expand outreach capacity of the Hospital’s Greater Danbury Community Care Team (CCT) by adding a peer engagement specialist.
Established by Danbury Hospital in 2015, the Greater Danbury CCT is a collaboration of more than 30 community agencies and municipal stakeholders who, led by a Hospital-based navigator, work together to support the area’s most vulnerable residents by helping them achieve and maintain housing and linkage to medical, psychiatric and social services.
Community care teams are population-based treatment models that work to improve health outcomes and reduce avoidable costs, especially for community residents with complex or chronic health conditions who do not respond well to traditional hospital treatment models.
The Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation contribution will help support a Danbury Hospital-based peer engagement specialist who will work closely with high-risk CCT clients and those referred for care to engage and motivate them to seek mental health and/or substance abuse treatment. Approximately 80 percent of CCT clients have a substance abuse diagnosis and 40 percent have a psychiatric diagnosis.
Peer engagement specialists utilize their own recovery experience to support clients in articulating recovery goals. Specialists model the value of the recovery experience, teach effective coping techniques and self-help strategies, and serve as recovery agents by providing and advocating for effective recovery-based services to help clients in daily living.
“We are very grateful to the BI Cares Foundation for its ongoing generosity in support of the Greater Danbury CCT,” said Grace Linhard, chief development officer at the Danbury Hospital Foundation. “The focused efforts of a peer engagement specialist will have a direct and tangible impact on the lives of many vulnerable community residents.”
This is the second contribution the Danbury Hospital Foundation has received from the Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation to support the CCT, which continues to experience success in improving access to care for area residents in need as well as public health and safety.
“Helping some of the most vulnerable members of our community who are suffering from mental health, substance abuse and chronic medical conditions requires a team of passionate problem solvers and patient advocates and a network of partner organizations committed to help,” said Karen Iannella, president of the Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation. “Recently the Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation had the opportunity to go on a road trip to see the Community Care Team and partners in action and how our charitable investment is making an impact one patient at a time.”
To date, 138 greater Danbury residents ages 23-83 have benefited from CCT services, 52 of which have at least one chronic medical condition. Over 40 homeless CCT clients have moved into housing or stable living environments, and emergency department utilization by high-risk “frequent utilizers” has decreased approximately 30 percent indicating improved quality of care and efficiency allowing treatment of others in need.