Pierce County Medical Society President Brian Mulhall, MD and Executive Director Bruce Ehrle have sent communications on behalf of the Society to members of the Congressional delegation representing the State of Washington strongly advocating that federal funding be provided for the Alliance for South Sound Health initiative launched by CHI Franciscan and MultiCare to jointly build a new behavioral health hospital in Tacoma.
Given the lack of behavioral health capacity in the State of Washington and in Pierce County it was stressed how vital this new facility will be toward improving population health in the community, providing patients the mental health resources they need, and being part of a larger effort to give these fellow citizens the dignity they deserve.
PCMS is taking an active role in Pierce County to seek innovative methods to address behavioral health issues including promoting increased capabilities by physicians and PAs to screen patients for conditions and refer them to the appropriate behavioral health specialist, seeking integration of physical health and mental health to achieve the best outcomes for patients, and examining new partnerships between the Society and first responders to help address situations they encounter in the field. Please be on the lookout for more developments on these PCMS initiatives in the coming weeks. The Society is also partnering with other entities working on these important topics and actively participating in the Pierce County ACH which is part of the State of Washington’s Accountable Communities of Health program.
As part of PCMS involvement in these endeavors where no one gets left behind or goes without access to the highest possible level of care across all settings, the Society has encouraged members of the Congressional delegation to aggressively work toward full federal funding opportunities in support of the new behavioral health hospital that the Alliance has already pledged half of the needed capital costs for. PCMS will continue to work with Alliance members to press for the necessary federal grants, appropriations, and programs in order to make the badly needed facility being launched by CHI Franciscan and MultiCare become a robust reality serving patients in our community for years to come as an added resource capacity in Pierce County.