THe initiative is called SHAPE- and it stands for "Sustaining Healthcare Across Integrated Primary Care Efforts."
It basically integrates pirmary and mental healthcare.
Dr. Ben Miller with the University of Colorado in Denver is leading te evaluation of SHAPE.
"Part of the reason for integrating care is putting metnal care and primary care together. Primary care sees the largest number of patients by far and they also see the most individuals with mental health issues. As a matter of fact, primary care is in fact our defacto mental health system. And by integrating these health issues, we are putting mental health professionals who can deal with these issues into primary care."
SHAPE has been used by several clinics in the Grand Junction, Colorado area for the last nine months. The Bend area will be the first area outside Colorado to implement the integrated healthcare system. It is hoped it will produce better healthcare outcomes and lower costs.