State Approval Given for Behavioral Health Partnership with Aspire Health Alliance
South Shore Health and Aspire Health Alliance have announced the establishment of a clinical affiliation to advance behavioral health services for patients on the South Shore and improve access to care. The organizations will collaborate on the planning, development and implementation of integrated behavioral health programs for the benefit of the communities they serve. The announcement follows the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission’s formal acceptance of the alliance.
“This is wonderful news,” said Allen L. Smith, MD, MS, President & CEO of South Shore Health. “Our organizations have worked together for decades on the implementation and improvement of behavioral health programs. Most recently, our collaboration has included new and expanded emergency department-based services and the expansion of substance use disorder and perinatal behavioral health programs. The need for high-quality and cost effective behavioral healthcare is significant, particularly during the uncertain times brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to building upon these resources which are so vitally important to patients, their families and the wellbeing of our community while reducing the stigma surrounding mental illnesses.”
The two healthcare organizations have a combined 194-year history of providing expert, compassionate care to patients on the South Shore. Aspire Health Alliance sits on South Shore Health’s Community Benefits Advisory Council and the two organizations work together to provide school-based programs within the community.
“We believe there is no health without mental health and our goal for this partnership is to help address the negative impact of a fragmented care delivery system for those in our community who need behavioral health services,” said Antony Sheehan, President & CEO of Aspire Health Alliance. “Working with South Shore Health on a patient-centered care continuum helps us align our goals with the Commonwealth’s vision for an integrated system and will help us provide care in the right setting, where and when those we serve need it.”
Aspire Health Alliance was one of six recipients state-wide awarded a federal grant recently to expand services as a certified community behavioral health center (CCBHC) increasing access to and improving the quality of community mental and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services. The designation provides for funding to support medical and behavioral health partners working together to promote access to timely, comprehensive care and mitigating the need for care in more acute settings such as the hospital emergency department.
In May of 2021, the healthcare partners celebrated the relocation of the Grayken Center for Treatment at South Shore Health. The larger, contemporary space, located at 797 Main Street in Weymouth, MA, has allowed for the expansion of services to better meet the growing number of patients seeking care for perinatal behavioral health and substance use disorders.
The agreement will also allow for South Shore Health and Aspire Health Alliance to maintain current and future relationships with other medical and behavioral health partners for the benefit of the community.