by Comprehensive Staff

11/18/2019 8:05 pm

Comprehensive Healthcare Children’s Services: Delivering Effective New Programs

Comprehensive Healthcare’s leadership in Evidence-Based Practices (EBPs) extends to vital services for children. Providing behavioral health solutions for children and families helps address growing needs in communities throughout Comprehensive Healthcare’s service area.

New, Mission-Driven Services

Every new Comprehensive Healthcare program or service goes through a formal review process. The supporting strategy must satisfy a 17-question screening process to determine: 1) if the program advances Comprehensive Healthcare’s mission and values 2) meets cost and benefit goals, and 3) has leaders and staff in place to implement it successfully.

New Journeys - First Episode Psychosis

Several years ago, Washington State identified the need for a program focusing on adolescents and young adults who experienced their first psychotic break. Research demonstrated that psychosis is treatable, especially when identified early. An early intervention program called New Journeys was created to serve transition age youth (15 – 25) experiencing a First Episode of Psychosis (FEP). In the fall of 2015, Comprehensive Healthcare in Yakima was selected to be the pilot site for the New Journeys team. Chris Moore, Comprehensive Healthcare Division Director explains how many of the participants in this program are young adults who have goals and dreams about what their adult life will be. Moore says that is exactly what the program is intended to help with. “Many participants in the program obtained their goal of working, or attending high school, trade school or college. They have productive lives thanks to the New Journeys team.” In a recent national study on program effectiveness, the New Journeys program received exceptionally high scores for implementing FEP services with high fidelity to the established model.

New Journeys Score

Total Score 144/165

Average Item Score 4.36/5

Total FEPS-FS scores range from 33 to 165. Item scores range from 1 to 5. An item score of ‘4’ indicates good fidelity and a score of ‘5’ indicates high fidelity.

In early 2019, the State approached Comprehensive Healthcare about expanding services to the Tri-Cities area. “We accepted and are moving forward quickly with the expansion,” Moore said. “Comprehensive Healthcare wants to bring the same opportunity for success to the estimated 45 – 50 young people in the Tri-Cities who will have their first psychotic break each year.”

New Journeys is expected to be up and running in the Tri-Cities by December of this year.

Why are EBPs So Effective for Adolescents

Evidence-based practices for children’s services provide a coherent and comprehensive approach that allows clinicians to deliver state-of-the-art treatment. EBPs close the gap between research and clinical practice avoiding variations in care.

“EBPs are researched therapies that are considered effective and efficient,” says Nicole Southard, Comprehensive Healthcare Vice-President. “They enable us to monitor fidelity and provide guidance to staff regarding adherence and implementation. EBPs allow us to meet Washington State’s requirement of outpatient services to children and youth as well as meet Washington’s Evidence-Based Practice Institute’s requirements of fidelity.”

More EBPs to Come

Other new EBPs are being implemented in rural areas with diverse populations. For example, Narrative Exposure Therapy/Motivational Interviewing with Skill Therapy (NET/ MIST) is a study of two treatments designed for Native Americans 16 years and older who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Substance Use Disorders. Comprehensive is participating in a five-year study comparing the two therapies.

How to Access Programs

Most children and youth can be referred to Comprehensive Healthcare’s programs by a provider through centralized intake. To schedule an appointment, call (509) 575-4084. An appropriate EBP will be assigned based on the diagnosis and treatment needs. Specialized programs like New Journeys, Multisystemic Therapy/Family Integrated Transition (MST/FIT), Functional Family Therapy (FFT) and others, have referral limitations based on contracts or certification requirements.

What’s next?

Comprehensive Healthcare continues to provide training in the two basic EBPs, Cognitive

Behavioral Therapy Plus and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT Plus and TF-CBT) for children and youth for all new hires who will treat children and youth. A number of Comprehensive Healthcare’s clinicians will be attending EBP training to bring their knowledge back to their teams to implement. One such provider is our lead internal consultant for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) for PTSD treatment. They are going through training and supervision to become a national EMDR trainer/consultant. In addition to the best science available, Comprehensive delivers care and compassion to every child and family in services. Highly trained professionals delivering quality care makes Comprehensive Healthcare a leader in behavioral healthcare.

“I want to thank you for all the hardwork you have done to help me be the person I am today. I want to thank you for being there for me when I needed you the most. Without you guys I would be nothing, thank you for being the people you are. Don’t ever change, God Bless!” — New Journeys Client


“Thank you so much, from our family in getting our son back, also meeting with us each week.” — Parent of New Journeys Client