Help is here
Anyone who regularly walks through downtown Medford has seen people struggling with mental health issues.
To meet the growing demand for counseling to help these people and others, ColumbiaCare opened a new clinic in downtown Medford last week and is about to open another clinic and pharmacy on Airport Road in July.
Together, the two projects amount to a more than $5 million investment in treatment facilities in the Rogue Valley, helping the homeless, veterans and others.
“It’s important to be downtown, because a lot of our clients have transportation issues,” said Stacy Ferrell, executive director of ColumbiaCare, which partners with Jackson Care Connect to provide outpatient behavioral health services.
Her organization, which has 23 facilities in Oregon, opened the mental health treatment in the fall of 2016 with a temporary facility in a building leased on Main Street in downtown Medford.
With demand for counseling services expanding, ColumbiaCare decided to buy two properties, repurposing the buildings to house its clinics.
Ferrell said $1.2 million has been invested in the 6,400-square-foot building at 201 W. Sixth St. The two-story clinic with 10 counseling offices opened a week ago.
“We wanted a building with parking because it’s difficult to find parking in the downtown,” Ferrell said.
To help maintain confidentiality, each counseling room has a white-noise generator located outside the door to prevent anyone from hearing what is discussed inside.
The other location, which will house administrative offices, training areas and a pharmacy, is at 503 Airport Road with 20,000 square feet available in three buildings.
“In the back building, we will have more administration offices,” Ferrell said.
The main building has a large lobby area with soaring skylights and dozens of private offices for clients.
Ferrell said the Airport Road building, which has plenty of parking, will begin offering services in July, with an open house for the public sometime toward the end of the month.
ColumbiaCare bought the property in 2018 for $4 million.
Many of the rooms will have large rooms to allow observation during training programs.
Kristin Mozzochi, outpatient services program director, said the treatment being offered at the clinics works hand-in-hand with other social service organizations to deal with complex issues facing clients, many of whom are on the Oregon Health Plan, Oregon’s version of Medicaid.
“Many of our clients are homeless or are becoming homeless,” she said. “It’s very difficult when their basic needs aren’t being met.”
Housing is one of the biggest hurdles in developing a treatment program. Drug and alcohol abuse are another issue, requiring partnerships with organizations such as OnTrack or Addictions Recovery Center.
Most of the referrals to ColumbiaCare are from state health agencies, a coordinated care organization, mental health agencies or the Veterans Administration.
In addition to mental health, the organization offers residential treatment programs, suicide prevention, veterans housing, rental assistance, and education and employment support.
Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or email@example.com. Follow him on www.twitter.com/reporterdm.