The program, Advancing Standards of Care for People with
Schizophrenia, was spearheaded by the National Council for Community
Behavioral Healthcare, also known as the National Council.
Health Centers of Central Illinois, which has served central
Illinois for 65 years, had 42 individuals participate in the
program. Since more than 5.5 percent of those served at MHCCI, or
nearly 250 individuals each year, are diagnosed with schizophrenia
or schizoaffective disorder, this makes the pilot program a
particularly valuable endeavor.
"We are all adapting to health care system changes that recognize
the value of care over volume of care," said Jan Gambach, president
of MHCCI and system administrator of behavioral health for Memorial
Health System. "This program provided both effective tools for those
we serve and a way to demonstrate improvements in care."
The program revolved around two evidence-based tools: a group
curriculum, which helps adults better understand and self-manage
their mental health condition; and a functional assessment tool,
which tracks a person's ability to independently carry out everyday
tasks, including nutrition and money management. The tools encourage
participants to take control of their mental illness, discuss it
with others and monitor progress. Participants said they found this
helpful in addressing the misconceptions others may have about them.
According to 24-year-old Demetrius Kremitzki, who participated in
the program at MHCCI, it helped him learn more about symptoms from
his illness, set new goals for his future and develop action steps
to accomplish them.
"They helped me get access to more information. I am learning
about schizophrenia, the illness itself, and how the medicine works
for me," Kremitzki said. "The group is helping me recover and become
part of the community."
Gambach also believes that the program's success has potential to
leave a positive effect on Springfield and other communities
throughout central Illinois.
"This program is showing how people with schizophrenia can become
more independent and productive in their daily functioning," she
explained. "That makes them better prepared to manage their mental
and physical health, and helps reduce the amount of time they might
otherwise spend in emergency care. It also potentially represents
progress in confronting the lack of understanding of schizophrenia
faced by people with the mental illness. That's a true step forward,
not only for our clients and the professionals who care for them,
but also the community as a whole."
The 10 pilot sites
started with a total of 568 clients in December 2010.
The average age of
participants was 45.7 years, many of whom had already been in
treatment for years.
20 percent of
participants scored an "inability to function in all areas" on
the pre-interventional functional assessment.
50 percent of
participants scored "major impairment" in at least five critical
areas of functioning in daily activities.
cumulative functional score from all participants rose from an
initial 37.76 to 41.07 over the course of six months.
Overall, there was
a statistically significant gain in three sub-scales:
communications, interaction with one's social network and coping
There was an
overall attrition rate of 48 percent, consistent with
community-based treatment protocols.
[to top of second column]
A list of
pilot sites in the Advancing Standards of Care for
People with Schizophrenia program and the
outcomes report are
available on the National Council website.
Funding for the Advancing Standards of Care pilot program was
made possible through a grant from Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois, a Memorial Health
System affiliate, is a private, not-for-profit organization that has
provided high-quality, comprehensive behavioral health and
rehabilitation services throughout central Illinois for more than 65
years. MHCCI offers individualized psychiatric and therapeutic
services for serious life problems and the persistent mental or
emotional disorders of children, adolescents and adults. Learn more
Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that can impair a person's
ability to think clearly and relate to others. People with
schizophrenia may become withdrawn or have difficulty in everyday
situations. Schizophrenia typically develops in adolescence or early
adulthood, although it may occur later in life. Schizophrenia varies
in severity, can be treated, and recovery is possible.
The National Council is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) association
of 1,950 community health care organizations that provide treatment
and rehabilitation for mental illnesses and addiction disorders to
nearly 6 million adults, children and families in communities across
the country. Learn more at
Sunovion is a leading pharmaceutical company dedicated to
discovering, developing and commercializing therapeutic products
that advance the science of medicine in the central nervous system
and respiratory disease areas and improve the lives of patients and
their families. Sunovion is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of
Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co. Ltd. More information is available at
[Text from file received from
Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois]