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MENTAL HEALTH: Optum provides innovative vision

Letter by Bea Dixon, Tacoma on April 5, 2013 at 10:18 am | No Comments »
April 5, 2013 1:07 pm

Re: “Mental health provider scrutinized” (TNT, 3-31).

The Optum Pierce RSN (regional support network) I know consists of individuals with the “right stuff.”

In a public mental health sector that is desperate for encouragement and innovation, they demonstrate the ability of boldness and daring to both excite and perform. They offer a platform to start connecting in new ways. They encourage us to focus less on the mental illness and more on the person with the illness who can recover. How inspiring!

They invite us to form a dynamic co-creative group of providers that is solution-focused. How motivating!

Leading change in public mental health is both absolutely essential and incredibly difficult, particularly for a “for profit” organization. I am, however, not the only provider who welcomes the dynamics and processes of an RSN that runs as a business.

Rigorous data analysis, performance management, accountability, consolidation of our improvements and producing still more change: How refreshing!

What I also see is that with good business results, more resources are available to help make changes. Many of us are operating new programs that are supported by Optum’s community reinvestment funds. More programs, not fewer: Hallelujah!

You want to innovate the system? Please make an effort to find what’s hiding in plain sight. And please respond to Optum and our provider group’s open invitation to collectively solve the many problems our community is faced with.

(Bea Dixon is a regional administrator with Recovery Innovations, a Phoenix-based company that works with OptumHealth to provide mental health services in Pierce County.)

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