LACONIA — Genesis Behavioral Health has been awarded a $1.6 million grant by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that will enable the agency to integrate primary with behavioral health care at sites in Laconia and Plymouth.
Dr. Vladimir Jelnov, medical director at Genesis, explained that individuals with serious mental illness are at greater risk than others from chronic conditions and diseases like obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and diabetes. "It is challenging enough for a person with a thought disorder to manage their illness without the added complication of a chronic health condition," he said, adding that on average the life-span of the mentally ill is shortened by 25 years. "It's our role as providers to ensure we are caring for the whole person," Jelnov continued, "Bringing primary care to the mental health center will hep our patients tremendously."
Gensis will partner with HealthFirst Family Care Center and Mid-State Health Center to offer primary care at each of its sites in Laconia and Plymouth. The project, called OneHeath, is expected to improve outcomes, expand access and reduce costs while providing patients with high quality medical care.
Genesis is designated by the state as the community mental health center serving more than 3,500 children, adults and families in Belknap County and southern Grafton County each year.
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