NaloxBox at WIN Recovery Providing Needed Resource

WIN Recovery, a certified opioid treatment facility operated by Hamilton Center Inc., saw evidence of a community need being met in the first month with the self-service “NaloxBox” added to the outside of its Terre Haute location (located at 86 Wabash Court, just west of the Vigo County Courthouse).  This box distributes naloxone (also known as Narcan) for free to consumers, family members, or anyone from the public on a no questions asked basis. During April, dosages were distributed at a rate of more than one per day – with 31 in all.

Naloxone is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration that is effective in preventing death by rapidly reversing the effects of an overdose from opioids, and doses distributed through the WIN Recovery NaloxBox are administered via nasal spray.

Mark Collins, Chief Clinical Officer for Hamilton Center, admits he and his staff had no idea how much usage the NaloxBox would get in its first month.

“What we do know is that we want to give as many individuals the capability of having Naloxone at their disposal as humanly possible because Naloxone prevents overdose deaths,” he said. “What we’re trying to promote is harm reduction. Most importantly, we want to keep individuals alive, and Naloxone keeps individuals alive.”

Collins termed the volume of dosages distributed as “incredibly beneficial to our community” with hopes of that number increasing as more people are aware of the program.

“Having 31 doses in the first month shows that there’s a need within the community, and hopefully this will continue to decrease the overdose deaths in our communities, which is the ultimate goal” Collins said. “We will continue to advocate for the use of Naloxone within our communities.”

The box was provided by Overdose Lifeline, a non-profit organization which has fought the opioid addiction problem since 2014. Designated HCI/WIN Recovery staff will monitor the box, track its usage, and order free replacement kits as needed from Overdose Lifeline’s Indianapolis office.

State and federal funding has been utilized to cover the cost of the program, with support also coming from the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction.

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Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, IN.  Services are provided to children, adults, and families, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues, as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

WIN Recovery Installs NaloxBox

According to overdoselifeline.org, opioid overdose is the leading cause of death in the United States among adults 50 years old and younger.

WIN Recovery, a certified opioid treatment facility operated by Hamilton Center, Inc., has added another tool in its fight to battle this growing problem by establishing a “NaloxBox” at its Terre Haute location (located at 86 Wabash Court, just west of the Vigo County Courthouse). This box will distribute naloxone (also known as Narcan) for free to consumers, family members, or anyone from the public on a no questions asked basis.

Naloxone is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration that is effective in preventing death by rapidly reversing the effects of an overdose from opioids, and doses distributed through the WIN Recovery NaloxBox will be administered via nasal spray.

The box was provided by Overdose Lifeline, a non-profit organization which has fought the opioid addiction problem since 2014. Designated HCI/WIN Recovery staff will monitor the box, track its usage, and order free replacement kits as needed from Overdose Lifeline’s Indianapolis office. State and federal funding has been utilized to cover the cost of the program, with support also coming from the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction.

“The NaloxBox mission is to improve the capacity of bystander rescuers to save the lives of victims of opioid overdose with overdose response tools, including naloxone,” Overdose Lifeline states on its website.

Natasha Newcomb, WIN Recovery’s deputy chief of addiction and substance abuse services, is pleased to add this naloxone distribution method to its many ways of assisting those in need.

“We know and understand that when somebody has addiction problems, they can’t always just quit,” Newcomb said. “They may want to quit, they may have tried, and they may have struggled – but sometimes they just can’t stop. Narcan is a way for them to help save their life or the life of somebody they love.”

Newcomb emphasized that the person getting the Narcan from the Naloxbox may not be the person experiencing addiction.

“It may be for their brother, their sister, their girlfriend, or their child,” she said. “It’s important to recognize that that while the box is there for people who are using substances, it is also there for people who have a loved one they are trying to save.”

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that Vigo County had 179 patients admitted into emergency departments for treatment for overdoses, while 24 fatal cases were recorded.

Newcomb acknowledged someone using drugs might not to want to seek help from law enforcement or a hospital due to potential legal repercussions.

“Historically in our society, and even today, if somebody called the police because they were overdosing there’s a chance that after they were taken care of at the hospital they’d be taken to jail,” she said. “If somebody is overdosing, then they obviously have paraphernalia there, or they have substances on them because they’ve been using. People are hesitant to contact the police or go to the emergency room for the same reason. The Naloxbox removes that step.”

Newcomb noted that if someone is at a point where they think they’re going to overdose, they need to seek medical attention whether they have access to Narcan or not.

One particularly vulnerable segment of society who could benefit from the Naloxbox consists of people who have been released from incarceration.

“Individuals who return to the community after being incarcerated are 129 times more likely to suffer an overdose than the general population,” according to Overdose Lifeline. “The NaloxBox provides easy, stigma-free access to lifesaving medication – completely free of charge.”

Newcomb added that there is no limit to the number of dosages someone can receive from the Naloxbox, although hoarding is unlikely since the product has no street value. She said in some circumstances people may need to get multiple applications.

“You can’t abuse Narcan or get high from it,” she said. “People can take as many as they need. It may be that that one person takes four doses, but that person may live in a household with three other people who abuse opioids, and they may need one for each person in their household. Maybe they’re going to keep them handy because three of their friends have overdosed in the past week.”

“That’s the reality of what some of these people are seeing and living with.”

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Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, IN.  Services are provided to children, adults, and families, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues, as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

Hamilton Center, Inc. Celebrates International Women’s Day

Employees get afternoon off to celebrate Women in their lives.

Hamilton Center Inc. employees, throughout the region, will participate in an International Women’s Day program from 8am to 10am March 8, 2022, with the theme of #BreakTheBias.  After the virtual program, they will enjoy the remainder of the day off to celebrate with women in their lives or celebrate Women’s Day in their own way.   

The event was created last year by the organization’s President/CEO, Melvin L. Burks, who felt the day should be recognized by all.  “Women have played a critical role in my life,” he stated.  “Particularly my mother and grandmother who laid the foundation for my life.” 

Hamilton Center’s program will include some short videos and presentations from three accomplished women, from three different generations, with unique perspectives and journeys as women.   

Christine Pace is a first-generation college student from Chicago, Illinois. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development & Family Studies from Indiana State University, and she is currently pursuing her Master’s degree at ISU in Student Affairs and Higher Education. While attending Indiana State, she has been highly involved with many student organizations and held a variety of leadership roles. In addition, she has also worked with the ISU mentoring center, ISU counseling center, Residential Life, and, currently, The African American Cultural Center.  

LaSandra Edwards is a Civil Engineer with 20 years of engineering experience in wastewater collection, wastewater treatment, and water resources. She has provided civil design, GIS coordination, and drawing production for some of the more complex projects in the Sacramento, CA region. She was a first-generation college graduate in the fourth graduating class (2002) of Rose Hulman Institute of Technology that included women. She was 1 of 5 woman in the civil engineering graduating class.  

Dororthy Jerse  is a native of Des Plaines, Illinois, but has lived in her adopted city of Terre Haute for close to 60 years. At age 49, she graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College with a Bachelor’s degree in American history and communication.  Dorothy was the former curator of the Vigo County Historical Society and executive director of the former Terre Haute YWCA.  The author or coauthor of seven local history publications and formerly a freelance writer for the Tribune-Star and Terre Haute Living magazine, she has conducted almost 2,000 interviews and claims “working people are my heroes.”  Dorothy is a mother of four accomplished children, six grandchildren and one great grandchild. 

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Hamilton Center Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in central and west central Indiana. The organization employs over 630 staff regionally and serves over 13,000 consumers annually. The full continuum of mental health and addiction services is provided birth through older adulthood.  The organization recently added primary care to its service array. Grace Clinic Health Professional is located in Vigo and Putnam counties and provides primary care services to children and adults. For additional information on Hamilton Center services call 800-742-0787.

“Improved Access”, a focus at Hamilton Center

Grace Clinic Acquires Mobile Clinic through American Rescue Plan

Hamilton Center, Inc. is proud to announce the implementation of a new mobile primary care clinic.  Grace Clinic Health Professional, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Look-Alike supported by the federal government and Hamilton Center in Terre Haute, Indiana, will be expanding the clinic’s services to outlying and underserved areas.  The medically equipped mobile vehicle will reduce obstacles many people experience with lack of transportation to access medical care. The mobile clinic will provide health screenings, primary medical care, and preventative care to children and adults. 

Future expansion plans include COVID-19 testing and vaccination at some of Hamilton Center’s 24 hour service sites, vaccine-related outreach and education, services to racial and ethnic minorities and homeless families, and other vulnerable, underserved, and underinsured/uninsured populations.  The mobile clinic launch is slated for later this month with hours mirroring that of Grace Clinic Health Professional’s clinic – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Funded by the American Rescue Plan, a federal grant designed to help Americans recover from economic and health effects brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Grace Clinic’s new mobile services will accommodate a larger footprint and ease the struggles of many for whom a trip to see their provider is challenging.

“Improving access to care for those who find it difficult to get to a medical clinic is a driving force of this new program,” said Melvin L Burks, CEO of Hamilton Center, Inc.  “We are working to improve the overall health of our consumers and community,” he stated. 

Since receiving FQHC Look-Alike status in 2020, Grace Clinic Health Professional’s focus is on providing primary medical care to those who have obstacles to services. In particular, the clinic works to bring integrated healthcare to those with mental illnesses and addiction issues as well as groups of people with other health conditions.  In addition, the clinic maintains a sliding fee schedule, and no one will be turned away for inability to pay. 

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, IN.  Services are provided to children, adults and families, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues, as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

For an appointment at Grace Clinic Health Professional, call (812) 231-8377.

Hamilton Center Receives LCC Grant for Addictions Treatment

Matrix Scholarships, Materials, and Equipment

Hamilton Center, Inc. has been awarded a grant from the Owen County Local Coordinating Council (LCC) and the Owen County Drug Free You & Me initiative that will fund addictions treatment scholarships for 12-15 individuals, as well as training for 2 staff members in Relapse Prevention. Through certification of The Matrix Model, Hamilton Center provides an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) which runs three times a week. The programming uses technology to deliver and enhance treatment through presentations, programming videos, and Motivational Interviewing. In 2018, Hamilton Center was designated as the first certified site for The Matrix Model in the state of Indiana, achieving a three-year Certification with Excellence.

The Matrix scholarships will remove the financial barrier to addictions treatments. Hamilton Center has state-certified navigators who can help those who are in need of services complete a health insurance application to obtain insurance that would potentially cover all their health care needs. “This process can take weeks, if not months, to complete and often presents an overwhelming financial barrier in seeking treatment,” said Cindy Rotman, Program Manager, Hamilton Center, Inc., Owen County. “Support from the Owen County LCC Drug Free Community Fund will help offset costs of Matrix programming, allowing consumers to receive the treatment they need in a timely manner, which can be crucial in the process of recovery from addiction,” added Mrs. Rotman.

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, IN. Services are provided to children, youth and adults, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

For information on Hamilton Center Services call (800) 742-0787.

Hamilton Center Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Commemorates half-century of efforts to improve mental health care

Terre Haute, IN – In 2021, Hamilton Center, Inc. commemorates its 50th anniversary. Founded in 1971, originally as Katherine Hamilton Mental Health Center, the organization has served communities and individuals across west central Indiana with progressive and community-focused behavioral health services.


“Hamilton Center, with the help of committed community partners, has advanced behavioral health and addiction treatment,” said Melvin L Burks, CEO of Hamilton Center, Inc. “Our long standing philosophy of “least restrictive care” has assisted those with severe mental illnesses and chronic addiction issues to live successfully and independently in their home communities. Hope has often been restored, quality of life enhanced, and in many cases, lives have been saved.”


Then and Now:

In the late 1950’s, Katherine Hamilton, like many caregivers during that time, was faced with the reality of an inadequate mental health system that focused on institutionalized care. Her sister was struggling with severe mental illness (schizophrenia), and professionals did not provide much hope. After handing her sister over to a long-term care facility, with minimal knowledge or influence over the quality of care she would receive, she began to work to improve conditions and services for those with mental illnesses. Her work nationally and statewide would serve as a foundation for progress in treatment.


After the Community Mental Health Center Act passed in 1963, Indiana began working to establish community based treatment. After immense community organizing and fundraising, the Katherine Hamilton Mental Health Center opened its doors at 620 8th Ave, Terre Haute in February 1971. People in the area were now able to seek services close to home rather than traveling to larger cities.


“That history, is the story of citizens, volunteers and professionals… infused with the belief that mental illness was a major illness in a community and that the dire lack of facilities of treament could be corrected. They believed that through community organization, this could be accomplished.”

-History of Hamilton Center

Key historical highlights include:
• 1967 Katherine Hamilton Mental Health Center became a not-for-profit corporation
• 1971 Main campus opened – 620 8th Ave.
• 1972 Developmental disability services added
• 1973 Clay, Parke, Sullivan, and Vermillion Counties offices opened
• 1975 Greene County office opened
• 1976 Children’s services offered
• 1978 Residential services added
• 1981 Katherine Hamilton Mental Health Center changed to Hamilton Center Inc.
• 1986 Employment services added
• 1987 Child & Adolescent Services moves to new 500 8th Ave. building
• 1993 Healthy Families program opened
• 1995 Owen County services established
• 1995 Early Head Start services established
• 1997 Indianapolis office opened
• 1998 Putnam County office opened
• 2000 Bloomfield office opened
• 2012 HCI Foundation created
• 2017 Clubhouse services began
• 2018 WIN Recovery opened in Vigo County
• 2019 Grace Clinic Health Professional opened
• 2020 WIN Recovery offices opened in Knox and Hendricks Counties
• 2020 FQHC Look-Alike designation
• 2020 Received Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC) grant


Since 1971, Hamilton Center, Inc. has pursued a mission to provide quality behavioral healthcare, wellness, and human development services to the community by expanding behavioral health services to 21 locations across 11 counties in west central Indiana. Today, employing over 650 individuals, this regional organization has grown to include a comprehensive system of care including whole person wellness through integrated behavioral and primary healthcare services and a large menu of programs serving children and families. In addition, Hamilton Center hosts a number of beloved community events, support drives, and social justice initiatives further advancing its vision of excellence in behavioral health services through compassion, customer responsiveness, innovation, and flexibility.


“I speak for every employee, current and past, when I say thank you central and west central Indiana for your support and the privilege of serving our communities,” said Burks.


A Golden Year of Celebrations:


In celebration of its achievements, Hamilton Center will host a series of exciting opportunities to share with the community the milestones and challenges of the last half-century while looking forward to future opportunities. Here is what to look for:


• Proclamation of Hamilton Center, Inc. Day – On February 18, Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennet will be a guest on Facebook Live with Melvin L, and recognize Hamilton Center, Inc. for its 50 years of commitment to improving access and care to those struggling with mental illness.

• Free suicide prevention training to community organizations. To learn more go to trainingourcommunity.org.


• Moments in Time: Hamilton Center through the Years – Throughout the year, themed in accordance with national holidays and monthly observances, the organization will release content across a variety of platforms recognizing significant advances in behavioral healthcare and its own corporate history.


• The Annual Hamilton Awards Dinner – Hamilton Center, Inc. will conduct nominations for the Hamilton Awards beginning in fall of 2021, announcing winners on October 26, 2021 at the Annual Dinner. More information about the event will be released in early fall.

WIN Recovery, Hendricks – Now Open

Hamilton Center, Inc.’s Certified Opioid Treatment Program to serve adults with opioid use disorder

October 26, 2020 Plainfield, IN- Hamilton Center, Inc., an Indiana community mental health center, is now accepting patients at its newest opioid treatment program (OTP) facility, WIN Recovery, located at 401 Plainfield Commons Dr., Plainfield, IN.  This clinic is the third clinic opened by Hamilton Center.  Other clinics are located in Terre Haute and Vincennes.

The clinic will provide comprehensive treatment for adults 18 years of age and older who are struggling with addiction to heroin or other opioids such as prescription pain medication. The program provides daily medication (Methadone) coupled with individual and group therapy and case management services to treat each individual’s unique needs.

The office will be open from 6:00 am – 2:30 pm. New patients are welcome to walk in without an appointment between 6:00 a.m. – 12:00 pm or can call toll free 833-232-0215 or 317-268-2941 to make an appointment. The clinic is open 7 days a week including weekend and holidays.

Methadone is a medication administered daily under monitored, controlled conditions. It has been utilized for years with a great deal of research determining its safety and effectiveness. Once patients begin taking methadone at appropriate levels, withdrawal is avoided, cravings are minimized and physical and mental stabilization occurs. “That is when the real recovery begins,” said Jessica Nevill, LMHC, WIN Recovery’s Clinical Director. 

Hamilton Center, Inc. secured a license from the State of Indiana to open the Hendricks county opioid treatment program in November 2018. The $500,000 construction/renovation project concluded this month. The facility is nearly 6,000 square feet, includes nearly 1300 square foot of waiting area and six bathrooms. The clinical area offers six medication-dosing stations, separate drug screening rooms, one medical examination room, 14 offices and two group-counseling rooms. Black and white photography of local landmarks adorn the walls, which were secured through assistance from the Knox County Public Library and Terre Haute photographer Wayne Jordan.

In 2018, 70 percent of all drug overdoses involved an opioid. In that same year, there were 65.8 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons, 14.4 more prescriptions per 100 persons than the national average of 51.4.

“Unfortunately Indiana residents have been greatly impacted by the opioid epidemic, certainly more so than many other states,” said Melvin L Burks, CEO of Hamilton Center, Inc. and Program Sponsor of WIN Recovery. “We are truly privileged to partner with the State in their goal of establishing one of these programs within an hour’s drive any person in our state.”

“This facility is not only providing treatment to individuals with opioid use disorder, but is also offering education to the community and combatting the many stigmas associated with opioid use disorder,” said DJ Rhodes, Chief of Opioid Treatment at Hamilton Center Inc.  “At WIN Recovery we believe that Opioid Use Disorder is a disease; treatment works and recovery is possible,” he added.

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana. The organization provides service regionally to 12,000 clients annually.  For additional information on Hamilton Center Inc., call 800-742-0787. For additional information on WIN Recovery, call (833) 232-0215 or visit winrecovery.org.

WIN Recovery, Hendricks County Ribbon Cutting

Hamilton Center, Inc.’s Certified Opioid Treatment Program to serve adults with opioid use disorder

October 16, 2020 Plainfield, IN- Hamilton Center, Inc., an Indiana community mental health center, announced the opening of its newest certified opioid treatment program, WIN Recovery at 401 Plainfield Commons Dr., Plainfield, IN.  This clinic is the third clinic opened by Hamilton Center.  Other clinics are located in Terre Haute and Vincennes. 

The Hendricks county clinic is awaiting Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) certification which is estimated to occur early next week. Once secured the office will be open for patients.

Hamilton Center Inc. secured a license from the State of Indiana to open the Hendricks county opioid treatment program in November, 2018. The $500,000 construction/renovation project concluded this month.   The facility is nearly 6,000 square feet, includes nearly 1300 square foot of waiting area and six bathrooms. The clinical area offers six medication-dosing stations, separate drug screening rooms, one medical examination room, 14 offices and two group counseling rooms. Black and white photography of local landmarks adorn the walls, which were secured through assistance from the Knox County Public Library and Terre Haute photographer Wayne Jordan.

The clinic will provide comprehensive treatment for adults 18 years of age and older who are struggling with addiction to heroin or other opioids such as prescription pain medication. The program provides daily medication (Methadone) coupled with individual and group therapy and case management services to treat each individual’s unique needs.

 “We are privileged to serve the Hendricks county community and those communities in the surrounding area,” said Melvin L Burks, CEO of Hamilton Center, Inc. “Our facility offers a professional environment where those struggling with opioid addictions can seek help and receive safe, effective treatment.”

“Governor Eric Holcomb and I thank Hamilton Center, Inc. for helping us move closer to our goal of placing an opioid treatment program within an hour’s drive of every Hoosier,” said Douglas Huntsinger, Indiana Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement. “As Hoosiers work to recover from this disease, it is extremely important that we continue to expand access to the full continuum of care for substance use disorder in Indiana, including access to medication for opioid use disorder.”

The office will be open from 6:00 am – 2:30 pm.  New patients are welcome to walk in without an appointment between 6:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. or can call toll free 833-232-0215 or 317-268-2941 to make an appointment. The clinic is open 7 days a week including weekend and holidays.

Methadone is a medication administered daily under monitored, controlled conditions. It has been utilized for years with a great deal of research determining its safety and effectiveness. Once patients begin taking methadone at appropriate levels, withdrawal is avoided, cravings are minimized and physical and mental stabilization occurs. “That is when the real recovery begins,” said Jessica Nevill, LMHC, WIN Recovery’s Clinical Director. 

“The combination of medication and behavioral health interventions is the most effective in combating this disease,” said DJ Rhodes, Chief of Opioid Treatment at Hamilton Center Inc.  “Opioid Use Disorder is a disease; treatment works and recovery is absolutely possible,” he added.

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana. The organization provides service regionally to 13,000 clients annually.  For additional information on Hamilton Center Inc., call 800-742-0787. For additional information on WIN Recovery call (833) 232-0215 or visit www.winrecovery.org.

Hamilton Center Adapts to Meet Needs of Community, Those in Crisis

Focuses on coordination of care for those with mental illness.

Hamilton Center, Inc. was established as a community mental health center in 1971, and as such has been providing quality behavioral health, wellness and human development services to central and west central Indiana. The organization’s vision is to advance excellence in behavioral health services through compassion, customer responsiveness, innovation, and flexibility.

“Both our mission and our vision have always been guiding principles for our organization but took on a new light this past year, both in response to the needs of our consumers and to the needs of our community in the wake of COVID-19,” said Melvin L Burks, CEO of Hamilton Center, Inc. “Mental health has been placed at the forefront of the social conversation around wellness, especially since the beginning of social distancing guidelines and practices.”

In fiscal year 2020 the organization served over 12,300 individuals across its traditional 10-county service area, which expanded to 11 counties in May 2020 with the addition of Knox County’s WIN Recovery, a state certified opioid treatment program. Of those individuals served by the organization, 42 percent live in Vigo County and 79 percent of those served had incomes of less than $8,000 per year. “Hamilton Center serves some of the most vulnerable Hoosiers”, said Burks.  “We are grateful to our community partners, grantors and others for their support.” He said. 

In addition, last fiscal year, the organization delivered 264,548 outpatient visits, 5,246 inpatient days and 13,679 residential days.

Coordination of Care

In moments of crisis, no one should have to navigate the complex web of the healthcare system alone. To assist the community, individuals, and families with these issues Hamilton Center has focused efforts around coordination of care, specifically for those struggling with mental illness.

“This is a powerful goal to aspire towards, however, the resources and coordination required to make this possible for those in crisis can present a seemingly insurmountable challenge for many,” said Burks.

In response to barriers to treatment of mental and physical health conditions, the organization has made efforts to not only increase access to services but to also establish coordination of comprehensive holistic care for individuals and families.

In June 2020, the organization was awarded a two year $3.75 million grant through the Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC) Expansion Grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The grant is a part of the center’s broader strategic plan to acquire the CCBHC designation and has three primary components.

As one component of the grant, Hamilton Center will establish a 24-hr mobile crisis unit. This service will work alongside local authorities to deliver crisis services to those most in need as well as assist them in accessing services during their most vulnerable times. One of the goals of the program is to relieve some of the mental health crisis demands on local authorities and ERs. “We want to connect individuals to the most appropriate services to maximize care and recovery,” said Mark Collin, Chief Clinical Officer. “In the case of a mental health crisis, crisis management and behavioral health services are the most appropriate services.”

Last month, the mobile crisis unit began delivering services in Terre Haute, and will continue to scale gradually, with the ultimate goal of reaching an additional 475 children and adults in the next two years.

Another component is the implementation of the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) model. This model of treatment, an evidence-based approach, will establish an intensive team of health professionals with a primary focus on collaboratively assisting people with serious mental illnesses in becoming independent and integrating into the community.

Additionally, the grant will enhance Hamilton Center ‘s capacity to offer mental health and primary health screenings for both children and adults. Through this integrated system of care, individuals can begin to address their issues in a holistic way, promoting higher rates of recovery and, most importantly, wellness.

“We are committed to excellence in care coordination, and we welcome additional conversations with leaders and partners committed to helping our team continue to improve along the way,” said Burks.

Integrating primary and behavioral health

Grace Clinic Health Professional now open

Removing barriers to treatment is another key component in addressing the health needs of a community. Grace Clinic Health Professional, the organization’s primary health care clinic, is now serving consumers at two locations – one at Vigo County located at 622 8th Avenue in Terre Haute, IN and the other at 239 Hillsdale Avenue, Suite A in Greencastle, IN. In August, the clinic was designated as a Federally Quality Health Center (FQHC) Look-alike by the Human Resources & Services Administration (HRSA). This designation allows the organization opportunities to develop and implement services required to meet the full qualifications for designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center. Together FQHCs and FQHC Look-alikes work to ensure health care for the Nation’s underserved communities and vulnerable populations through service provision to all. No one is turned away regardless of ability to pay.

Hamilton Center for years had recognized that very often those who were seeking intensive mental health or substance abuse services lacked primary care. This was due to lack of financial resources, access, transportation, or their mental illness being an obstacle for seeking other health services. At times these individuals would end up in less than appropriate levels of care such as emergency rooms.

Grace Clinic addresses these issues by providing holistic patient care, to men, women, and children who are underserved, underinsured, or without the ability to pay for quality healthcare. Experts agree that the body and mind are connected, so it is not uncommon for one’s mental health to effect other parts of the body and vice versa. Grace Clinic works to improve the overall health of patients by ensuring preventative care and early detection and management of chronic health diseases. In addition to primary care, the clinic also offers some behavioral health services and has the ability to refer to Hamilton Center for more intensive mental health and substance abuse services.

In fiscal year 2020, Hamilton Center/Grace Clinic provided 3,489 primary care visits.

Telehealth Services

Another component of the organization’s strategic plan is a continued expansion of telehealth services. Telehealth services is the use of video conferencing, electronic monitoring, and teleconferencing to deliver health services. Telehealth has exploded in the health care field. In fact, in 2017, 76 percent of all hospitals had established a telehealth system.

Limited access to health care has been a primary focus of both federal and state governments. Currently, Hamilton Center serves ten counties with behavioral health services and nine of those are considered mental health professional shortage areas (MHPSA) by HRSA. Telehealth services can be a valuable tool in those areas by perhaps having a therapist from an urban areas deliver services by telehealth to a consumer in rural Indiana where therapists are scarce.

And then came the coronavirus and social distancing guidelines which took telehealth services at Hamilton Center to new heights. From March, 2020 to the present, it is the preferred means of delivering outpatient behavioral health and substance abuse services. The organization has the majority of staff working from home who connect with clients electronically each day.  

“Telehealth has always been a valuable tool utilized by our organization, specifically in addressing the mental health needs of rural communities,” said Burks. “When COVID-19 hit, and social distancing became the way of life, our entire organization adapted to those demands quickly and efficiency.”

In fiscal year 2020, 24% of services delivered at Hamilton Center were by telehealth.

Connecting to the Community

Diversity Walk on Wheels and We Live events continue

On Saturday, August 22 the Diversity Walk-On-Wheels, pulled out of Fairbanks Park with over 120 cars parading across town to Indiana State’s Memorial Football Stadium. While at the stadium, Burks along with other dignitaries, delivered a presentation on diversity, inclusion and equity in the community, while also addressing the many Social Justice movements sweeping the country.

“The Diversity Walk was created to bring a diverse group of people together to break down barriers, build relationships and show what is possible when a community is welcoming to all,” said Burks. “Our goal was to offer individuals the opportunity to show their support for social justice in a positive and safe way.”

On Friday August 21, Hamilton Center and event sponsors, First Farmers Bank & Trust and Children’s Bureau, Inc., worked with community partners to deliver over $6,000 in schools supplies to both Benjamin Franklin and Deming Elementary Schools. Over 700 individual bags of supplies were delivered to the school for them to distribute to their student body. In addition, each school received $500 in additional support for the school year.

“On behalf of our entire organization, our board of directors and myself – from the bottom of my heart – I thank everyone for their efforts in making these events happen,” said Burks. “I consider the collaboration it took to execute these events in such complex circumstances, to be a testament to our commitment to each other.”

* * *

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana headquartered in Terre Haute Services include specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people with drug and alcohol problems. Counseling services are provided for people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

Hamilton Center Receives FQHC Look-alike Designation

Establishes one-stop-shop for all health care needs

Hamilton Center, Inc. has been designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Look-Alike through the Health Center Program of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The FQHC Look-Alike status allows organizations opportunities to develop and implement services required to meet the full qualifications for designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center. Together FQHCs and FQHC Look-alikes work to ensure health care for the Nation’s underserved communities and vulnerable populations through service provision to all, regardless of ability to pay.

“It is critical that we work to maximize access to care for medically underserved populations,” said Melvin L Burks, CEO of Hamilton Center, Inc. “This designation will provide us access to tools to do that with less barriers.”

Seeking this designation is a part of Hamilton Center’s strategic plan to address barriers to health care and to provide primary and behavioral health care integration.  In an effort to provide primary care services the organization opened Grace Clinic Health Professional in 2019 in two locations in west central Indiana. One serves Vigo County at 622 Eighth Avenue in Terre Haute, IN, and the other serves Putnam County at 239 Hillsdale Ave, Suite A in Greencastle, IN. The program is now serving adults, children, and families with primary health and behavioral healthcare in a single location.

Health Center’s across the country – totaling 12,000 unique service locations – deliver care to the Nation’s most vulnerable populations. According to HRSA, 1 in 12 individuals nation-wide – more than 28 million people – rely on HRSA-funded health centers for affordable, accessible primary health care. That’s one in nine children, one in five rural residents, and more than 385,000 veterans from across the country.

“Hamilton Center’s mission always included serving populations of our community that lack access to health care of any kind, whether that be due to financial barriers, transportation barriers, or social barriers,” said Dr. DJ Rhodes, Hamilton Center’s Chief of Health Clinic Services.  “This designation is a turning point in our ability to provide safety net services.” FQHC Look-alikes are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), discounted drugs through the 340B Federal Drug Pricing Program, receive automatic Health Professional Shortage Area designation, and may access National Health Service Corps providers.

Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, IN.  Services are provided to children, youth and adults, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.

For questions or inquiries about services call (812)-231-8323 or visit www.hamiltoncenter.org.