Abbe Center Reduces Patient Waiting Through New Scheduling Model

Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation | August 8th, 2014

Abbe CenterThe dedicated staff at Abbe Center for Community Mental Health works to improve lives in the community through advocacy, support and the integration of mental health and wellness services. The organization provides mental health treatment services as well as integrated healthcare coordination for thousands of Linn, Benton, Jones, Buchanan, Delaware and Fayette County residents.


Over the years, Abbe Center has turned to the Community Foundation in a variety of ways for support of the organizational mission.


“The Community Foundation has been a strong supporter of mental healthcare services in the community, at both the individual level and the community needs level,” said Cindy Kaestner, Abbe Center VP/Executive Director. “The Community Foundation understands that healthy and vibrant communities include support for diverse needs in the health and human service environments. And we have been able to provide community outreach services and individual treatment services through multiple (Community Foundation) funding opportunities.”


In recent years, Abbe Center has faced cutbacks in government funding while the need for its services in the community remain critical. The organization was able to turn to the Community Foundation for support in the changing funding environment.


“In recent years we have experienced funding cuts that would have resulted in the discontinuation of needed services to individuals in our community,” Kaestner said. “During that time, a President’s Fund grant from the Community Foundation helped fill a gap that kept services available without interruption.”


In 2013, Abbe Center also received an organizational development grant from the Community Foundation to help increase its capacity to provide same day mental health treatment to clients. The vision was to become “right service at the right time”. In order to achieve this goal, staff members at Abbe Center underwent a training process to develop the service scheduling model so individuals would not have to wait long to receive care.


Abbe Center made huge strides in achieving this goal just three months after training and implementation. The organization reduced the waiting period for patients in need of psychiatric evaluation from 90 days between initial request and evaluation to just five to ten days.


Kaestner and her staff are grateful for continued support from the Community Foundation in helping to achieve its mission. “When individuals are able to live successfully in our community, that leads to a healthier outcome for both the individual and the community.”

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