UNC Health Care awarded funding from Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust

UNC Health Care has been awarded $374,000 from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust to enhance and expand a novel model of care for patients with serious mental illness. The funding supports the UNC WakeBrook Facility mental health collaborative and its integrated care model which brings together emergency medical services (EMS), behavioral health services and community medicine.

The 24/7 mobile care model is currently available in Wake County to respond to the health needs of any patient in crisis, regardless of their ability to pay. Wake County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has provided 9-1-1 EMS response to over 2,000 patients with a behavioral health crisis and transported approximately 500 of these patients directly to WakeBrook’s acute crisis and assessment services unit instead of a local emergency department. This program has avoided an estimated 2,500 emergency department bed hours and 100 hospital admissions in Wake County, with an estimated savings to payers of $500,000.

With the new funding, the program will be expanded to address the care needs of an estimated 6,500 patients with serious mental illness who live in Wake and Cumberland counties.  

The project team is led by Seth Glickman, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Director of the UNC HCS Office for Population and Value Care, Dr. Brent Myers, Director and Medical Director of Wake County Department of Emergency Medical Services, Dr. Brian Sheitman, Professor of Psychiatry and Medical Director at WakeBrook, and Dr. Beat Steiner, Professor of Family Medicine and Associate Medical Director, WakeBrook Primary Care. Key partners include Wake County EMS, Cape Fear Valley Health System, Community Care of North Carolina, Alliance Behavioral Healthcare, the NC Division of Mental Health, and local and state organizations.  Support for the grant submission was provided by the UNC Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations in University Development and the Center for Innovation of UNC Health Care and UNC School of Medicine. 

THE KATE B. REYNOLDS CHARITABLE TRUST is the legacy of the late Kate Gertrude Bitting Reynolds, who was married to William Neal Reynolds, chairman of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. The Trust’s mission is to improve the quality of life and the quality of health for the financially needy of North Carolina.