Director, Care Coordination Services
HELPING THOSE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS
Fast fact: Haar-Patton’s favorite cartoon growing up? The Care Bears.
Julie Haar-Patton has held several different roles since she started working at Promoting Specialized Care and Health (PSCH) in 2007 as an unlicensed clinician in the psychiatric rehabilitation program. She now supervises Health Home and Assertive Community Treatment teams that provide care coordination services. She manages reporting, staffing, budgeting and quality assurance. Under her management the Care Coordination programs increased their census by 60 percent.
NYN: HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN YOUR FIELD?
JHP: I have friends and family who had been affected by mental health and mental illness over the years. I was just really interested in that interaction between environments and biology and your own personal growth because it seems like sometimes one of those factors can have a much bigger influence on the outcome of somebody’s life or wherever they are in that point of their life. I thought it was really interesting and I knew that people suffering from mental illness definitely needed help and I wanted a job where I was helping people.
NYN: WHAT CHANGE WOULD MOST HELP THE INDIVIDUALS YOUR ORGANIZATION SERVES?
JHP: Right now, we’re just starting to see some genetic testing. Of course we don’t know everything yet, but I think that would save people a lot of suffering and time where somebody’s trying a medication and it doesn’t work, and then they try another one, or the doctor adds one and they have twice the side effects. Being able to screen for a match between somebody’s genes and the medication they’re prescribed would be pretty transformative.
NYN: WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU’D LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH BEFORE YOU RETIRE?
JHP: Right now we’re looking at the reality of value-based payments, and I don’t think anyone really knows what that’s exactly going to look like yet. I think there’s a lot of fears that we won’t be serving the clients the way we were in the past, but there’s also just a financial reality that this is going to happen. If I could help to design some programs that effectively meet clients’ needs maybe even better than we’re doing now, and achieve the results that managed care is looking for in the form of some value-based payments that still allows the agency to be financially viable … I’d be very happy.
NYN: WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOUR JOB?
JHP: There’s a lot of stigma attached to mental illness in general, which of course makes it more difficult to treat and it adds extra trauma for an individual or family who’s trying to cope with it if they feel like they can’t even be open about it or there’s something to be ashamed of. I think people see things in movies and they have an idea of what a crazy person is like, and the people that come into our offices are just like anybody else and they want the same things as anybody else.