We all need to take care of both our physical and behavioral health needs in order to be healthy. The mind and body aren’t separated- and neither should the health-care delivery system- especially for folks with a serious mental illness. Folks with a serious mental illness die more than 25 years earlier than the general population… an unacceptable health disparity in anybody’s book. The increased mortality is largely from treatable medical conditions caused by modifiable risk factors like smoking, obesity, substance abuse, and not accessing primary and acute medical care.
We recognized the need to address this unacceptable health disparity when we put together our Strategic Map and Plan. It’s been a long haul and a lot of work- and we passed a major milestone this week when we released our Request For Proposal (otherwise known as RFP) for the delivery of behavioral health services in Maricopa County. The entity that ends up getting the contract will be responsible for delivering both preventative, acute and primary care along with Recovery-based behavioral health services for folks in the public behavioral health system in Maricopa County. The new contract is scheduled to start on 10/1/13.
It’s difficult to put into words how much work has gone into this solicitation. I know that many of you put this work on top of all your normal work, had put off other projects, and sacrificed some of your home-life for this product- and I just really want you to know that I appreciate it. It’s going to save lives. You can check out the full solicitation on the State’s Procurement website hub- called ProcureAZ.