Complete Behavioral Health Continuum of Care


Ensure a complete and coordinated Mat-Su Behavioral Health continuum of care based on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Good and Modern Mental Health and Addiction System. This system is illustrated below:


The Behavioral Health Environmental Scan, Report 2 published by the Mat-Su Health Foundation in 2015 outlined gaps in the system and has since funded local agencies to fill some of these gaps:

  • Prevention services – Onward and Upward, CCS Early Learning 
  • Mat-Su Borough School District City of Wasilla Early Intervention services – Sunshine Community Health Center; Mat-Su Health Services 
  • University of Alaska Anchorage, Mat-Su College, Ptarmigan Pediatrics, Set Free, Cook Inlet Tribal Council Inc., several local schools 
  • Detox services – Lazarus Project
  • Treatment for children 0-3 years of age – CODI 
  • Family behavioral health services – CODI, Set Free 
  • Intensive support and recovery services for individuals with mental illness 
  • Integrated primary care and behavioral healthcare – Sunshine Health Clinic, Ptarmigan Pediatrics 
  • Residential adult substance abuse treatment – Set Free Crisis prevention and treatment services – Crisis Intervention Team Coalition 
  • Community Support and Coordination – Fiend to Clean, Alaska Youth and Family Network, My House, Mat-Su High Utilizer Program, Mat-Su Multi-Disciplinary Team

The Foundation also helps providers in the continuum of care stay coordinated by holding quarterly facilitated convenings to seek solutions to identified system problems.

Systems Work

High Utilizer Mat-Su (HUMS) Program

The HUMS Program began in January, 2018 and was created to serve individuals who use the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center Emergency Department frequently. In 2016, 685 patients were seen at the emergency department five or more times in that year. The annual estimated emergency department facility charges per patient was $33,077.

The HUMS program has the following goals:

  • Improve appropriate patient care experience 
  • Decrease inappropriate emergency department and emergency medical services utilization 
  • Improve high utilizer access to appropriate outpatient-based care 
  • Creation of customized patient-specific care plans that will be immediately available to emergency service and outpatient providers throughout the state of Alaska 
  • Improve communication and care management of all entities involved in a particular patient’s care 
  • Reduce cost of care per patient by improving resource utilization

HUMS is managed by LINKS/ADRC and funded by the Mat-Su Health Foundation.

Mat-Su Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT)

Ten local professionals gather monthly to discuss solutions to complex health problems experienced by Mat-Su residents who repeatedly use the emergency department (ED) for their non-emergent health care needs. The team is comprised of members representing the local emergency system (EMS), the emergency department at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center (MSRMC) and the Palmer Therapeutic Court, as well as case managers, information and referral agencies, and local health clinics.

Crisis Intervention Team Training Academy 

In partnership with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority the MSHF sponsored the first Mat-Su training academy in 2017. The Academy brings together law enforcement, mental health and addiction professionals and those who live with mental illness and/or addiction disorders, their families, and other advocates. First responders are trained on how to understand common signs and symptoms of mental illness and co-occurring disorders; recognize when those signs and symptoms represent a crisis situation; safely de-escalate individuals experiencing behavioral health crisis; and utilize community resources and diversion strategies to provide assistance. There will be another training academy offered in 2018.

Behavioral Health Beds at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center

In 2017, Mat-Su Regional Medical Center (https://www.matsuregional.com/), of which the Mat-Su Health Foundation is part-owner, applied for and was approved a Certificate of Need through the State of Alaska to add 36 in-patient behavioral health beds to provide adult psychiatric and substance abuse treatment. Planning for construction of this project is currently under way.

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