Rosecrance a partner in new care connection program

Rosecrance joins several community partners for a new pilot program that aims to connect people with the right resources so they can maintain independence and avoid institutionalization.

Illinois officials picked the Rockford region to participate in the program. The project is funded by a federal grant through the Balancing Incentive Program (BIP).

In addition to Rosecrance, the partners in the grant are: RAMP, Visiting Nurses Association, Northern Illinois Area Agency on Aging, Rockford Housing Authority and Rockford Memorial Hospital.

The goal is to improve access to home and community-based services from the hospital or from a short-term nursing home stay. Oftentimes, accessing these services can be overwhelming for patients and their families.

The grant partners will help connect people – the elderly, people with disabilities and/or mental illness – with needed services such as housing, assistive equipment, home modifications, counseling, mental health services and more.

Rosecrance will provide behavioral health counseling and therapy for patients leaving hospitals or nursing homes. If the person is homeless, the organization will provide the support needed to find housing.

“We’ve been in the business of mental health in the community for many, many years and because of our network with the housing programs and the behavioral health component, we have the ability to work closely together to make sure all of the needs are met,” said Kathy Grossen, Rosecrance’s coordinator of homeless services. “With this grant, all of these agencies are going to coordinate together so we can break down those barriers to putting the pieces together.”

The grant provides a much-needed funding boost at a time when many of the agencies have experienced budget cuts in recent years.

“When you’ve just had a heart attack, or you’re in psychiatric crisis, or you’ve just had a broken hip, you’ve got to make a quick decision,” Grossen said. “And you don’t have time to make multiple phone calls. Having a case manager who’s right at your bedside who says, ‘I can link all these things up for you before you leave,’ that will make your life so much easier. That is a huge difference that isn’t there without this grant.”

Visiting Nurses Association wrote and is facilitating the grant.

“Without a doubt, we know we’ll make a difference,” said Denise Schrader, executive director of Visiting Nurses Association. “People want to be living at home.

“This is a great opportunity for our community.”