CFC Conducts First Telehealth Counseling Session

CFC Conducts First Telehealth Counseling Session in Monroe County Monday, September 23, 2019

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On Sept 3, 2019, Catholic Family Center (CFC) started offering Telehealth services, including Telemedicine consultations between CFC physicians at our clinic locations at 79 and 87 North Clinton Avenue and our Intensive Residential Treatment Center locations in Monroe and Wayne counties.

This project is the result of funding provided to CFC by a Greater Rochester Health Foundation Opportunity Grant in 2018. With the implementation of Telehealth services, the clients at our Intensive Residential Treatment Centers can benefit by seeing their providers remotely without leaving the treatment center. It also benefits the Catholic Family Center providers who can now see clients at multiple Intensive Residential Treatment Centers without having to leave their office.

How the therapeutic relationship works with Telehealth

Thanks to improvements in Video-Conferencing Technology and broadband connectivity, it is now possible to present clinical consultations over a video conferencing link. Clinical trials have shown this approach to be as effective as face-to-face consultations.

Efficient and effective clinical experience for both the patient and the provider

Because these consultations can now happen remotely, the provider is able to literally see a patient at the earliest available opportunity. According to a residential client who participated in one of our first telehealth sessions, “It worked for me. It was important to see my doctor’s face, and I did. I was able to start my treatment right away.” In cases where an individual is in a residential setting, the first several days are filled with intake meetings and establishing a routine and goal plan; leaving the safe environment of a treatment residence may not be in the best interest of the client or their family in this time of transition. “When scheduling caseloads for our clinicians, we will typically fill unanticipated openings with a client who is available. Telehealth services gives access to client populations who might otherwise delay initiating their care plan by weeks or more,” adds Kristie Elias, Vice President of Behavioral Health Services at CFC.

The future

Additional extension of tele-practice may include identifying rural sites where this could add value to services being offered by the Greater Rochester Health Foundation and Catholic Charities Agencies. In many counties, clients are waiting weeks and months to see one of a handful of psychiatric providers who serve them, and a few extra hours of provider time in those areas could make a world of difference in the speed and accessibility of stabilizing interventions.

This service is supported by a grant from Greater Rochester Health Foundation.

About Greater Rochester Health Foundation: The mission of Greater Rochester Health Foundation is to improve the health status of residents of the Greater Rochester community, including people whose unique health care needs have not been met because of race, ethnicity, or income.

About Catholic Family Center: Catholic Family Center (CFC) is Greater Rochester’s largest provider of comprehensive family services. Each year we assist tens of thousands of our neighbors, relatives and friends as they work to remain or become healthy, productive, participating members of our community. We serve all people—regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, age, ability or gender. Our programs work together to address the many issues of human need across all stages of life.