- Associated Press - Sunday, August 27, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A clinic in central Illinois is working to provide better basic health care for people who suffer from mental illnesses.

The Integrated Wellness Clinic in Springfield is operated by the Memorial Behavioral Health in partnership with Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, The State Journal-Register reported. Memorial Behavioral Health received a four-year grant that provides $400,000 a year from the federal $400,000.

Jan Gambach, president of Memorial Behavioral Health, the Memorial Behavioral Health and SIU are already prepping the clinic for when the grant expires, with reimbursements from the Medicaid program and ongoing federal grant funding to SIU’s “federally qualified health center.”

Gambach said the clinic is aiming to help its patients live longer, healthier lives and save on health care costs.

“This is a national movement that we’re part of,” Gambach told The State-Journal in Springfield. “It’s really a cutting-edge model.”

Mark Moranville, health care integration project manager for Memorial Behavioral Health, said people who suffer mental illness on average die 25 years sooner than people without mental illness, because of chronic non-mental illnesses that go undetected or untreated for years.

The clinic has treated nearly 700 patients since opening last year. Gambach estimated that about 1,500 patients will be enrolled by the end of the clinic’s fourth year.

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