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Integrated closes Western Slope Clinics - clients show support

Integrated Insight Community Care closes Western Slope practice
Lisa Young
Integrated Insight Community Care closes Western Slope practice

The recent closure of Integrated Insight Community Care came as a shock to nearly one hundred employees and its growing client population on the Western Slope. Over the past year, the multi-county behavioral health provider’s CEO Joel Watts came under scrutiny with the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing regarding numerous allegations over patient safety at the clinics.

Rocky Mountain Health Plans severed its contracts with Integrated in mid- January. Watts filed for and was granted a temporary injunction by the District Court in Grand Junction until February 2nd….when the clinics finally closed their doors.

In the aftermath of the closure KVNF's Lisa Young spoke with several women associated with Success House, a sober house in Delta for women with mental health and substance abuse issues.

Most of the women were court ordered to participate in Integrated programs. And while the closure of the clinics and home have placed them in a difficult situation, many remain loyal to Watts, whom they say ‘saved their lives.’

Tracy came to Integrated in a state of crisis, she says staff opened the office on Sunday to sign her up for the sober living program when no one else would help her. She remains loyal to Watts and Integrated's work despite the allegations.

Now 90 days sober, Tracy will be moving into Delta House due to a physical condition requiring assistance. Tracy credits Watts and his work for getting her on the right track. She says she wishes that Rocky Mountain Health Plans would have worked with Watts to keep the business running.

Tracy is fortunate, many of the women at Success House are facing homelessness, the loss of vital connections and starting over with mental health care.

Carrie came from Grand Junction, homeless and addicted. Integrated took her in, began therapy and provided a primary care physician. Now she’s back to square one looking for housing and to reconnect with a previous physiatrist. She says she’s grateful for the help Integrated gave her.

Robin began as a client and then moved into a staff position as a peer counselor. She served on the Crisis Response Team and also worked at Success House. Robin says the Delta based behavioral health care's approach was different from other mental health providers in the area.

"I just felt like they weren't personable. They didn't treat us like person, they treated us like a number. That's not what Integrated did. Integrated, it was a very loving environment," Robin said.

As for the downfall of Integrated, Robin and others attributed its demise to ‘moving too fast’ and not taking care of the business side of things.

Robin says Oxford House in Delta is stepping up to meet some of the housing needs, but for her it won’t compare to the ‘family feeling’ left behind or the connection she and others have with Watts and Integrated.

Note: RMHP contracts with Integrated Insight Community Care did not include housing services such as Success House or Impact House.

For more on this story from Colorado Sun.

Lisa was born in Texas but grew up on a small farm in Olathe, Colorado and considers herself a “Colorado native after six years of age.” Lisa has seven years experience in media, beginning as a News Director for a small radio station on the Eastern Plains. Following her initial radio career, Lisa worked as a staff reporter for The Journal Advocate in Sterling, Colorado and most recently as a staff reporter for the Delta County Independent. Lisa is thrilled to join the award-winning News and Public Affairs team at KVNF.