NAMI and CHRISTUS St. Vincent Catch Up 

The NAMI-CHRISTUS St. Vincent Committee met on July 23 for purposes of catching up with one another since the advent of the pandemic, which had let to the cancellation of regularly scheduled meetings.  Betty Shover provided a detailed update on NAMI services and how they are being provided.  Kathy Armijo-Etre, on behalf of CHRISTUS St. Vincent provided an update on the hospital’s experience to date during covid.  As has been true nation-wide, the non-covid admissions at CHRISTUS St. Vincent dropped significantly from March through June, but began to rebound in July.

There have been some important staffing changes at, CHRISTUS St. Vincent particularly related to behavioral health.  Kathy introduced Joe Pringle, Director of Behavioral Health for both inpatient and outpatient services.  He comes with a long history with behavioral health practice and administration, and so is a good fit.  His initiative is to provide more integrated care for behavioral health patients and he is focusing on getting this care coordinated better through CHRISTUS St. Vincent’s growing primary care network.  He noted that for the ER behavioral health observation unit, patient volume has practically doubled since April to June, up from 66 visits to 117.  The inpatient pattern is similar, up from 17 discharges to 32.  Joe then introduced   Yvette Romero, who is the new Manager for behavioral health inpatient services, which includes the observation unit.  Both she and Joe expressed an openness to continue working with NAMI to improve care services to those in need.