Connections - Health - Wellness - Advocacy

History

In June, 2007, North East Ohio Health Services (NEOHS) became Connections: Health.Wellness.Advocacy.

The forerunner to NEOHS was the Crisis Intervention Team which was organized in September, 1968. The service was initiated as a separate unit of the Cuyahoga County Department of Human Services and was co-founded by the Cuyahoga County Community Mental Health Board (CCCMHB).

The Crisis Intervention Team was incorporated as a private, not-for-profit corporation with a Board of Trustees in 1974. Services were supported by CCCMHB, client fees, and donations. Early intervention and crisis counseling continued to be the central focus of service. When the need for a mental health information and referral service to county residents was identified by the CCCMHB, the Crisis Intervention Team expanded its services to meet this need.

In 1976, The Cleveland Foundation's recognition of the need for 24-hour emergency services to county residents enabled the Crisis Intervention Team to expand its program capacity to provide around-the-clock services. Aftercare services were initiated in October of 1978 for 300 individuals who had long-term psychiatric hospitalization and required long-term community-based follow up. These services were funded for the eastern suburban communities of Cuyahoga County and continued to expand to include people with severe mental illness and short-term psychiatric hospitalizations.

The Crisis Intervention Team became CIT Mental Health Services (CIT) and relocated in January, 1981, to 2177 South Taylor Road near Cedar Road in University Heights.

A Partial Hospitalization Program was initiated in 1982 with a grant from The Cleveland Foundation. Services provided by the Agency at that time included Case Management Services for individuals with a severe mental illness, Counseling, Information and Referral and Community Services. By 1982, CIT was serving approximately 1,000 clients per year.

The Agency began a new service program in 1988, providing psychiatric and counseling services to residents of selected nursing homes.

As of July, 1991, the Agency moved from South Taylor Road to Chagrin Boulevard near Green Road and began doing business as North East Ohio Health Services (NEOHS). This name change crystalized the intention to treat the whole person by integrating psychiatric, medical and case management services.

The Partial Hospitalization Program was discontinued in June, 1992. However, Psychiatric, Case Management, Diagnostic Assessment, Counseling, and Nursing Home Services continued and expanded. At this time NEOHS served approximately 2,000 clients each year, most of whom had a serious and persistent neurobiological illness.

When both North East Community Mental Health Center and Community Guidance, Inc. closed their doors, the Agency was a key player in absorbing clients and programs by adding Deaf and Hard of Hearing services, ACT Services and integrating numerous adult clients.

NEOHS opened a satellite location in Garfield Heights in the Trudell Center at Marymount Hospital in April, 2001. The Agency assumed responsibility for all community Medicaid and non-Medicaid clients that were receiving services at the Marymount Community Mental Health Center. The site served over 1,000 adult and child/adolescent clients.

In September, 2003, the Center for Children and Family Services (CFC) decided that they were no longer able to serve about 600 adult and elderly clients in one of their Cleveland locations. NEOHS, in collaboration with CCCMHB, assumed responsibility for 600 adults and all of the elderly clients at an additional location in East Cleveland at Huron Hospital.

Since 2003, NEOHS has added a Perinatal and Women's Program, Forensic Services for both adult and adolescent clients, and Youth Services. As the service programs, and number of people served, increased (to nearly 6,000 by June, 2007) our need for additional space grew. In April, 2007, NEOHS relocated its headquarters and main service offices about 300 yards east on Chagrin Boulevard. The Agency increased square footage from 23,000 to 33,000. The culmination of these efforts was the name change to Connections: Health-Wellness-Advocacy in June, 2007. This name change transpired to better convey the overall mission of the Agency and our commitment to wellness, recovery, education and the continued need to advocate for, and with, our clients and their families.

In August of 2009, Connections opened a closed-door pharmacy for the clients that we serve. This operation was in the planning phase for over 1 year and has been a benefit for our clients by assisting our clients with medication compliance and has improved staff efficiency by minimizing the need to purchase and deliver medications to our clients. It has also added an additional revenue stream to enhance needed services and to supplement shrinking dollars.

The Rose Residential Care Facility was closed in October, 2009, because the facility could not serve the needs of the Senior population. EDEN and the Mental Health Board, along with Connections, were able to open a 30 unit, independent housing facility for the elderly. 6 of the 12 Rose residents were able to move successfully to the facility located on Detroit Avenue in Cleveland. CCCMHB funded a Peer Support and a Manager position at the facility. The other 6 residents were found appropriate facilities to manage their care.

Due to financial concerns, in the fall of 2010, Connections moved the Marymount location to vacant offices at the Beachwood location and moved the Huron Hospital site to a new location in Cleveland Heights.

Connections was awarded a contract from the The Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board Services Board of Cuyahoga County (ADAMHSCC) in January, 2011, to complete all Non-Insured Intakes for the County through the Screening, Centralized, Assessment, Linkage, Engagement Program (S.C.A.L.E.). This program is for Cuyahoga County residents 18 years of age or older who are uninsured, new to the community behavioral health system, and seeking mental health services.

Connections receives funding through contracts with ADAMHSCC and receives payment for services through Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance and fees. The Agency is certified as a Community Mental Health Facility by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and as a Center for Substance Abuse Treatment by the Ohio Department of Drug and Alcohol Services and is certified by The Commission on Accreditation on Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).