Compass Health Gets USD 1.24M in Funding for Community Behavioral Health Needs Tied to COVID-19

Compass Health announced it has received more than USD 1.24 million in philanthropic donations and federal, state and local grants to support the organization´s behavioral health outreach related to COVID-19 response and prevention, including implementation of its telehealth system, the company said.

The funding will support a range of vital mental health and substance use treatment services across Snohomish, Skagit, Island, San Juan, and Whatcom counties.

Snohomish County designated USD 643,000 of its CARES Act funding, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) awarded a USD 247,000 COVID-19 Telehealth Program Grant, and private supporters contributed USD 355,000 to the behavioral health provider.

The funds will enable Compass Health to secure laptops, tablets, smartphones, and network upgrades for client access to telehealth services and equip Mobile Crisis Outreach Teams with technology; offer Psychological First Aid training for community members; purchase personal protective equipment (PPE); supply housing, food and groceries for individuals in need; and install touchless faucets, hand dryers and other facility upgrades to help prevent spread of the virus.

Compass Health, which serves nearly 17,000 clients each year, has been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, serving populations at high risk for the complications from the virus — and pivoting to provide care virtually while adhering to social-distancing and other preventive measures. Now, even as many communities are beginning to loosen restrictions on commerce and travel, the organization is preparing for the long-term impact the pandemic poses to mental and physical health.

The organization´s private support included a total of more than USD 168,000 for telehealth and other technology capabilities from Children´s Advocacy Centers of Washington, Chuckanut Health Foundation, EverTrust Bank, KeyBank, North Sound Accountable Community of Health, Office of Crime Victim Advocacy — Washington State, San Juan Island Community Foundation, Verdant Health Commission, and private individuals.

Building Changes, Campbell Auto Group, and COE CARES contributed nearly USD 60,000 to support homeless youth and Compass Health´s Emergency Motel Voucher Program; and Albertsons Companies Foundation, Fred Meyer, Safeway Foundation, Skagit Community Foundation and Whitehorse Foundation donated more than USD 71,000 to fund food, groceries and other basic needs for clients.

Kaiser Permanente, RiverStyx Foundation, United Way of Whatcom County and the Whatcom Community Foundation together gifted USD 56,000 to Compass Health´s general operations.

Compass Health´s efforts build on a spring that has required nimble and rapid innovation. Throughout March 2020, client participation in outpatient treatment and other services decreased 20 percent week-over-week as community members adhered to the state´s orders to stay home. In response, the organization dramatically expanded deployment of its innovative mobile telehealth system, Compass Health Bridge, training more than 500 behavioral health professionals to deliver care remotely, and enabling many clients to communicate via their own devices.

From September 2019 to May 2020, Compass Health´s overall delivery of billable telehealth services increased by more than 1,100 percent — from 467 to 5,814 instances of care per month. About 40 percent of all billable services in May were delivered via telehealth. Even more remarkable numbers come from Compass Health´s WISe program, where Bridge supports care for youth intensive outpatient and wraparound services. Without telehealth, the organization would have missed out on nearly 60 touchpoints with youth and families every day in May — care that became even more critical as kids lost services and infrastructure from our education system when schools closed.

In particular, telehealth has been instrumental in Compass Health´s ability to respond to the needs of the community this spring. Piloted in the fall of 2019, its Bridge system enables behavioral health professionals to connect virtually with clients in community and home settings via HIPAA-compliant, secure video chat for counseling, psychiatric evaluation and case management.

Compass Health is Northwest Washington´s behavioral healthcare leader. A community-based healthcare agency, Compass Health integrates behavioral health and medical care services to form a key section of the community safety net and serve clients and others in need of care and support. From comprehensive mental health treatment to crisis prevention and intervention, supportive housing, children´s services, community education and much more, the non-profit organization serves people of all ages throughout Snohomish, Skagit, Island, San Juan, and Whatcom counties.