With a team of approximately 20,000 employees and more than 200 patient care locations, WellSpan Health is an integrated health system committed to exceptional care for all, lifelong wellness and healthy communities.
Thanks to a $4 million grant, WellSpan Health recently opened a new and innovative one-stop clinic for vulnerable patients with mental health and substance use disorders. Called START (Specialized Treatment and Recovery Team), the clinic provides a coordinated care experience for patients with urgent mental health and addiction needs.
The launch of START also resulted in an innovative collaboration with Community Action for Recovery and Diversion (CARD), a program that first took root in the courtroom of York County Court of Common Pleas when Judge Craig T. Trebilcock saw that the very visible, repeated criminal behaviors of the people before him were often driven by less visible factors like substance use, trauma, poverty, mental health, homelessness and unemployment.
Even more alarmingly, he saw the way that justice, health and human services systems work together, or fail to work together, keep people from addressing those invisible drivers, leading to cycles of relapse, incarceration, and housing, job and family instability. CARD was created to address these barriers from the top down.
With CARD’s office located in the START building, along with staff from the York County Probation and Parole, the CARD/START collaborative is diverse and inclusive, from the selection of staff and board members to the operational procedures that were created to the physical spaces, which were designed to be trauma-informed, psychologically safe and accessible for all.
In less than a year, the collaboration between CARD and START has already made great strides in supporting a safer, healthier York County community where people with behavioral health needs are connected to healing care and support as they interact with the justice system.