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Modern Approaches for Managing Mental Health in Shasta County

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REDDING, CA (May 20, 2015) - Shasta Regional Medical Center is bringing Scott Zeller, MD, Chief of Psychiatric Emergency Services for Alameda Health System in San Leandro, CA, to speak on the Alameda Model, a Psychiatric Emergency Services unit on Thursday, May 28, at the Cascade Theatre starting at 6:30 p.m. The event is free to the public and tickets are available at the Cascade Theater or Shasta Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Zeller is a pioneer of advanced Psychiatric Emergency Services, (PES) with a clinical framework now known as the Alameda Model. The protocols of the Alameda Model addresses the issue of mental health patients spending extraordinary long hours in the Emergency Department, (ED) as well as lack of resources available for EDs for effective treatment and placement. PES units have proven to reduce delays to psychiatric care by more than 80%, as well as providing effective assessment and treatment that has stabilize over 75% of the crisis mental health patients avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations.

The mental healthcare delivery system in California is decentralized, under-resourced and has uncontrollably collided with emergency medicine. Years of cuts to local and state funded mental health programs have caused an increased reliance on hospital EDs, yet, many hospitals have limited, if any onsite mental health services.

Dr. Zeller states, “The Alameda Model is currently possible in all California hospitals and health systems due to a facility based billing code for “Crisis Stabilization” within Medi-Cal.”

Cyndy Gordon, CEO, Shasta Regional Medical Center states, “It’s well documented the growing number of mental health patients seeking psychiatric care in EDs, and the reliance on EDs as a treatment center for mental illness is ineffective; we need appropriate resources for patients with acute needs for psychiatric care.” Gordon further stated, “Dr. Zeller’s proven Alameda Model providing improved access and treatment for mental health care, increased stabilization rates, along with reduced hospitalization costs, warrants the discussion if a regional PES unit for Shasta County is possible.”
Dr. Zeller, recently name 2015 “Doctor of the Year” by the National Council for Behavioral Health. His contributions also include the development of multicenter guidelines considered Best Practice in the Evaluation and Treatment of Agitation, (BETA). Before the BETA existent, guidelines for treating mental illness focused solely on medication strategies. Yet, agitation can result from countless causes, and its treatment is multidimensional, with medication only playing a small part. The BETA guidelines involves interventional aspects, including triage, diagnosis, and verbal de-escalation, as well as medicine choices.