Replicating the Model: Developing Carriage House Clinic

Posted on June 18, 2012
Magnolia Clubhouse in Cleveland, OHMagnolia Clubhouse in Cleveland, OHMagnolia Clubhouse was proud to cosponsor and present at the recent Partners in Wellness symposium held at Fountain House. The Clubhouse model continues to evolve, and Fountain House continues to innovate and lead our evolution. Magnolia Clubhouse is located in Cleveland, Ohio. Originally known as Hill House, we were established in 1961 as one of the first centers of psychiatric rehabilitation in the country. We’ve had historic ties with Fountain House since our inception. 

In March of 2009 we invited Dr. Ralph Aquila to present with us at a statewide Community Psychiatry Conference. Dr. Aquila included his work with the Storefront Clinic, now the Sidney Baer Center, on the “Rehabilitation Alliance,” the integration of psychiatric services and primary care with the Clubhouse community. As a result of this presentation, the director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and the director of our County Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board encouraged us to replicate the Storefront Clinic.

The Clubhouse community of Magnolia Clubhouse enthusiastically entered into the process of implementing the “Rehabilitation Alliance.” We renovated our Carriage House and now offer primary care through collaboration with a nearby Federally Qualified Health Care Facility (FQHC), onsite in the Carriage House Clinic. Dr. Walter Clark, the medical director of the FQHC is our primary care doctor. Dr. Patrick Runnels is our medical director and provides psychiatric services. He is also the director of University Hospitals Case Medical Center’s Fellowship in Community and Public Psychiatry, and we're a part of the education of the fellows. As good fortune would have it, Dr. Runnels did his fellowship at Columbia University and trained with Dr. Aquila at the Storefront. Our nurse is also employed by the Cleveland Clinic in the Psychiatric Detoxification Unit so our clinic employs professionals from both major hospitals in Cleveland.

Carriage House ClinicCarriage House ClinicOur team is excited to work with the Clubhouse community, and everyone is enthusiastic about the community of hope and growth they are a part of. Members are receiving the integrated care they deserve. We hope to reverse the current tragic tide for those who live with mental illness and ensure that our members do not have lives that are 25 years shorter than others. In addition, the psychiatric services are enriched by the interaction and experiences of our members in the fullness of their recovery with the Clubhouse community. The Clubhouse is fully committed to supporting wellness, and it’s a joy to be a part of the strength of this alliance.

I am personally grateful to have been encouraged and guided by Fountain House and Dr. Aquila in implementing this innovation. We’re helping more Clubhouse communities understand how this replication can be accomplished. We believe this implementation at Magnolia Clubhouse has contributed to furthering our strength in the community mental health system both locally and across the state and will further the growth of the model in Ohio.

We are also committed to furthering the growth of the Clubhouse model across the country and across the world so that this method of rehabilitation and reintegration will be as understood and primary as medication. Our goal is that this integration within a Clubhouse community and the Clubhouse model itself will be available to all those who live with mental illness who wish to be a part of it. Clubhouses across the world are a human rights movement promoting social justice. At Magnolia Clubhouse, we believe the “Rehabilitation Alliance” is a very important and vital part of comprehensive community mental health care, social justice for those who live with mental illness, and the rebuilding of fuller, healthier and longer lives.

Lori D’Angelo, PhD
Executive Director, Magnolia Clubhouse

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