City/ County Integrated Care Team Set to Begin Tuesday
(Sedgwick County, Kan.) – Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita are launching a pilot program designed to offer an enhanced response to low-acuity calls in the community.
The 90-day pilot program, called Integrated Care Team, or ICT-1, includes the Wichita Fire Department (WFD), Sedgwick County Fire District 1 (SCFD1), Wichita Police Department (WPD), Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO), Sedgwick County Emergency Medical Services (SCEMS), Sedgwick County Emergency Communications, and COMCARE of Sedgwick County.
“Public safety is a key priority for both the City and County, and we’re dedicated to ensuring that our community has the best possible resources they need,” said Mayor Jeff Longwell. “The Integrated Care Team will get the right mental health resources to those in need while reducing response times in the system overall and reducing ER and COMCARE Crisis visits.”
Beginning July 30, the pilot program will explore the effectiveness and feasibility of an ICT-1 team consisting of a law enforcement officer, a qualified mental health professional, and a paramedic to respond calls for service that may have a mental health component in Sedgwick County. The pilot program is funded through October 31.
“There is a new spirit of cooperation between the County and City to better serve our residents,” said Chairman David Dennis. “ICT-1 is an innovative program that features our outstanding public agencies and I look forward to seeing the team’s impact in the community.”
ICT-1 will assess individuals in their care and match them with the most appropriate community resources which may include substance abuse treatment or mental health services.
The program will likely decrease utilization of some system resources by reducing ER usage, law enforcement/ fire/ EMS responses, 911 calls, and COMCARE Crisis Center visits.
“I am very grateful for the support from elected officials and our department heads,” noted Dr. John Gallagher, Medical Director for the EMS System. “This collaborative effort will be able to treat people in the field using resources already in our community.”
Each participating agency will be donate personnel time, equipment, and resources from their existing budget to implement the 90-day model. The City of Wichita approved a Memorandum of Understanding Tuesday, July 16 and Sedgwick County and the Governing Body of Fire District 1 approved it Wednesday, July 24. If the pilot program is successful, Sedgwick County’s 2020 Recommended Budget includes funding for the program.