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Unite New Mexico is a web-based coordinated care platform that launched in Las Cruces in November with a goal of connecting people who need behavioral health care and the local volunteers and professionals who provide it.
Unite New Mexico is part of Unite Us a nationwide technology company founded in 2013 in New York City “that builds coordinated-care networks of health and social service providers,” according to https://uniteus.com/.
Unite New Mexico has been in place in Santa Fe since 2018 and includes Albuquerque and central New Mexico. An early November launch in Las Cruces welcomed Doña Ana, Sierra, Grant and Hidalgo counties into the platform, which hopes to expand statewide in 2023.
Unite New Mexico already has more than a dozen partners in Las Cruces, said Unite Community Engagement Manager Monique Rodriguez, a licensed master social worker and therapist.
Zia Vista Therapy, Nexus Counseling Center, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Southern New Mexico, Charlotte’s Place Pre-School, Cornerstone Christian Counseling, Amistad Family Services, A New Hope Therapy Center and other programs and providers have joined the platform.
“I see the need,” said Las Cruces therapist Andrea Dresser, whose Counseling Las Cruces is a Unite New Mexico partner.
The platform is valuable to her therapists and clients because it links them directly to the services they are seeking, Dresser said.
“Everyone needs to know what’s going on in the community,” she said.
Angels With Broken Wings, a nine-bed transitional housing program for people dealing with substance abuse that opened in Las Cruces in October, also has joined United. Founder and peer counselor Ginger Shannon said Unite provides updated information about programs like hers so people in need don’t have to “spin their wheels” searching for available services.
“I love that,” said Shannon, whose program is funded mostly out of her own pocket and by private donations.
People who need behavioral health services “are already in distress,” Rodriguez said. “They are trying to find someone” to help, she said. With Unite, they can check local services on one platform and connect to the care they need “with minimum stress,” she said.
“It’s a service to the client,” Dresser said. “They don’t have to make phone calls.”
Unite is “a really great opportunity for the community,” said Rodriguez, who helped implement a similar program to connect hundreds of thousands of military veterans to the services they needed in Houston, Texas.
“I’ve already seen how it can connect the community in a positive way,” she said. “I know clients will be taken care of.”
Unite will also connect clients and providers to government agencies like the Doña Ana County Crisis Triage Center, schools, hospitals and insurance providers, Rodriguez said. And, it can make connections across the state and across the country.
There is no charge for individuals or small providers to join Unite, Rodriguez said. And, while it fully complies with federal HIPAA regulations to protect patient health information, the platform means a client’s information is quickly and safely available to providers for responses and referrals.
Behavioral health is stepping forward and saying, ‘We want to be connected,” she said.
For more information, contact Monique Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact Ginger Shannon at email@example.com and Andrea Dresser at firstname.lastname@example.org.