- This story originally appeared in the May 2023 issue of COMO Magazine.
Compass Health Care provides accessible resources to families in their own neighborhood.
Compass Health Network adopts a person-centered, integrated approach to health care that focuses on treating the whole person. That description sums up the nonprofit healthcare organization’s approach to providing resources connected to behavioral health, pediatric and family medicine, dental care, and treatment for substance use disorders.
“Our vision is healthy, productive lives for everyone,” says Karen Cade, regional vice president of corporate services for the Compass Health Network, Central Region. The organization serves more than 42 Missouri counties. Compass Health provides medical, dental, and behavioral health services in Columbia, which include therapy, psychological testing, psychiatry, and substance abuse disorder treatment.
Karen describes her role as a liaison to the community, as well as providing oversight to the company’s general culture, which includes overseeing outside projects and collaborations. She connects people to make sure their various projects are completed. She also works with staff to complete the “Champion Training” program to ensure that all of the team understands what it means to be a “Compass Champion.” That training helps encourage each staff member to understand their individual role, and how that role works in service to the community that can benefit from what Compass provides.
Karen wears a lot of hats for the rapidly-growing Compass Network.
“For example,” Karen says, “I work with the local United Way in Jeff City and Columbia. In Columbia, we have United Way funding and we have some county funding to provide school-based therapy.”
Compass is close to completing a new office off Keene Street.
“In the last year and a half, we opened an office over across from Boone Hospital, which offers both primary care and pediatric services at that location,” Karen says. “We’ll be moving our pediatric services to our new building, to the new Portland project, but we’ll continue to provide primary care services at that location.”
Some dental services will move to the office on Keene Street and the office on Providence Road will become an express care center for both medical and dental services.
The need is really there for that kind of care, she adds, noting that the Compass mission is focused on meeting that need.
“We’re a federally-qualified health care center, so what that means is, we’re required to serve people, regardless of their income, regardless of their insurance status, and we have several different methods of doing that, depending on what the service is,” Karen says. Compass Health accepts most of the major health insurance plans as well as Medicare and Medicaid. There’s also a sliding scale option for payment based on income.
For mental health services, Karen says that Compass offers a number of resources, including counseling and psychiatry for children and adults, telehealth, transcranial magnetic stimulation, psychological assessment and testing for children and adults, psychology services, and school-based therapy.
“On the behavioral health side, we have some city funds that allow us to pay for direct therapy services for persons that may be uninsured and might not meet income guidelines, so we have different types of funding for people who may not have insurance,” she adds.
Within the last six months, Compass has provided service for helping individuals and families access Medicaid.
“If we see that they’re qualified” based on income “and we think they qualify, we have the ability to do what’s called presumptive Medicaid, so we will be able to give them Medicaid for 30 days by the time they walk out the door.”
The ability to access health care without financial barriers is an important function of Medicaid.
Karen also says that helping provide clients access to Medicaid doesn’t just help them access services at Compass. It helps clients access services at other clinics. In addition, Compass is expanding access to dental services, especially for pediatric care. Compass’s Broadway location provides walk-in pediatric dental care on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and has same-day access for service.
“When we’re at our new building, we plan to continue providing those services,” Karen says. Compass also provides a mobile dental unit that visits schools throughout the region. Compass is working with Columbia schools to make sure the full gamut of care is available on-site in the school parking lot within the next school year.
Karen says Compass wants to continue to identify and respond to what the community needs for all facets of healthcare.
“We want to serve more people,” she explains. “When there’s a need: we want to continue to meet that need. We want to ensure that the whole person is treated.”
She describes how Compass provides the “whole person” approach.
“The physician may be the one to identify the dental needs. The dentist might be the one who determines that the person has behavioral health needs,” Karen adds. “We want to get those connections made — and get that need met all in one location.”
Compass Health Network
3501 Berrywood Dr.