Exciting initiatives are underway to make Integrated Community Health Services available to the people of south-central Kansas, a news release stated.Prairie View, Health Ministries Clinic and the Harvey County Health Department are collaborating to develop a service delivery model that makes primary medical care, dental services, mental and behavioral health assessment and treatment, community health and patient education more conveniently accessible to the communities in Harvey, Marion, McPherson and Butler counties.Prairie View recently purchased a former medical services building located on Pine Street in Newton. Preparations to renovate the three-story building are being made to accommodate all three organizations.While all three entities serve the general population, the primary mission of Integrated Community Health Services is focused on the medically underserved, particularly those individuals and families who have no or inadequate health insurance or financial resources to obtain needed health-care services.Prairie View has applied for a charitable grant in the amount of $135,228 from the Mabee Foundation, which requires the behavioral health organization to raise $156,820 by Jan. 1, 2013, to be eligible for their consideration. The total cost of the renovation project is $392,048, which includes building redesign and improvements, in addition to upgrading the telephone system, adding dental suites and purchasing x-ray equipment.These improvements will also allow the addition of laboratory services in this single, convenient location. It will soon be possible for all organizations to serve more patients as a result of the larger physical space available.Last year more than 4,400 patients used Health Ministries Clinic and nearly 13,000 used services from Prairie View’s Community Mental Health Center. The Harvey County Health Department served over 6,000 community members.Nationally, one in four individuals will experience mental illness during their life. People with serious mental illness die 25 years younger than the general population, primarily due to untreated medical conditions and insufficient preventive services. These numbers are even higher for persons living in poverty. Emergency departments report that one in every eight visits involves a person with a mental illness and/or an addictive disorder.It is anticipated that expected outcomes of integrated services will include reduced wait time for people to receive services, better coordination and collaboration of service delivery, improved preventive treatment and overall healthier and more satisfied consumers. The collaborating groups expect that creating this integrated service delivery model will result in decreased emergency room visits, hospital stays and specialty care visits, as well as an overall decrease in health-care costs. In integrated systems, patients experience better health and higher satisfaction.Prairie View is asking the individuals, groups, congregations and corporations of Harvey, Marion, McPherson and Butler counties to help achieve the Mabee Challenge by participating in this effort to raise $156,820 by Jan. 1, 2013.For more detailed information about making a gift or pledge to the Pine Street Renovation Project, call Prairie View at 284-6310.