Providence’s BOB program saves lives, receives national award

Author: Becky Wilkinson, LCSW, outreach and peer support program manager, Better Outcomes thru Bridges (BOB)

Johanna Deeb and Heidi Stoner are outreach and peer support specialists with Providence’s Better Outcomes thru Bridges (BOB) Program, a collaborative community outreach program designed to meet vulnerable people where they are and help them find ways out of homelessness, addiction and mental health crises.

Heidi recently was making her regular follow-up phone calls to check on behavioral health patients discharged from the ED when a man named Tony told her he was walking back to his hotel room to take his own life. Heidi kept him on the phone and convinced him to let her send an ambulance to pick him up and bring him to the Providence St. Vincent Medical Center Emergency Department. Heidi told Tony she would meet him there.

When Tony arrived at the hospital and saw her, he said, “I can’t believe you came.” That moment created a bond and a level of trust that allowed Heidi and her colleague Johanna to find Tony a path to sobriety and safe housing.

You can learn about this special bond and about Tony’s journey back toward a better life in this KGW story: KGW - BOB team helps Tony find hope and purpose

Tony now lives at Blanchet Farm in Yamhill County, a work-based program that helps men suffering from addiction learn job skills and find self-worth again by caring for animals, tending to gardens, and maintaining the facilities. Tony used to work as a veterinarian tech, and at Blanchet Farm he’s using those skills again and working with animals.

“This opportunity would likely not have happened without the help of Heidi and Johanna,” he said. “Looking forward, I'm hopeful that I can continue to heal and will eventually be in a place that I can give back to others in need the things I was given – hope and a chance.”

In November, the BOB program won a national award – the 2021 American Hospital Association’s Dick Davidson NOVA Award – as one of only five recipient programs in the U.S. The award recognizes health systems that use collaborative approaches to create healthier communities through health care or economic or social initiatives.

BOB uses a collaborative community approach model of care, which means that the BOB team walks alongside clients to help ease their way, meeting clients where they are, both literally and figuratively. The model focuses on using a person-centered approach, working collaboratively with our community partners, and allowing for continuous engagement across the client's service delivery and care continuum.

BOB’s behavioral health programs include several patient-centered programs and projects within Providence Oregon, including: peer support and outreach; services in Providence EDs, inpatient medical and behavioral health units; programs in PMG clinics and area schools; monthly community outreach meetings and ongoing resource lists; and street outreach.

The program was launched in 2016 and has served thousands of clients throughout Oregon.

To learn more

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