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August 19, 2020 bchc-news

BCHC Expands Focus on Local Mental Health Services by Welcoming Psychiatric ARNP to Family Medicine Clinics

Buchanan County Health Center (BCHC) is pleased to expand its mental health offerings by welcoming Kelly Scheffert, Psychiatric ARNP, PMHNP-BC to Medical Associates in Independence and the BCHC Family Medicine –Oelwein in addition to BCHC mental health counseling services that were established in the spring of 2020.

“Mental healthcare is an especially underserved area, particularly in rural communities.  The prevalence of chronic and acute mental health issues are very significant and often go untreated.  This need is enhanced even further in the wake of this global pandemic.  By working together with our primary care providers and our mental health counselor, Kelly will help fill this critical need right in our primary care offices,” commented Steve Slessor, CEO.

Coming to BCHC from UnityPoint Health – Waterloo, Scheffert has spent her professional nursing career in the mental health field in a variety of roles including the inpatient setting, and emergency room.  While obtaining her MSN, Kelly established a behavioral health consultive program in the emergency room setting at Allen Hospital, where she managed the program until she obtained her psychiatric nurse practitioner license.  During this same time, Kelly was a mental health clinical instructor for Allen College.  Since obtaining her ARNP license, Kelly has been working as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner providing psychiatric care in the acute inpatient setting, medical floors, and emergency room.

“I am excited to be integrating psychiatric services into BCHC’s primary care clinics.  As we know, the stigma of mental health still remains.  My  hope is that having an office down the hallway from our family physicians and providers will allow patients to feel more comfortable in seeking treatment for depression, anxiety, or any other mental health concern that they may have,” commented Scheffert.  “Mental health is often comorbid with many physical problems such as cancer, diabetes, cardiac disease, and neurological conditions.  The goal of offering mental health services is to improve the overall health of a patient by treating the ‘whole patient’.”

Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety, depression, bipolar spectrum and related disorders, PTSD, schizophrenia and psychotic spectrum related disorders, and substance abuse, Kelly will offer psychiatric evaluations, medication management, and therapy for adolescent patients ages 15 and older along with adult populations.  Kelly will also collaborate with BCHC’s mental health counselor, Dan McElory, LISW to establish counseling services for her patients and help monitor their progress.

Originally from Oelwein, Kelly resides with her husband Eric.  Together they have three grown children and two granddaughters.  In her free time, Kelly enjoys camping and traveling, shopping, and spending time with her family and friends.

Kelly will begin to see patients in early October through Medical Associates of BCHC, BCHC Family and BCHC Family Medicine – Oelwein.  To make an appointment with Kelly, please contact the Medical Associates at 319-334-2541, BCHC Family Medicine – Oelwein at 319-283-1565, or consult with your primary care provider.

For more information, or to stay up-to-date on the latest news and announcements from BCHC, please follow “Buchanan County Health Center” on Facebook, or visit BCHealth.org.

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