555 Willard Avenue, Newington, CT 06111  Telephone: 860 667 6733

Mental Health Intensive Case Management (MHICM)  Rural Access Network for Growth Enhancement (RANGE)

The MHICM RANGE Program, located at the Newington campus of VA Connecticut, is one of the national VA MHICM programs with the mission of working with Veterans diagnosed with severe and persistent mental health issues who are predominantly living in rural areas of the state. The program’s goal is to enable Veterans to live successfully and as independently as possible in community settings. Through assertive, community based, clinical case management and psychotherapy, the program promotes, helps maintain, and may restore the mental health of this Veteran population.

Currently, Veterans are referred  by both inpatient and outpatient VA clinicians as well as by community agencies.  Once received, each Veteran’s referral is reviewed on a case-by-case basis according to a set of program criteria, which are listed below. The MHICM RANGE Program focuses on level of functioning in community settings and aims to bolster community, family, and financial resources in support of independent living. It is important to note that without this program, many of these Veterans are at risk of homelessness or extensive time in hospitals and other institutions.

Treatment Model and Services:

Veterans participating in MHICM RANGE are individuals who have significant difficulty functioning because of certain impairments in their ability to complete any  number of activities of daily living. Many, if not all, have also had extensive inpatient psychiatric hospitalization or have cycled in and out of local emergency rooms and hospitals due to struggles with their mental health.

The MHICM RANGE team utilizes what is known as an “intensive clinical case management model.” This means that members of the team are closely and frequently involved with Veterans on a day -to-day basis with respect to many aspects of their lives. This includes individual and family therapy, pharmacological intervention, care-coordination with medical practitioners, and crisis intervention. Team members also provide skills training, psychoeducation, and assistance to Veterans in obtaining benefits, resources, and housing. Rehabilitation counseling congruent with the psychosocial rehabilitation model is emphasized.

The MHICM RANGE team becomes the Veteran’s primary outpatient provider of psychiatric services, collaborating with all other providers as appropriate. The team assists Veterans with activities including (but not limited to): going to medical and dental appointments, conducting family meetings, ensuring that medication is accessible and taken as prescribed, helping Veterans look for housing, encouraging Veterans with substance abuse histories to actively work a recovery program, and generally assisting with daily activities of all kinds.

The frequency of MHICM RANGE interactions and relationships with Veterans enable them to understand the Veterans needs as individuals and to know them well, as the nature of the work is based in the Veteran’s home environment rather than a hospital or clinic setting. As a result, the team knows how the Veterans are doing on an ongoing basis and which factors in their lives are affecting them positively or adversely. Because the Veterans in the program may be at-risk of re-hospitalization, MHICM RANGE emphasizes the importance of consistently assessing for safety and the ongoing development of individualized  treatment and recovery plans effectively tailored to meet the current needs of each Veteran.

Clinical Characteristics of MHICM RANGE

The four clinical characteristics of MHICM RANGE are:

1)      Intensity- Veterans are seen as frequently as clinically indicated.

2)      Flexibility and Community Orientation- The majority of Veteran contacts occur in community settings where access to community networks are available and maximum clinical benefit may be obtained.

3)      Practical Problem Solving- Clinical contacts emphasize practical problem solving, crisis resolution, and adaptive skill building using community and clinical resources.

4)      Continuity of Care- The MHICM RANGE team is the focal point of clinical responsibility. They are the primary providers of psychiatric care and tenaciously maintain contact with Veterans.

Screening and treatment services are provided by an interdisciplinary team of mental health providers consisting of social work, nursing and psychiatry staff. MHICM RANGE team members are available Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30pm. During evenings, weekends, and holidays, the Psychiatric Emergency Room provides crisis intervention coverage. There is also a Crisis Prevention Hotline available to all Veterans 24/7; Veterans can reach this number by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Admission and Exclusion Criteria

The MHICM RANGE Program serves Veterans who are eighteen years of age and older.  The following criteria are also carefully considered prior to admission:

1)      In most cases, Veterans must have thirty days or more of inpatient psychiatric hospitalization and/or three admissions within the previous calendar year. The MHICM RANGE team is unique in that both the Veteran’s level of functioning and his or her geographical distance to the VA are major consideration in admission. This underscores the mission of MHICM RANGE, which gives priority to Veterans in rural areas in the Northern part of Connecticut.

2)      Admissions occur when Veterans are on the inpatient unit or when it becomes clear that a Veteran is not responding to traditional outpatient treatment and may benefit from more enhanced services.

3)      This program was originally developed to work with Veterans diagnosed with psychotic disorders. However, MHICM RANGE also effectively serves those with other chronic, persistent, and severe mental health diagnoses. 

Exclusion criteria includes the following:

1)      Veterans with a primary diagnosis of a substance use disorder, traumatic brain injury, dementia, or other organic brain disorder.

2)      Veterans for whom community outreach or ongoing community treatment would be contraindicated.

3)      Veterans who live closer than 30 minutes travel time from the Newington campus will be considered. However Veterans who reside greater than 30 minutes travel time and in rural areas are given priority in accordance with the standards of the MHICM RANGE program.

4)      Veterans with significant histories of violence and/or those that would be better served in a more formal, structured clinical setting.

The length of involvement in MHICM RANGE is assessed regularly and based on the Veteran’s mental status and ability to function in the community.  Veterans are admitted for a minimum of one year but can remain in the program for longer periods of time, as clinically indicated.

 MHICM RANGE- Staffing and Organization

The Director of the program oversees the program’s activities along with other senior staff members. However, the operating model of the program is that of shared roles in an interdisciplinary team setting that recognizes the expertise of the individual disciplines.

The disciplines of the current core staff include a Registered Nurse, a Certified Peer Specialist, two Social Workers, and a part-time Psychiatrist.  These individuals bring their own educational backgrounds, expertise, and experiences to make this a rich and effective team that can provide well-rounded treatment and recovery options.

Holly James, LCSW - Program Manager

Karen Tie, MD  - Attending Psychiatrist

Paul Duplessis, RN - Primary Clinician

Elizabeth Goggin, LMSW - Primary Clinician

Alton Willis, CPS – Certified Peer Specialist


Contact Information

The MHICM RANGE Program is located on the Newington Campus of VA Connecticut and the address is as follows:

VA Connecticut- Newington Campus

555 Willard Avenue

Newington , Ct 06111

The team offices are located in Building 2E on the third floor in rooms 2E-3120 and 2E-3124. The telephone number for the Program Director is 860-667-6776. The main program number is 860-667-6733.

Updated 12/27/16

This is a website maintained by Veterans and volunteers. While the contents of this site have been developed in cooperation with VA personnel, it is not an official site of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Unknown user,
Jul 21, 2015, 8:36 PM