LifeSpring Health aims to serve without barriers to access

By CHRISTINE STEPHENSON
cstephenson@dcherald.com

JASPER — Although they have been around Jasper since 2018, LifeSpring Health Systems is still considered new by many.

LifeSpring is the leading provider of mental health and primary care services in Southern Indiana, according to its website. In October 2018, Southern Hills Counseling Center in Jasper and LifeSpring Health Systems in Jeffersonville merged into one organization while keeping all its staff and programs the same as before.

Due to COVID-19, LifeSpring never had an opportunity to have any big welcome event. Instead, staff quietly transitioned and has been working to serve Dubois County and surrounding area ever since.

Errin Weisman, a physician with LifeSpring, said everybody in the community should know about the organization’s services because they are available for everyone.

“The biggest thing we have is access because we deny no one,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you have insurance or not, if you’re a citizen or an immigrant, if you have a primary care doctor or if you don’t, even if you live in the county, it does not matter whatsoever.”

LifeSpring, which serves 11 counties in the area, serves about 13,000 individuals a year. Most that visit the Jasper location at 406 Eversman Drive are LifeSpring patients, Weisman said, but they don’t have to be, and patients can be any age.

In addition, LifeSpring has both a primary care center and behavioral and mental health services, which is not common for doctors’ offices.

“We’ve really tried to make it a one-stop shop,” Weisman said. “We also have a dietician, therapists, case managers, insurance navigators and access to tele-phsychiatry for children and adults.”

Beth Keeney, LifeSpring’s incoming president and CEO, said the ability to have all of the organization’s services in one building is important for eliminating the barriers and stigma that can come with asking for certain services.

“If somebody comes in with a head cold and while they’re seeing the primary care physician they happen to mention they’re feeling depressed, the primary care physician can tag in a therapist,” Keeney said. “Or while they’re seeing their therapist, they mention that they’re having chest pain, the therapist can go tag in the primary care physician.”

LifeSpring also focuses on seeing patients the same day that they come in asking for care, Keeney said, which is also uncommon for similar offices.

“If I called my primary care physician today, who I love, and said that I think I have strep throat, he’d tell me to go to urgent care,” she said. “We don’t do that.”

In tandem with providing same-day services, LifeSpring also has two mobile health units that can travel to rural areas or highly-populated living spaces such as apartment complexes where people may not be able to travel to a doctor. The two trailers, which are located in Jasper and Jeffersonville, each have two exam rooms, a bathroom and a waiting area.

“We know that cost and transportation and all of these things are barriers to accessing care, and we wanted to eliminate that,” Keeney said, “and I think we have.”

LifeSpring serves everyone regardless of ability to pay as part of the federally qualified health center program overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Services and Resources Administration.




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