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Behavioral Health Urgent Care — The KidsPeace Case Study

January 26, 2023

“Urgent care” for behavioral health is in demand because mental health admissions are a big, and expensive, proportion of hospitalizations. What does, or should, “urgent care” for behavioral health look like? The short answer is quality care, at a lower cost that, that is delivered quickly and can limit the escalation to more intensive levels of services when unnecessary.

In May 2022, KidsPeace launched a mobile crisis response service in Wake County, North Carolina with the goal of engaging and stabilizing youth in crisis on location, and to limit involvement of first responders who may lack effective expertise to deal with their trauma. In early 2023, KidsPeace and its partner Alliance Health will launch The Hope Center for Youth and Family Crisis, a behavioral health urgent care program open and available to the public, which ultimately will be linked to a facility-based crisis program for youth in the Wake County region.

During this one-hour live presentation, KidsPeace will discuss how the behavioral health urgent care concept can help adolescent consumers in crisis avoid the high fees and long wait times of the emergency room, while providing the right care in a timely way.

Executive attendees of this session will learn about:

  • Behavioral Health Urgent Care (BHUC) as a model and how it fits within care provider organizations’ existing structure
  • Expected health outcomes for youth utilizing BHUC services as opposed to those treated in current behavioral healthcare models
  • The reasons for co-locating BHUC services with a facility-based crisis program for those youth requiring more intensive treatment
  • How this approach can help adolescents with behavioral health, substance abuse, and intellectual and developmental disabilities receive appropriate and effective treatment without the need for hospitalization.


January 26
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Featured Speakers

Chris Ferry, MA, NCSP, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Community Programs & North Carolina Residential Services, KidsPeace

Chris Ferry, MA, NCSP is a school psychologist who currently serves as KidsPeace Executive Director of Pennsylvania Community Programs and North Carolina Residential Services. In this role he oversees four outpatient, three partial hospitalization and four autism-specific programs – which together provide services to more than 5,000 individuals each year. He currently leads KidsPeace’s effort to establish a behavior health urgent care/facility-based crisis treatment center in Fuquay-Varina, NC. He has been on the KidsPeace staff since 1998.

Kate Peterson, MS, PMP, PMI-ACP, Director of Healthcare Network Project Management, Alliance Health

Kate Peterson has had over 30 years working in behavioral healthcare, with most of her career being in leadership roles in provider organizations serving youth and families in North Carolina.  She joined Alliance Health, a Medicaid Managed Care Organization, in 2015 and now is Director of Healthcare Network Project Management. In this role she and her team develop and implement service initiatives within Provider Networks. In this role, her team has implemented the Mobile Response Stabilization Services model (MRSS).  She has managed a change in crisis program model for adults and youth and is working on the development of the Hope Center, a full-service crisis center for youth and families projected to open for the Alliance catchment in early 2023. Currently, she and her team are leading projects to cover multiple counties and to serve children and families in stress, most with severe trauma.  Much of the current work mirrors the objectives in SAMHSA’s release of the New National Guidelines for Improving Youth Mental Health Crisis Care.

Tammy Margeson, MC, Program Director, The Hope Center for Youth and Family Crisis

Tammy Margeson is Program Director for The Hope Center for Youth and Family Crisis.  She holds a master’s degree in mental health counseling, and is a licensed clinical addictions specialist, a licensed clinical mental health counselor and a certified clinical supervisor.  Prior to taking her role at The Hope Center, Margeson served in supervisory roles at several mental and behavioral health organizations in North Carolina.

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