Heroes for Health: Gretchen Huletz

This spotlight series is designed to profile members of the Racine Collaborative for Children’s Mental Health. Over the coming months, the series will feature individual Collaborative members, each of whom is integral to the group’s efforts to forge stronger connections and establish new approaches to strengthen the social and emotional development of our children.

This series is an opportunity to highlight and recognize the diverse individuals, services and resources available to the Racine community.

Who: Gretchen Huletz, Supervisor for Children’s Hospital Community Services

Website: www.chw.org

Email: gretchen.huletz@cssw.org

Phone: 262-633-3591

Twitter: @childhealthwi

About Children’s Hospital Community Services: Children’s Hospital Community Services is apart of the region's only independent health care system dedicated solely to the health and well-being of children. In Milwaukee and throughout the state, the system provides kids and their families a wide range of care and support. From health and wellness programs, to critical support services, to advocacy efforts designed to ensure safe environments for all Wisconsin children – the organization is working to keep kids healthy.

Words from Gretchen, a Hero for Health:

When it comes to gaining access to quality mental health services, the hurdles are numerous. Long waitlists, insurance coverage and fair payment for those who provide care are just a few examples.

It is disheartening to make children wait for care. Furthermore, when one challenge is resolved, it can often reveal another. Take for example transportation – even in a scenario where transportation services are made available for a parent to take an afternoon to bring their child to an appointment, they are often still faced with the challenge of providing care for those children who may be staying home.

These challenges are complex and deeply interconnected. Yet I remain optimistic and believe there is a terrific opportunity for enhanced coordination and care. Increased funding is one such opportunity that can emerge from increased collaboration. Establishing school-based programs is another - one that I believe can cut across and address many of the challenges associated with access – and an approach that we see working effectively in other communities.

My optimism stems in large part from the individuals and organizations that have come together to form the Racine Collaborative for Children’s Mental Health. The Collaborative reflects an amazing group of individuals and leaders who are fully committed to working together to solve these problems and bring about changes in our approach, and to raising broader awareness and understanding of the issue. We all have an opportunity to not only contribute, but to become involved and engaged in providing for the mental health needs of children here in our community.

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