SouthLight Launches Integrated Behavioral Health Program with NeighborHealth Center

$70,000 Grant from Deaconess Foundation supports pilot program to increase access to primary care, mental health and substance use treatment services

With support from the Deaconess Foundation, SouthLight Healthcare has announced a new partnership with NeighborHealth Center, a nonprofit primary care provider. SouthLight and NeighborHealth will collaborate on an integrated care pilot project to provide wrap around services for participants, decreasing barriers to both behavioral health and primary care services.   

The pilot program was made possible with a $70,000 grant from the Deaconess Associations, Inc., the parent company of Raleigh-based Legacy Healthcare Services. SouthLight was one of 10 local nonprofits awarded grants to support initiatives that provide healthcare access and education to at-risk populations in underserved communities.

Integrated Care Improves Health Outcomes

Adam Hartzell, SouthLight CEO, explained that integrated care blends behavioral and physical healthcare to decrease barriers to treatment and provide whole-person care, improving health outcomes. Over 250 people will be served, including participants in SouthLight’s Opioid Treatment Program. “We’re proud to partner with NeighborHealth and the Deaconess Foundation to build a healthier community together,” said Hartzell.

SouthLight CEO Adam Harzells says “We believe that healthier people create healthier communities, and we expect the impact to reach beyond the pilot participants, potentially decreasing emergency room visits and other services that are costly to the community.” 

Pilot Program an Example of Innovative Spirit

For over 50 years, SouthLight has been committed to providing innovative care for individuals and communities living with the harmful impact of stigma and untreated substance use and mental health disorders.  “This pilot is an example of our innovative spirit and we are proud to partner with NeighborHealth and Deaconess Foundation to build a healthier community together,” says Adam Hartzel, CEO.

One-Stop Approach to Coordination of Care

Integrated care is the practice of blending behavioral and physical healthcare to decrease barriers to treatment and provide whole-person care.  Using a co-located model, SouthLight behavioral health providers will be in NeighborHealth’s clinic providing psychiatric medication management and other behavioral health services. NeighborHealth providers will come to SouthLight’s clinic to offer primary care.  This one-stop-shop approach allows for better coordination of care between providers, and decreases barriers often experienced with typical referrals to outside services.  Pilot participants will be able to get their behavioral health and physical health needs addressed at one location, often on the same day.  

This one-stop-shop approach allows for better coordination of care between providers, and decreases barriers often experienced with typical referrals to outside services.   

Who this pilot program will serve

SouthLight and NeighborHealth both serve some of our community’s most vulnerable people.  More than half are uninsured or underinsured and experience difficulties with transportation, child care, and other barriers that make accessing services complicated. Hartzell shares that through this collaboration, SouthLight hopes to improve the patient experience while also improving health outcomes for the people we serve together.  

About SouthLight Healthcare:

Founded in 1970, SouthLight Healthcare is one of the area’s largest nonprofit providers of substance use treatment and mental health services. SouthLight partners with individuals and communities to provide innovative treatment solutions delivered with compassion and dignity. With outpatient and community-based programs, SouthLight provides prevention, education and treatment services in the Triangle and beyond. Call 919-787-6131 for help or more information or visit