May is both Mental Health Awareness Month as well as National Nurses Week, a time when we celebrate the incredible work done every day by our nurse community. It’s hard to overstate the many ways that nurses help their patients throughout their health care experience. This includes providing in-person care as well as working in a wide range of roles that directly and indirectly help our members and their families.

On this episode of HealthChangers, we’re joined by a panel of health care professionals to discuss the critical role that nurses play inside and outside of Regence. This includes Dr. Donna Milavetz, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Regence, who is an internal medicine physician by training; Cheryl Carter, senior clinical transformation advisor as well as a nurse; and Sarah Robilotta, supervisor of behavioral health utilization management who is also a licensed mental health counselor.

The episode begins with an overview of the different ways Regence nurses help improve the health care experience, including:

  • Reaching out to members daily to help them manage their care, whether they’re recovering from a procedure, managing a chronic condition or have another care need.
  • Helping navigate a complex health care system, including outreach to members’ health care providers and researching specific needs like an imaging center or medical equipment at home.
  • Working with members who are experiencing adversity, pain and suffering, which can include behavioral health challenges and crises, using their Mental Health First Aid training.
  • Teaming up with provider partners to ensure our members receive high-quality, cost-effective care that’s appropriate and meets personal needs.
  • Ensuring care follows evidence-based medicine and clinical best practice guidelines.
  • Collaborating with employers, brokers and others to help develop the best ways to support employees’ health care needs and use their available health plan benefits.

Listen to the full podcast episode on the player above to learn more.

We’re here to help

If you or your loved one needs emotional support or mental health care, we can help you find the behavioral health care option that fits your needs. Most of our health plans offer virtual mental health treatment options from providers such as AbleTo Therapy+, Doctor on Demand, Talkspace, Charlie Health and more. No referral is needed – you can visit the provider website and fill out their intake form for an appointment. 

In addition to the broad range of traditional and virtual mental health providers, most Regence members have access to specialized behavioral health care for those seeking help for eating disorders (Equip) and obsessive-compulsive disorders (nOCD). 

Regence also offers access to traditional and virtual substance use disorder treatment providers such as Boulder Care, Eleanor Health (WA only) and Hazelden Betty Ford. If your employer has an employee assistance program (EAP), your use of the program is confidential and at low or no cost. 

We encourage you to visit these providers’ websites or call our customer service team at the number listed on your member ID card to verify which virtual care and traditional behavioral health options are available through your health plan. 

Remember 988 – the new National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. When people call, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors who will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if needed.