Policy Evaluation

PRA has decades of experience working with community stakeholders to transform their systems to enhance care for people with behavioral health conditions. We collaborate with vested parties to review, assess, and advise on policies, procedures, and financing strategies at the local, state, and federal levels. We are adept at evaluating current policies and practices for recommendations and enhancements to ensure that marginalized populations receive entitled care and support.

Community Triage Center—Minnehaha, South Dakota

The Community Triage Center (CTC) is a collaborative, community-wide project purposed to engage in a planning process over the last 5 years to research if this model could be implemented in Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties, South Dakota. The strategic intent of the project was to establish a better option for people in crisis who do not belong in an emergency room or jail.

The CTC model was envisioned with the following guiding principles:

  • To establish client-centered, strength-focused care plans that identify a discharge strategy and support services.
  • To offer the opportunity to attend support groups and education, receive case management, and/or attend appointments with a psychiatrist until a long-term provider has an opening.
  • To recommend solutions that are driven by data, research, and best practices.
  • To provide an alternative to the criminal legal system for the community to use as a response to people in a behavioral health-related crisis. Specific decision points include pre-arrest, arrest, pretrial release, and reentry.
  • To provide an alternative to the emergency department for people who have a behavioral health crisis.
  • To demonstrate that a collaborative approach is an effective, efficient strategy in providing optimal outcomes for those in the community with intensive needs while being fiscally and programmatically cutting edge.

Policy Research Associates worked with strategic community partners, including Minnehaha County, South Dakota; the City of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Avera Health; and Sanford Health, to determine if a triage center would be appropriate for the community. In order to inform the conceptual plan, PRA worked with stakeholders to collect and analyze data to determine the needs, conducted a Sequential Intercept Model Mapping Workshop to determine interventions, and visited model community sites to identify operational best practices.