ComWell and Sparta Community Hospital expand psychiatric service accessibility by partnering to contract two psychiatric care providers through a shared staffing model.
This collaborative solution came after closely monitoring “Access to Care” data that reflected room for improvement of increased access to care by decreasing the wait time for Randolph and Washington County residents to be seen by a psychiatrist.
Following years of research and preparation, plans were finalized and Ashley Hundelt, PMHNP and Nickie Murphy, PMHNP joined the ComWell psychiatric team in July of 2021 to begin their work treating patients.
“Our team is so thrilled that this goal is finally a reality,” said ComWell Executive Director, Shea Haury. “We are very passionate about increasing access to psychiatric care among our community, and getting to partner with the amazing team at Sparta Community Hospital to see these plans through makes me so excited for the future of behavioral health care in Southern Illinois.”
Since July, ComWell’s Psychiatric Care Team has increased accessibility by 233.33%, raising provider time from six days per month to five days per week seeing patients in Red Bud, Okawville and Sparta.
“I am excited to bring accessible psychiatric services to our local community,” said provider Nickie Murphy, PMHNP. “I was born and raised in Randolph County and have spent my entire career serving the residents of Southern Illinois. After becoming a Nurse Practitioner and working in Sparta, I quickly identified a need for more access to psychiatric care in our community. The driving factor for me to go back to school was to provide quality mental health care to the deserving residents of Randolph and Washington County, and surrounding areas and I’m looking forward to doing just that.”
Murphy began her career in the medical field 21 years ago working as a bed maker at St. Ann’s Healthcare in Chester during high school. After graduating high school, she received her Certified Nursing Assistant Certificate and her Licensed Practical Nursing degree from Beck Area Career Center in 2006.
She then graduated from Southwestern Illinois College as a Registered Nurse, received a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from McKendree University and graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as a Family Nurse Practitioner.
She recently completed a post master nurse practitioner program in psychiatry, which she will be putting to use serving the community through the collaboration.
Murphy is available to see patients Tuesdays and Wednesdays in Red Bud.
Provider Ashley Hundelt, PMHNP began her career in the medical field at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville, IL where she initially worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant before graduating with her Associates Degree in Nursing and working as a Registered Nurse.
After graduating from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville with her Master of Science in Nursing, she accepted a position with SIHF Healthcare as a Family Nurse Practitioner then transferred to Sparta Community Hospital in Coulterville where she worked as an Advance Practice Registered Nurse.
Hundelt recently completed her post master nurse practitioner program in psychology that she too will be putting to use serving the community through the collaboration.
“I look forward to working with ComWell and am excited to continue in family practice and begin a new focus in behavioral health within our communities,” Hundelt said. “I strive to achieve great provider-patient relationships and focus on holistic health and wellness. I recognize the need for behavioral health services within Randolph and Washington County, and the surrounding communities. The need is evident everywhere, but lacks in rural health settings and I look forward to serving our local communities in this way.”
Hundelt is available to see patients Mondays and Thursdays in Okawville and Wednesdays in Sparta.
Following the launch and development of this collaboration, ComWell will continue to monitor patient wait time and make adjustments as needed with the goal of improved patient access to care being the driving force.
About ComWell: We are committed to empowering individuals to pursue growth and wellness by promoting positive, healthy changes for individuals and communities through engagement, education, treatment and recovery. In 1971, we saw a need for support and we answered the call. ComWell services work together to achieve our goal of bringing wellness to our communities. ComWell is the beacon of community wellness and bridging the gap from individual to resource.