The Achievable Foundation (Achievable) is a nonprofit whose mission is to provide high quality, integrated health care to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), their families and other vulnerable populations. I/DD includes autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, intellectual disability, and other similar developmental delays.
While maintaining our specialty in I/DD, we also became intimately familiar with inequalities that exist among all vulnerable and historically marginalized populations. We provide equitable, culturally-competent care for community members from all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientation, and abilities. Our vision is to change the face of health care for our community.
A key program of our health center is our Whole Person Care Project (WPCP), an integrated behavioral health services program. Through our WPCP, Achievable provides behavioral health services on-site integrated with primary care services, improving the likelihood that patients will access these services. This program facilitates team-based, whole-person care.
The demand for behavioral health services was increasing before the pandemic. The pandemic created further demand for services as community members experienced increased stressors which contributed to mental distress and mental health issues.
Those with I/DD experience 2-3 times the rates of mental illness as the general population.
Due to cognitive, physical, social and behavioral challenges, individuals with I/DD are more susceptible to stressors and less likely to develop the coping skills necessary to overcome life challenges and stressors. Watch our video below to see the important role Achievable plays in this community. One of our LCSWs, Dr. Tiffany Saucer, breaks down the importance and convenience of a holistic Health Center.
Our service area experiences widespread poverty, low educational attainment and measurable health disparities, all of which contribute to mental illness for residents. Service area residents, especially children, are at high risk for stressful or traumatic events. As a result, service area residents are at great risk for suicide, depression and other mental illness.
To meet the needs of our patients, we aim to continue to grow our behavioral health program to accommodate and serve the patient need and demand.
Some of the major barriers to provide care for people with I/DD:
• There is a shortage of physicians with skills and adequate training to care for individuals with I/DD. This results in care that is focused on a particular disability rather than the whole person.
• The lack of trained and culturally sensitive support staff in healthcare facilities is a concern for these families.
• There is a scarcity of medical practices that are willing and/or prepared to take the time to properly care for patients with I/DD.
• Facilities lack accessible and proper equipment to care for I/DD patients.
• Low reimbursement rates for physicians and specialists result in patients traveling further to seek care, as well as long wait periods to see general physicians and specialists.
• The United States’ complex and confusing insurance and health care systems, coupled with poor care coordination make it difficult for people with I/DD.
To learn more about Achievable visit our website at: https://achievable.org/ To join our mission in serving the I/DD community please visit: https://achievable.org/ways-to-help/make-a-donation/