Meet the Staff: David West

We recently met with David West to learn more about his work and insights into the East 2nd Street Clinic, where he is Practice Manager.

 

What is your role at Integral Care?

I am the practice manager of our E. 2nd Street Clinic. At this location, we have about six teams of providers working to meet the needs of our clients. Each of those teams has a program manager. Together, we navigate concerns and advocate for resources and support to best meet the needs of our clients and our staff. I view my job as working for them. It’s really about providing direction and support.

 

What other roles have you had?

I’ve been in my current role for three years. I came to the agency in October of 2010. I was originally a social worker on the ACT Team, which is a community-based behavioral health treatment team. I loved that team – the work is kind of a lifestyle. There’s such a sense of dedication to the client population and also to the team, which was unbelievably rewarding due to the shared experience. With a shared caseload, everyone on the team worked with all of our clients, so there was a shared perspective and this kind of  joy to the work. I went on to manage the ACT Team for about two years before transitioning over to the clinic.

 

Is there a particular population that this clinic serves?

We are an adult integrated behavioral health clinic. Our primary focus at this location is providing services to adults. . Our homeless population is significantly higher at this clinic because we are closer to downtown and all of the homeless resources nearby. We also tend to serve more deaf clients here, in part because this used to be the only clinic. This is the oldest clinic in the agency, and there were some systems developed here that haven’t necessarily been fully replicated at other locations. We are unable to serve children at E. 2nd Street, but we have children’s services available at multiple locations throughout Travis County. Otherwise, the work we that we do here is very much in line with our other clinic locations. Our shared focus is to provide fully integrated behavioral health and primary care services. We have over 2,300 clients open to ongoing services at this clinic alone, and an average of about 20 people accessing services  through our intake department here per day. We have a staff of over 60 employees at E. 2nd Street alone in order to meet the needs of our growing population. We have recently been focusing a whole lot of our attention on increasing access to services. Our goal is to get those who are in need of services open and connected on the same day. We have come a very long way with this in a short period of time, and we are going to stay on it.

 

What are some opportunities you see in your particular role and for the clinic?

I’m leading Integral Care’s Trauma-Informed Care initiative, and that’s a wonderful opportunity because it involves systemic change that spans our agency as a whole. There’s no limit to the scope of that work; it touches every aspect of our work. Our vision is to create a community of compassionate, collaborative care. We have 7 workgroups going right now that report to our core implementation team. I have the opportunity to come together with my counterparts at the other clinics, other practice managers within adult behavioral health, and with leaders throughout our agency, and we focus on improving services across our agency.

 

What do you enjoy about your work?

Working with people is one of the things I enjoy the most. Being able to influence positive change is important. I enjoy identifying how to improve parts of our operation to create an ongoing dialogue about optimizing our clinic flow, atmosphere and system. It’s an ongoing process. One of the ways I try to foster that is to model an open and positive approach to change – if there’s a problem, let’s recognize it and if we can think of a better way to do it, we’ll do it. In the end, we all want to do good work.