For the past 50 years, Aspire Indiana Health has been helping the most vulnerable Hoosiers overcome physical and mental illness and experience an improved quality of life. Aspire is a nonprofit with centers located in Central Indiana with a reach that extends to assisting Hoosiers throughout the state.
What Does Aspire Offer?
A fully integrated health care provider, Aspire offers primary medical and behavioral health care and addresses social determinants of health like employment and housing. Its support programs include addiction services, individual and group therapy, infectious disease, youth and family services, crisis management, rehabilitation, housing assistance, job placement, and more.
More than a dozen years ago, Aspire became the very first Community Mental Health Center (CMHC) in the nation to receive grant funds from the Health Resource Service Administration (HRSA).
Aspire is proud to hold Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) look-alike status at its locations in Central Indiana.
Aspire’s treatment plans for behavioral health and substance use disorders can include one-on-one counseling, group therapy, family therapy, skills training, and medication-assisted treatment. Integrated primary health care providers can treat countless acute concerns as well as chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, which require long-term management.
With over 500 members of staff and locations in Anderson, Carmel, Elwood, Indianapolis, Lebanon, and Noblesville, Aspire is changing the way that health care is delivered not only to its target populations but to anyone who wants high-quality integrated health care at an affordable price.
In addition to its outpatient services for addiction, behavioral and primary care, Aspire also provides
- Deaf Services: No behavioral health care organization in Indiana provides more comprehensive services and options for children and adults who are deaf, hard of hearing or deaf-blind.
- Crisis Intervention: Aspire has a 24/7 Crisis Intervention service to help those with mental health crises and emergencies.
- Housing Assistance: Aspire has access to or manages a variety of housing options for its clients, including rapid rehousing, shelter plus care, HOPWA, Section 8 apartments, PATH and Co-Op living.
- Infectious Disease: Aspire provides case management for people living with HIV/AIDS and offers HIV testing and prevention programs, including PrEP.
- Employment Programs: Aspire provides supported employment through the federal Ticket to Work program.
- Telehealth: Aspire provides telehealth services to adolescents at Elwood Schools and can also provide this service as needed for intake and counseling appointments.
- Kids Talk: Kids Talk is an accredited child advocacy center in Anderson that serves children and families in Madison and Tipton counties. Kids Talk staff also present abuse prevention programs at community schools, reaching over 12,000 K-12 students in 2017.
A Complex Organization Designed at Helping All Hoosiers
Aspire Indiana Health President/CEO Barbara Scott spoke about the complexity of the organization and its general purpose.
“Aspire Indiana Health is a consolidation or an accumulation of a variety of different corporations and service lines,” Scott explained. “Our mission statement is ‘Together … Making Health and Well-Being a Reality’—and this drives who we are and everything we do. You do not see the words ‘mental illness’ or ‘substance abuse disorder’ in that statement because we believe that mental well-being—that incorporates all of those things—is ‘health’ and is very much a part of a person’s whole health.”
Scott described Aspire Indiana Health as “A whole health provider, and for us, whole health means our physical health, our emotional and mental health and our social health. We have designed a very complex organization to serve people with even the most complex needs in the counties that we serve.”
Who Does Aspire Serve in Boone County?
“What I think is important for our communities to understand is the ‘who’ we are set up to serve,” Scott shared.
Scott continued, “People come to us on the worst days of their lives. They come to us from emergency rooms where they’ve attempted to take their own life, and they come to us through probation where they’re serving a sentence for something they’ve done. Or they come to us through the problem-solving courts. And now that mental health and addiction are more in the mainstream discussion, we see generalized anxiety and debilitating depressions in younger ages and across all socioeconomic statuses. We now have communities asking where they can get their mental health needs met. Whereas all these years before, we’ve been serving the ‘invisible’ population.”
Providing Whole Health Care for Boone County
Senior Director of Outpatient Services Dianna Huddleston is a longtime Boone County resident who, like Scott and the entire staff at Aspire, is committed to serving Hoosiers and Boone County residents in need of Aspire’s services.
“In my role as senior director of outpatient services, I oversee our Boone County clinic, which is in Lebanon,” Huddleston said. “It’s a nice central location, easy to get to from the highway so that we can easily serve all of the counties. As a resident of Boone County, I’ve come to appreciate the vastness of this community and all the different communities [within the county] and how they interact with and support one another.”
Huddleston shared that while Aspire Indiana Health has been around for over five decades, the organization had committed to expanding its services in Boone County, and in 2017, Aspire bought and refurbished its existing facility, thus creating its beautiful and purposeful clinic where it provides its health services—including primary care medical services.
“Our Boone County office was the first of our offices that was designed to have a primary care clinic,” Huddleston said. “It’s a beautiful clinic that looks just like a doctor’s office and [medical] lab. It is where we also provide behavioral health care. So many of the population that we are serving don’t have a medical ‘home’ or a regular doctor, and many of these individuals do not see a doctor on a regular basis, and if they get a sinus infection, they go to the emergency room. To be able to have those services in our space is important.”
Huddleston shared that people with mental illnesses die 25–35 years sooner than the rest of the population due to a lack of regular and quality medical care.
“To have that continuum of care in our offices is really important to us,” Huddleston emphasized. “All of the medical services that you enjoy from your primary care doctor we also have, and on the behavioral health side, we have an individual therapist, family therapist, child and adolescent therapist, addictions therapist, and we provide an array of individual and group modalities based on the level of need that a person needs. We also have an Extended Outpatient Program, which is more extensive and offers people up to six hours a week [in groups] at our office, working with a therapist and a recovery coach in addition to seeing their recovery coach individually.”
Aspire’s Housing and Employment Programs
Aspire has 679 housing units and provides property management services and various housing assistance programs to the counties it serves, which include Madison, Hamilton, Boone, Hendricks, Hancock, and Marion. For an appointment or for more information, contact Aspire’s Affordable Housing Department toll-free at (877) 531-3236.
Aspire’s Employment Services program provides people with the services and support they need to increase their ability to work successfully. Aspire also collaborates with employers, at no cost, to help find workers who match their specific needs.
Aspire is dedicated to being a whole health care provider and improving the health and well-being of its community. At Aspire, they believe that employment plays a decisive role in increasing people’s overall health.
“We have employment specialists that can refer folks living with mental illness who are sometimes underemployed or who are trying to get back into the workforce because they are more stable and ready to rejoin the workforce,” Huddleston stated. “The job coaching, job placements, and helping people get connected to the workforce have been a really valuable service.”
Huddleston concluded, “When so many people were losing jobs [during the onset of the pandemic], Aspire had great success in getting our folks employed and getting them set up. That was really terrific. And as Barb [Scott] mentioned, we have lots of contracts and grants, so if there are housing insecurities or if we’re working with a person who is homeless, we can refer them to our housing program, which has access to a plethora of grants and contracts that can help plug in a person and meet their needs.”
Look for the continuation of this discussion in next month’s segment found on livinginboonecounty.com. For more information on Aspire Indiana Health services, please visit aspireindiana.org.