Build Me Up: Building for Mental Health and Autism Care with Fraser
Kraus-Anderson’s Build Me Up podcast will continue to deliver uplifting, inspiring and relevant content as it relates to our audience and industry amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This episode, the team sat down with Nancy Baldrica and Rachel Gardner from Fraser, Minnesota’s largest and most experienced provider of autism and early childhood mental health services. Nancy is Fraser’s Chief Marketing and Development Officer, and Rachel is the Director of Fraser’s Autism Center of Excellence. Rachel and Nancy discuss Fraser’s mission, its innovate healthcare models, and how the built environment comes into play when designing and building spaces for those with autism and sensory issues.
Inside Fraser’s Newest Woodbury Clinic
Fraser’s nationally-recognized programs serve infants through adults with healthcare, housing, education and employment. Fraser has seven locations around the Twin Cities, with its latest clinic opening in Woodbury, Minnesota, in 2018. Kraus-Anderson completed construction for the 26,000-square-foot mental health and rehabilitation clinic. Elements of the sensory-friendly environment includes skylights for natural light in corridors; enhanced lighting that reduces shadows and glare for improved transitioning of clients; enhanced sound attenuation with a quieter mechanical system, higher sound rated walls with acoustic panels and acoustic insulation to minimize mechanical noise distraction.
Using data from the CDC and US Census projections, more than 6,500 east metro families may need this new, state-of-the-art mental health treatment clinic within the next ten years. Unique to Fraser, families have the benefit of receiving multiple complementary services in one building. Research shows that treatment options drastically improve when all therapies happen in one place. This model allows children to spend more time in direct treatment, decreases medical and travel costs for families and improves treatment outcomes.
Fraser’s Innovative Telehealth Model
Fraser’s latest healthcare model is aimed at reaching families in the outer metro area that may not have the same access to resources. Telehealth allows families to connect with a Fraser therapist virtually, either through video chat or over the phone. Not only will it prevent long drives to care for families in more rural communities, but it provides a smoother and more comfortable experiences for patients who experience severe anxieties and may have trouble coming into a physical clinic. Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, Fraser patients have the option to continue their care without risking their health and safety.
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