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WakeMed News Releases

July 29, 2020

Expanded access to on-demand video consults made possible by a $1.6M grant from The Duke Endowment


RALEIGH, N.C. (July 29, 2020) – WakeMed has expanded its behavioral health services, providing adult and pediatric patients real-time access to WakeMed Virtual Behavior Health services during regularly scheduled appointments at any WakeMed primary care practice or from the comfort of home. This much-needed telehealth service expansion was made possible with gracious support and funding from The Duke Endowment.

WakeMed’s team of behavioral health professionals can be contacted right from the primary care office using a video monitor. For patients, this means on-demand care – within 5 minutes – from experts who are ready to listen, support and discuss any mental health questions or concerns. WakeMed patients also have the option to schedule this initial virtual care consult from home (from a smartphone, tablet or computer). 

This team of licensed clinicians, psychiatrists and health coaches delivers a comprehensive, integrated approach to support physical and mental health, in collaboration with WakeMed primary care providers, to help identify and address behavioral health needs including anxiety and depression, pain management, poor sleep, diet and exercise as well as stress management.

“Taking charge of our health and well-being is more important than ever as we face and overcome these challenging times together,” says Dr. Jessica Tomasula, licensed pediatric psychologist and manager of behavioral health services at WakeMed Children’s. “We consider whole-person care the standard of care – because we cannot have physical health without mental health.”

Following the initial virtual care consult, the WakeMed Behavioral Health Team will continue to work directly with the patient and primary care office to develop a plan, provide follow-up care and treatment and coordinate any additional behavioral health services as needed.

The Duke Endowment’s $1.6 million grant to the WakeMed Foundation made the expansion of this paramount virtual behavioral health care offering – a plan two years in the making – a reality.

While WakeMed leadership and clinicians had been working towards on-demand, mental health video consults for two years, the timing of the launch is even more relevant at this moment as communities and residents of all ages continue to cope with the emotional toll of COVID-19 and recent events.

Currently, WakeMed Virtual Behavioral Health is available to offer support and services Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 5 pm. For more information, patients can contact their WakeMed primary care provider or call 919-235-1733.

About The Duke Endowment

Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $4 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.

About WakeMed Health & Hospitals

Serving the community since 1961, WakeMed is a not-for-profit health care system founded and based in Raleigh, N.C. WakeMed exists to improve the health and well-being of our community by providing outstanding and compassionate care to all. WakeMed’s 941-bed system comprises a network of facilities throughout the Triangle area, including three full-service hospitals, seven emergency departments, a dedicated Children’s Hospital and Rehabilitation Hospital, more than 80 physician offices and Wake County’s only Level I Trauma Center.

WakeMed’s mission-driven team includes more than 9,800 employees, 1,500 volunteers and 1,300 affiliated physicians, along with the more than 580 physicians and providers with WakeMed Physician Practices – all representing the best minds and the biggest hearts and the finest quality in health care and community health. For more information, visit wakemed.org or follow WakeMed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



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