Joe D’Ambrosio, director of behavioral health at the UofL Trager Institute/Republic Bank Foundation Optimal Aging Clinic
Joe D’Ambrosio, director of behavioral health at the UofL Trager Institute/Republic Bank Foundation Optimal Aging Clinic

Mental health services provided to adults and older adults by the University of Louisville Trager Institute/Republic Bank Foundation Optimal Aging Clinic now are backed by an international accrediting agency.

The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) has accredited the Behavioral Health Service Organization at Trager for three years for outpatient treatment of adults and older adults. Trager is one of only 10 organizations around the globe accredited by CARF for mental health services for older adults.

“Accreditation is a public statement that our organization strives to ensure that our services are of the highest possible quality,” said Joe D’Ambrosio, the Trager Institute’s director of behavioral health. “At Trager, we are committed to reducing risk, addressing health and safety concerns, respecting cultural and individual preferences and providing the best possible quality of care.”

Mental health is an important aspect of overall health and well-being. Losses that can occur with aging – social activity, identity and physical health – put individuals at higher risk for developing behavioral health issues. However, signs of mental illness in older adults often are overlooked or dismissed as normal symptoms of aging. Without treatment, conditions such as depression and anxiety can lead to further physical decline. Behavioral health services are provided as part of the clinic’s comprehensive care to help individuals maintain health as they age. 

In order to be CARF-accredited, programs and services must demonstrate that they conform to internationally recognized standards for service delivery and are committed to continuous quality improvement and a consumer-driven focus. CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services providers in aging services, behavioral health, child and youth services, durable medical equipment, employment and community services, medical rehabilitation, opioid treatment programs and vision rehabilitation services.

“For our Trager team, accreditation demonstrates our belief that all people have the right to be treated with dignity and respect, have access to needed services that achieve optimum outcomes and are empowered to exercise informed choice,” D’Ambrosio said.

D’Ambrosio said that during Trager’s accreditation survey, the CARF surveyor commended the institute’s FlourishCareTM service, an integrated lifelong wellness care approach focused on lifestyle and preventative medicine for adults of all ages, as well as the use of student interns and telehealth, increasing accessibility to services.

Trager’s aging services include the FlourishCareTM assessment, care coordination, family support, medication management and education, organized education programs, end-of-life care and grief support, all available in a nationally recognized, age-friendly clinic.