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Jerry Halverson works to make Rogers the clear choice for mental health treatment

12/17/18 09:27:am

halverson.jpgBeing able to affect the care of more than 1,000 people a day is one thing that Jerry Halverson, MD, really enjoys about his role as chief medical officer for Rogers Behavioral Health. He accomplishes this by helping to setup a practice environment using evidence-supported medical practices and cutting-edge outcomes data that helps our medical staff to give exceptional care to their patients.

“Our Board and Leadership are committed to delivering the best behavioral health care possible,” Dr. Halverson says. “Being a healthcare system that focuses on mental health allows us to deliver great behavioral health care and spend a lot of time considering how we’re doing it, and work to improve it.”

Dr. Halverson is responsible for overall physician practice, clinical quality, and processes and to help the system deliver the best care to each patient. He first came to Rogers nine years ago as the medical director for adult services at the Oconomowoc campus, where he was responsible for the care on inpatient units and in adult partial hospitalization programs.

His interest in behavioral health started after seeing family members struggle to find adequate treatment for anxiety and depression, but that interest grew due to the unique challenge that treating mental illness presents.

“It’s endlessly fascinating,” he says. “You never know what you’re going to get from day to day. You have diseases that present in wildly different ways in different people, and it keeps it very interesting. Being at a place like Rogers where we are committed to getting patients the dose of treatment that they need allows you to see patients get better, which is immensely satisfying.”

Looking back over the past few years, Rogers has grown tremendously. Going forward, Dr. Halverson sees more potential and looks forward to what Rogers can become.

“I think Rogers has a great opportunity to become the clear destination treatment provider for behavioral health not just in the Midwest, but the country and the world,” he says. “We’re able to be the gold standard treatment facility for a group of illnesses that historically multispecialty medical providers have not invested adequate resources, energy, and brainpower in. We’ve invested all of that as well as a built a world class outcomes data collection system that allows us to track and improve the care of every person that comes to us for help in a way that is unheard of in all of medicine, let alone behavioral health. Showing more people that behavioral illnesses are treatable will bring more people into treatment who need it and will help with systemic stigma issues that still exist.”

As chief medical officer, Dr. Halverson doesn’t get to experience the same level of direct patient care that he used to, but his involvement in setting up processes to help Rogers realize our system treatment and quality goals is one of the ways he knows he’s able to make a difference in the lives of our patients.

“It has been very satisfying to work through the Rogers Improvement System to setup standards and clinical decisions support tools that help to guarantee that all of our patients get the best treatment possible.”

Getting to know Dr. Halverson

One thing that may surprise people about Dr. Halverson is that he commutes from Madison to Oconomowoc every day for work. He also hasn’t missed a Badgers football game for 20 years and starts listening to Christmas music as soon as the calendar flips from September to October. Before that—it’s Hawaiian music.

When he’s not spending time with his family, Dr. Halverson says that he’s “very active in advocacy for patients with medical and psychiatric issues. As the past president of the state Medical Society and State Psych Association I’ve been very active in pushing for parity or legislative support for best practices for all medical illnesses.”

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