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Home > Webinars
Emergency Department Diversion Through Behavioral Health Linkages, a July 30, 2008 webinar available on CD-ROM
Emergency Department Diversion Through Behavioral Health Linkages, a July 30, 2008 webinar available on CD-ROM
Emergency Department Diversion Through Behavioral Health Linkages, a July 30, 2008 webinar available on CD-ROM
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Contributing to the growing concern over unnecessary emergency room visits and the strain on emergency department resources is the number of patients with behavioral health needs seen in the ED. Treating these patients in non-emergent primary care and behavioral health settings would alleviate some of the strain on emergency departments and provide appropriate treatment for behavioral health patients.

Listen to pre-conference comments from Joe Eppling and Julie Szempruch.

During Emergency Department Diversion Through Behavioral Health Linkages, a 90-minute webinar on CD-ROM, via On Demand Web access or as a recorded webinar on DVD, you’ll hear from two healthcare organizations who have implemented programs to divert ED visits related to behavioral health issues to appropriate venues of care.

Joe Eppling, assistant vice president of post acute and behavioral health services at East Jefferson General Hospital and Julie Szempruch, associate vice president and chief nursing officer for the Midtown Mental Health Center, Wishard Health Services describe their organizations' strategies for serving the needs of the behavioral health patient in the emergency room, including:

  • Complying with EMTALA requirements;
  • Creating linkages with behavioral health providers to provide care in appropriate settings;
  • Triaging for behavioral health needs in the emergency department; and
  • Developing patient education programs on appropriate emergency department use.

Have questions on our webinar and/or webinar formats? Visit our webinar FAQ.

You can listen to this program right in your office and enjoy significant savings – no travel time or hassle; no hotel expenses. It’s so convenient! Invite your staff members to gather around a conference table to listen to the CD, DVD or the On Demand version.


CEOs, medical directors, disease management directors, managers and coordinators, health plan executives, care management nurses, health promotion and wellness professionals and business development and strategic planning directors.


Joe Eppling
The establishment of medical homes and transitional care units for mental health patients could play a part in reducing the number of mental-health related ER visits by opening up acute care beds in the ER.

Joe Eppling, RN, MN, CRRN, CNAA, BC, is the director of behavioral health services for East Jefferson General Hospital.

He is board-certified in advanced nursing administration, is a certified rehabilitation registered nurse and has over 15 years of management experience in various areas including: emergency, rehabilitation, workman’s compensation, and physician office practice. Eppling was recently honored as Louisiana’s 2007 Nightingale Nurse of the Year.

He is a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and the New Orleans Area Organization of Nursing Executives and presented “First Encounters…A Psychiatric Emergency Program” at the American Psychiatric Nurses Association national conference in October of 2007.

He is past chair for the Jefferson Parish Anti-Drug Community Coalition and the Jefferson Parish Mental Health Task Force.

Eppling received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Nicholls State University, Thibodeaux, La., a Master of Science from the College of St. Francis, Joliet, Ill., and a Master of Nursing from Louisiana State University, New Orleans.

Julie Szempruch
Cooperation among all healthcare professionals will reduce ED misuse by behavioral health patients.

Julie L. Bruggeman Szempruch, RN, MSN, APN, is currently associate vice president and chief nursing officer at Midtown Community Mental Health Center, providing administrative and clinical leadership to the oldest community mental health center in Indiana. Prior to her present role, Szempruch served as director of acute care services for Midtown. She has built an extensive network of clinical nurse specialists functioning in various roles as prescribers and treatment providers.

At Midtown, Szempruch planned, implemented and continues to direct the states first psychiatric emergency department within a general hospital. She assisted in the integration of mental health services within the primary care model.

Szempruch has served as the first director of mental health services at St. Francis Hospital in Beech Grove, Indiana. She created a mental health department from the inception, including construction and planning for inpatient services, intensive outpatient services for mental health services and addictions, and a private practice-model mental health outpatient clinic utilizing family practice physicians for medical leadership.

At various points throughout her career, she has served as faculty for Indiana University School of Nursing graduate and undergraduate programs, as well as Marian College School of Nursing. Szempruch has served on various education curriculum development committees and continues to work with special projects for local and national universities.

Szempruch has been actively involved in the creation of a city-wide Crisis Intervention Team, which has successfully impacted the way the legal system and mental health system serves persons with mental illness. She serves on the advisory board for the Legacy House, a service provider for victims of violence. She was a charter member for the American Psychiatric Nursing Association for Indiana, later serving as president of the statewide organization. She assisted in the development of the initial impaired nurse program while serving as a member of the Indiana State Nurses Association.

Szempruch’s commitment to nursing and mental health services has been formally recognized by Indiana University, the Indianapolis Police Department, the Marion County Sheriff Department, the Indianapolis Board of Public Safety and other statewide agencies and universities.

Szempruch has a Registered Nursing diploma from Community Hospital in Springfield, Ohio. She received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Nursing with a Clinical Specialist in Mental Health Nursing from Indiana University.

Publication Date: July 30, 2008
Number of Pages: Webinar
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Emergency Exits: Reducing Emergency Room Utilization by Retooling Care-Seeking and Care Access Options
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