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New behavioral treatment center, Elevate, opens in Waterloo

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Staff at Waterloo's newest behavioral health clinic Elevate CCBHC cut the ribbon on their new downtown Waterloo offices -- just above Screaming Eagle -- in November 2020. 

WATERLOO — A new behavioral health clinic in Black Hawk County will treat uninsured and under-insured residents and expand to 14 counties in the coming months, thanks in part to a federal grant.

Elevate Certified Community Behavioral Clinic cut the ribbon on its new office Monday at 604 Lafayette St., on the second floor above Screaming Eagle American Bar and Grill in downtown Waterloo.

It will provide evidence-based behavioral health treatment services like trauma-informed care therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, psychiatric evaluation and medication management, according to Bob Lincoln, the project director who manages Elevate CCBHC and the former director of County Social Services.

The center will focus on filling in gaps in service, such as for minority populations, LGBTQ+ individuals, military veterans and those with complex conditions like an intellectual disability.

“We’re very focused on unique and challenging needs that maybe other providers haven’t had the opportunity or capacity to serve,” Lincoln said.

The clinic came about after the Elevate Housing Foundation, an Illinois nonprofit that already operates here as a partner with places like Pillar of the Cedar Valley, was seeking ways to improve services in different communities, Lincoln said.

“They identified a need in Black Hawk County and put an application in for this two-year federal grant to launch CCBHC,” he said.

That $4 million grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration means Elevate will be able to take uninsured or under-insured clients, Lincoln said.

Though the center isn’t yet licensed to treat those with substance abuse issues, he’s hopeful that licensing comes through by the end of the year, which will also allow the clinic to add medication-assisted treatment to its services.

In the coming months, Elevate will expand its services outside Black Hawk County through a mobile crisis service that will reach Butler, Grundy and Tama counties by Jan. 1; and Allamakee, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Floyd, Hancock, Howard, Mitchell and Winneshiek counties by April 1. Jenni Stevenson will be director for that program.

“We’re a clinic without walls,” Lincoln said. “We try very hard to meet people where they’re at in a manner that serves them.”

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Reporter covering Waterloo, Black Hawk Co. and politics

UNI political communications/journalism grad. Alum of The Calumet (MCC), The Northern Iowan (UNI), Fergus Falls (Minn.) Daily Journal and KWWL. 4-time award-winner while at The Courier. Interested in exposing wrongdoing and holding power to account.

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