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A Lake County Health Department clinic, combining behavioral health and primary care services under one roof, is opening at a newly-renovated Libertyville site, more than doubling the space of one vacated in Round Lake Park.

Officials say access for patients in Libertyville, Vernon Hills, Mundelein and the Round Lake communities was crucial in locating the new facility at the northeast corner of Peterson Road and Route 45. The clinic was slated to open this week.

“People with serious mental illness are dying 20 to 25 years earlier than the general population due to physical health problems, such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, tobacco-related disease and heart disease,” said Tony Beltran, health department executive director, in a press release. “The integration of primary care and behavioral health services at our Libertyville facility will address this health disparity. Coordination of care can save lives.”

Dr. Ted Testa, Behavioral Health Services director, said the 5,500-square-foot clinic on 4.5 acres owned by the county, is configured as a medical facility even though it previously housed an engineering firm.

“We’re moving to a facility we designed for our needs,” he said, adding that the move from leased space at Avon Township in Round Lake Park, was considered for about a year.

The holistic concept of treating the mind and body isn’t new, Testa said, “but this (move) is kind of the do-something-about-it phase for us.” If can stop or slow down the obesity, diabetes and substance abuse, we’ll see increases in life span. When people feel better about themselves, their mental health improves. It’s really hard to separate a person’s mind and a person’s body.”

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