Having been founded in 1996, the people behind Culver City’s Achievable have worked hard to provide the best possible care to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, with so many patients falling through the cracks with their existing healthcare providers.
In 2013, the Achievable Health Center opened – a state-licensed, Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). The facility is able to provide “continuous, high-quality, coordinated and integrated healthcare services,” according to their own literature.
Josh Kruskol, director of development and communications with Achievable, has been with the company for a year and a half. He said that Achievable was able to see 1,500 unique patients in 2016, a total of approximately 4,500 visits. The goal is to see that number increase this year, but Kruskol said that the facility needs to expand in order for that to happen.
“We have parents who say that they can’t believe they didn’t know about this place before,” he said. “We’re known as LA’s best kept secret.”
Achievable utilizes a form of integrated behavioral healthcare, with the staff including doctors (one pediatrician), a psychologist, a dentist, and more.
Kruskol said that there are people working at Achievable who will sing to the patients to calm them down if necessary.
“It’s hard to take blood from somebody and keep them calm if they don’t know what is going on,” he said.
A big problem that patients face elsewhere is diagnostic overshadowing, which basically means attributing any and all ailments to their disability. Kruskol mentioned cases where people have had benign tumors and even a broken hip, all of which had gone untreated because of the belief that the symptoms were a result of the disability.
“This population has been severely underserved,” Kruskol said.
Achievable is playing a big part in putting that right. According to its brochure, the facility offers extensive mental health services including:
Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders and other special needs groups;
Psychotherapy for children, adolescents and adults dealing with issues such as anxiety, depression and substance abuse;
Psychoeducational workshops and support groups that teach patients and caregivers life skills to help manage stressors resulting from medical and mental health conditions;
Testing and assessments for children, adolescents and adults with ADHD, learning disabilities, and other related disorders.
The Achievable Foundation is a community nonprofit, and there will be fundraisers throughout the year. For more information, visit achievable.org.