Alternative Response for Community Health

What is ARCH?

A collaboration between Mary Greeley Medical Center, Ames Police Department and Iowa State University Police, ARCH is a specialized unit staffed by professionals trained in mental health and crisis stabilization.

Many 911 calls come from individuals who do not need an EMS or Police response. The ARCH team can provide an immediate response to certain 911 calls and help connect individuals with additional resources in the community, thereby avoiding arrests and unnecessary Emergency Room visits.

How will ARCH operate?

A two-person team will go out to ARCH-directed 911 calls in a response vehicle, equipped to provide care onsite, where the caller is located. The vehicle will have basic first-aid supplies for treating minor medical needs, as well as water, food and other resources. The vehicle will provide safe shelter and transport to the resources that are deemed necessary. This could include places like a drop-in shelter, food pantry, domestic violence resource, outpatient mental health facility, urgent care or other non-Emergency Room/police solutions.

When will ARCH be operational?

ARCH will launch in September in the City of Ames, and will be piloted over a 6-month period. The goal is for it to be a 24/7 service in the future.

This program is supported in part by gifts to the Mary Greeley Foundation.