Grant from Association of American Medical Colleges will help expand access to mental and behavioral health care
The UC Davis School of Medicine has received a 2023 Mental and Behavioral Health Training Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The school is one of four recipients nationwide.
Each of the four winning programs has been awarded a $25,000 grant for their efforts to expand and enhance access to mental and behavioral health care through integrated models.
“Achieving this national recognition exemplifies how UC Davis School of Medicine is leading the way to increase access to evidence-based mental and behavioral health care,” said Susan Murin, interim dean of the School of Medicine. “Society’s need for optimal mental and behavioral health care has never been greater, and our faculty and students, in partnership with our School of Nursing collaborators, are at the forefront of implementing integrated behavioral health care models that will improve our patients’ lives.”
The UC Davis Health project is titled “Expanding Behavioral Health Integration Training Across Medical Disciplines and Health Professions.” It was developed by a group of co-principal investigators:
- Deb Bakerjian, interim associate dean for practice and a clinical professor at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing
- Melissa Hopkins, health sciences assistant clinical professor
- Kate Richards, health sciences assistant clinical professor
- Lorin Scher, clinical professor and vice-chair for education
- Carlina Wheeler, health sciences assistant clinical professor
As part of its mission to prioritize evidence-based treatment of mental health conditions, UC Davis developed the Integrated Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) program. Through the program, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences partners closely with primary care providers to integrate behavioral health services across the health system’s 14-clinic primary care network and student-run clinics.
In addition, trainees learn core skills relevant to integrated behavioral health models of care. The program is one of the few in the country with two combined psychiatry training programs, Internal Medicine and Psychiatry and Family Medicine and Psychiatry. This fosters a unique culture of shared vision across departmental training missions.
“We are facing a mental and behavioral health crisis in the United States, as patients across the country face many barriers to accessing effective and patient-centered mental and behavioral health care,” said Jennifer Faerberg, the AAMC’s director for advancing clinical leadership and quality. “We look forward to learning from each of these programs and sharing their innovations and promising practices across the academic medicine community. By leveraging the expertise already in our medical schools and teaching hospitals, we can continue to provide communities with solutions to enhance access to equitable and patient-centered mental and behavioral health care.”
As part of the award package, all winners will be offered the opportunity to present during the 2023 AAMC Annual Meeting: Learn, Serve, Lead in Seattle from November 3-7.