Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training  (2021)

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Principal Investigator: Jim Baker, PhD, Dell Medical School. In addition to social work faculty, the interdisciplinary team also includes Donna Rolin, PhD, School of Nursing; Jane Gray, PhD, Educational Psychology. 

Texas has the largest percentage of uninsured residents and the second largest Latino population in the country. The recent opening of Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin creates an almost unprecedented opportunity to develop and launch innovative new ways of addressing the behavioral health needs of the underserved populations in Texas.

The project will build upon previously HRSA-funded training efforts at the individual program level to develop the Integrated Behavioral Health Scholars (IBHS) Program, a unique cross-college behavioral health collaborative that will deliver a comprehensive interprofessional training experience in care settings that use different evidence-based integrated care models.

The IBHS Program will leverage shared resources to attract, educate, and train 84 culturally-competent professionals from social work, nursing, psychology and psychiatry. The cross-college collaborative will 1) expand the number and quality of integrated field-placement sites with our clinical partners; 2) develop an ongoing series of multidisciplinary seminars focused on delivering culturally competent, evidence-based care and using cross-disciplinary case studies to promote shared decision-making; 3) establish a shared operational infrastructure to ensure smooth program functioning across all domains and ready access to progress data and performance metrics; and 4) actively promote behavioral health careers in the public and non-profit sectors.

Goals of this project are (1) to place at least 90 percent of the program trainees in the public sector behavioral health workforce upon graduation, (2) expand the number of integrated training sites with medically underserved populations, with at least five sites engaging trainees from multiple disciplines, (3) develop a collaborative training model that engages all trainees in on-going cross-disciplinary seminars, including at least two intensive multidisciplinary workshops, and (4) build a shared operational infrastructure and secure additional funding to sustain the cross-college training collaborative after the end of the grant.