2014 BHECN Annual Conference

Over 150 behavioral health professionals and administrators joined BHECN for the 2014 Annual Conference on Friday, June 20 at the Embassy Suites-La Vista. This year’s theme – Innovative Models of Primary Care Integration and Behavioral Health – featured insights, lessons learned, and outcomes from three models of integrated behavioral health both nationally as well as in Nebraska.

Speakers included:

Blount Alexander Blount, Ed.D., Director of the Center for Integrated Primary Care at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, set the stage for the conference with the “what” and “why” of integrated care including the prevalence and costs of mental illness and the impact of behavioral health problems in primary care settings. He introduced types of integrated practices and shared the traits and skills needed for successful integrated behavioral health practices. For more on Dr. Bount’s presentation see his slides: Integration of Behavioral Health and Primary Care
Ratzliff Anna Ratzliff, M.D., Associate Director for Education at the Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions (AIMS) Center at the University of Washington spoke in greater detail about the “AIMS Model” of collaborative care. The collaborative care model includes a mental health care manager in a primary care practice. The model is consistently more effective than usual care, as demonstrated by over 80 randomized control trials. For more on Dr. Ratzliff’s presentation see her slides: Collaborative Care: Evidence-Based Mental Health Care in Primary Care Settings. For more resources on the AIMS Center and the collaborative care model, see http://aims.uw.edu/.
Evans Joseph Evans, Ph.D., Director of the Department of Psychology at UNMC’s Munroe-Meyer Institute (MMI) and Associate Clinical Director at BHECN spoke about the Nebraska model of integrating behavioral health care. For 17 years, MMI has been placing psychology graduate students and post-docs at pediatric primary care practices across Nebraska. Today, 19 rural sites, 21 Omaha sites and 4 Lincoln sites are integrated. For more on Dr. Evan’s presentation see his slides: Integration of Behavioral Health into Primary Care: What’s Happening in Nebraska.

After the keynote presentations, Howard Liu, M.D., BHECN’s Medical Director spoke briefly about 5 themes for developing Nebraska’s behavioral health workforce and some of the strategies BHECN is pursuing to build the workforce. Dr. Liu then presented the inaugural BHECN Ambassador and Courage Awards and the 2nd Annual Distinguished Service Award. Award recipients include:

Ambassador Award 2014

Ambassador Award

This award recognizes the outstanding efforts of a student, trainee, or health care professional in mentoring the future behavioral health workforce of Nebraska. The award was presented to two psychiatry residents – Dr. Marin Broucek and Dr. Nathan Bruce – for their contributions as mentors and speakers at our high school and college Ambassador programs.

Dr. Broucek is currently a third year resident. She is originally from South Dakota, and graduated from Sanford School of Medicine of the University of South Dakota in 2011. Dr. Bruce is from Hastings, Nebraska and did his undergraduate work in psychology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He graduated from the Des Moines University Osteopathic Center in Des Moines and currently serves as Co-Chief Resident.

Courage Award Presentation

Courage Award 

This award recognizes outstanding service and outreach to the behavioral health community by a consumer of services or a family member. Our inaugural Courage Award is presented to Kristi Barth.

Kristi is a co-founder of Teens Finding Hope – an organization dedicated to providing resources and encouragement to teens and families affected by depression – and co-author of Jared’s Journal – a book about a teen living with depression and finding ways to cope. She is a tireless advocate for all families and youth struggling with mental illness.

BHECN Distinguished Service Award

This award is presented for inspirational leadership, service, advocacy, and heart for behavioral health of Nebraska. Our second annual award was presented to State Senator Amanda McGill. Since her election in 2006, Senator McGill has been active on mental health issues at the Legislature, passing legislation that created the children’s behavioral health screening pilot program and improved telehealth access and funding for graduate psychology internships. Senator McGill was unable to join us for the conference, but sent along her sincere thanks in a pre-recorded video:

Sen. McGill Accepting the Distinguished Service Award