BHECN receives national innovation award

by Lisa Spellman, UNMC public relations | February 01, 2019

Image with caption: Howard Liu, M.D.

Howard Liu, M.D.

A national non-profit organization dedicated to behavioral health care has bestowed its Innovation Award on the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN) in recognition of the outstanding work the center does in addressing the behavioral workforce needs in Nebraska.

"The innovative leadership BHECN has provided in developing strategies to deliver behavioral telehealth and integrated care training, curriculum development and outcomes research, as well as providing funding for behavioral health trainees across disciplines attests to the dedication the center has to the citizens of Nebraska," said Gail Stuart, Ph.D., executive director of the Annapolis Coalition on the Behavioral Health Workforce and distinguished university professor at the Medical University of South Carolina.

"This award means a great deal to us because we were inspired by the principles of the Annapolis Coalition when we were designing our workforce center," said Howard Liu, M.D., director of BHECN and chair of the University of Nebraska Medical Center Department of Psychiatry.

Since 2009, Dr. Liu said the center has worked with dozens of training programs, government agencies, providers, consumers and trainees who believe in the vision of providing compassionate care to rural and urban communities.

"Along the way, we have increased the licensed behavioral health providers in Nebraska by 15 percent. That means better access for families when a child has anxiety or a parent is ready to get help for addiction," he said.

The Annapolis Coalition on the Behavioral Health Workforce is a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving behavioral health care by strengthening the mental health and addiction workforce.

Dr. Stuart said the coalition found BHECN's work in collecting, analyzing and disseminating behavioral health workforce data, including identifying trends and future priorities, particularly noteworthy and a model for other states in the nation.

"The multiple reports and dashboard maps they have created and the data gathered to inform workforce best practices, attests to the work that BHECN has done to not only identify shortage areas, but then target resources to train, recruit and retain behavioral health providers to meet the needs of the citizens of Nebraska," she said.


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Stephen Salzbrenner, MD
February 01, 2019 at 7:09 AM

Congratulations BHECN team!