North Carolina AHEC Program
fall 2011 newsletter | home

The Duke Endowment Awards Grant to Southern Regional AHEC:
Blended Learning Academy Equips Advanced Practice Professionals with Skills to Care for Patients with Behavioral Health Needs

Southern Regional Area Health Education Center, in collaboration with Duke University, will offer nurse practitioners and physician assistants the opportunity to learn more about behavioral health care. Funded by a grant from The Duke Endowment, a learning academy will be offered to address the continuing education needs of Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs) to identify and manage common mental illnesses in a primary care setting. Beginning in October of 2011, the learning academy presents two levels of continuing education for these advanced practice professionals:

A one-year intensive program will be offered to a pilot group of 10 NPs and PAs who work with large numbers of behavioral health patients. These participants will attend two three-day trainings and monthly web conference seminars with supervising psychiatrists and other experts. The program will have its own web page for references, work assignments, group discussions and list servs. Participation in this program will also require ongoing case supervision and an additional three days of intensive didactic training in the behavioral health care of children. Education on billing psychiatric codes will also be provided.

The academy program is intended for approximately 15 NPs and PAs and is organized in six-month blocks. Each block will start with a face-to-face continuing education forum with participants enrolling in five monthly learning case conferences via the web. Academy participants can elect to participant in both adult and children blocks. Participants in both programs will receive certificates of participation and CME/CE credits.

For more information or to enroll in the learning academy, download the information sheet (pdf) or contact Jennifer Borton, administrator for pharmacy, CE, and quality initiatives at Southern Regional AHEC by email or by phone at 910-678-0138.