North Carolina AHEC Program
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NC AHEC Supports Innovative Psychiatric Mental Health Training

In 2006, the NC AHEC Program received special funding from the NC General Assembly to address the shortage of psychiatrists and other mental health providers serving rural and underserved populations in the state. In 2013-2014, in collaboration with NC universities and affiliated AHECs, The North Carolina AHEC Program will provide funding to support innovative projects that enhance the training of psychiatric residents, students from social work, medicine, and nursing, and practicing health professionals with at-risk and underserved populations.

Duke University Department of Psychiatry with Duke and Southern Regional AHECs

Mental Health Evidence Based Practices Education

With leadership from Marvin Swartz, MD, Duke AHEC Director and Duke University professor/division head of social and community psychiatry, a popular monthly web-based Grand Rounds series utilizing Duke speakers and community faculty will continue to provide continuing education on evidence based practices for mental health professionals throughout North Carolina. The one-hour live web-based presentations will be recorded as online courses on AHEConnect and offered free of charge. Duke faculty will work with the Evidence Based Practices Center at Southern Regional AHEC to develop a blended learning curriculum and related learning materials for new and advanced learners of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), a core skill for the mental health workforce. Duke psychiatry faculty will provide training on substance abuse prevention and treatment in collaboration with all nine North Carolina AHECs.

East Carolina University Department of Psychiatry with Eastern AHEC

Expanding Access and Quality of Psychiatric Services in Eastern NC via Telepsychiatry

With leadership from Sy Saeed, MD, professor and chairman of the department of psychiatric medicine of the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, this innovative project addresses the shortage of adult and child psychiatrists in eastern North Carolina. The project began in 2006 with funding from the NC AHEC Program to support psychiatrist faculty time and telemedicine equipment. New adult and child psychiatry services and integrated care models have been developed from 2006 to the present time and have expanded to serve clients in 13 counties: Northampton, Gates, Hertford, Bertie, Edgecombe, Nash, Wilson, Pitt, Greene, Beaufort, Craven, Pamlico and Jones. These sites receive clinical services via telepsychiatry, consultation and support for clinical staff, and an interface with mobile crisis teams. In 2013-2014, AHEC funding continues the development of the remote sites to train psychiatry residents and fellows and develop skills of health professionals in rural areas through telepsychiatry.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Psychiatry and
Greensboro AHEC and Wake AHEC

NC Community Mental Health Medical Director Network

With leadership from John Gilmore, MD, and AHEC Liaison Jack Naftel, MD, the UNC-Chapel Hill department of psychiatry developed the NC Community Mental Health Medical Director Network in 2010 to provide information, education, and professional support for CABHA Medical Directors, LME Medical Directors, and CCNC Psychiatrists. Based in the UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health and the department of psychiatry, there is ready access to expertise within the department of psychiatry and the other UNC schools and departments that are part of the Center for Excellence. Other partners include the NC Psychiatric Association, the CCNC Network, the NC Department of Health and Human Services, the NC AHECs and AHEC psychiatry liaisons, and provider agencies. AHEC funding supports a website and listserv that provides medical directors with current information about treatment and system issues as well as a forum for discussion and problem solving and an annual meeting on medical education, professional development, networking and system integration and development.  

El Futuro Center for Excellence in Psychiatry Resident Training

Luke Smith, MD, child psychiatrist and director of El Futuro, is a graduate of the UNC-Chapel Hill Psychiatry Residency Training Program. In 2006-2007, the NC AHEC Program provided funding to support the partnership of UNC Psychiatry with El Futuro to develop a Center for Excellence in Psychiatry Resident Training. El Futuro addresses the need for psychiatrists to be able to care for the growing number of Spanish-speaking individuals and to be proficient in delivering culturally sensitive care to low income families and those from non-traditional cultural backgrounds. El Futuro offers clinical training in three sites which serve Latino clients in Carrboro, Siler City, and Durham.  Psychiatric residents from Duke and UNC and master’s degree students in nursing and social work gain clinical and administrative experiences, opportunities to communicate with Spanish-speaking patients, and opportunities to work with a multidisciplinary team of professionals.

Wake Forest University Department of Psychiatry and Northwest AHEC

Collaborative Care Model for Resident Education in Stokes County

With leadership from the Wake Forest University department of psychiatry, and in collaboration with Northwest AHEC, a new collaborative care model will be established and serve as an innovative new training opportunity for psychiatry residents in 2013-2014. Richard Lord, MD, of the department of community and family medicine and James Kimball, MD, of the department of psychiatry will be team leaders for the project. A consulting psychiatrist and a psychiatric resident will make weekly half-day visits to Southside United Health and Wellness and Stokes County Health Department to provide consultations with family practice residents and attending physicians. Psychiatric trainees will develop core competencies in diagnosis and treatment in a primary care setting, interpersonal communication, practice-based learning and improvement, professionalism, and systems-based care.