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On Wednesday June 15, 2022, Dr. Mindy Asbury, Medical Director for Wake ACT, spoke to a group of mental health professionals at the North Carolina AHEC education seminar on the importance of high-fidelity assertive community treatment (ACT).

High-fidelity assertive community treatment (ACT) is an evidence-based and cost-effective modality that improves outcomes, including quality of life and time spent out of the hospital,
for individuals with serious and/or persistent mental illness. Dr. Asbury’s presentation demonstrated the importance of adopting a proactive, flexible strategy to optimize implementation and fidelity of ACT in unusual circumstances, such as the adaptations the Wake ACT team utilized during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The objectives of the seminar were (according to the information flyer):

  • List at least four outcomes that improve with the use of high-fidelity assertive community treatment (ACT) as compared with standard care or hospital-based rehabilitation.
  • Describe three factors (medical, environmental, and/or psychiatric) affecting the implementation of ACT during a pandemic.
  • Identify and describe importance of interpersonal connection for patient and team wellness during a pandemic and beyond.

Dr. Asbury specializes in treatment of serious mental illness with a focus on psychotic disorders. Her primary areas of clinical interest are intensive community-based interventions, first episode psychosis, integrated care, interventional modalities, and the use of long-acting antipsychotic medication and clozapine. Prior to completing her psychiatry residency training at Duke University School of Medicine, she attended Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University where she obtained her medical degree and a doctorate in Biomedical Sciences with an emphasis in Neuropharmacology. She spends her clinical time with the UNC Wake Assertive Community Treatment Team and in the UNC Encompass First Episode Psychosis Program, of which she serves as the Medical Director and Associate Medical Director, respectively. She is also a member of the UNC Interventional Psychiatry Group and practices electroconvulsive therapy. In her non-clinical time, Dr. Asbury serves as the director of the newly developed North Carolina Clozapine Network, is a co-investigator in the North Carolina Psychiatric Research Center, and is the fellowship director of the UNC Community and Public Psychiatry Fellowship. She continues to collaborate with Duke University and the Durham VA, and serves as the Duke Psychiatry Site Director for resident education at UNC.