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Iowa Pediatric Mental Health Collaborative

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: PMHCA

Project Director(s):

James Olson
Iowa Department of Public Health
321 E. 12th Street Lucas State Office Building
Des Moines, IA  50319-0075
Phone: (515) 281-6880


Iowa children, youth, and families face a number of challenges in receiving mental health care including a shortage of child psychiatrists and other mental health providers, lack of access to specialty providers, and access barriers to care for rural Iowa families. Over 52% of Iowans live in a county classified as a Mental Health Professional Shortage Area.

Goals and Objectives:

The goal of the proposed project is to increase access to pediatric mental health services, especially in underserved communities, through telehealth-based behavioral health integration in pediatric primary care in Iowa. The Iowa Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program is based on the expansion of Regional Pediatric Mental Health Teams and the Child and Youth Psychiatry Consult Project of Iowa (CYC-I). The three main objectives of the proposed project are to: 1. Develop and strengthen Iowa's primary care workforce to increase capacity to treat children and youth with mild to moderate mental health care needs within their medical home. This will be accomplished through workforce development training and education opportunities and the creation of a comprehensive online resource. 2. Provide support to Iowa's primary care workforce through Regional Pediatric Mental Health Teams, including consultations with centrally located pediatric psychiatry specialty providers. 3. Strengthen Iowa's existing team-based child psychiatry telehealth network to provide gapfilling direct services to children and youth with moderate to severe mental health care needs.


The applicant for this grant is the Iowa Department of Public Health, who will contract with the University of Iowa Division of Child and Community Health to manage and complete all project activities. Project staff will coordinate all webinars and training events, engage Iowa primary care providers to participate in educational opportunities, expand the availability of consultations between primary care providers and child psychiatrists, and build upon an existing statewide telehealth network to provide mental health services through Regional Pediatric Mental Health Teams. A multi-disciplinary Advisory Committee will be developed to conduct an initial assessment of needs and continuously inform project activities.


Funding from this project will be used to complement, without duplicating, other state and grant funded activities with similar goals and expectations. These include the Community Circle of Care, the Pediatric Integrated Health Home program, and the Iowa Department of Public Health 1st Five Healthy Mental Development Initiative.


As a central component of this project, the evaluation is designed to address progress toward goals and objectives using five key measures. The five key measures are as follows: 1. Key Measure: Numerator: number of each provider type who received training. Denominator: Number of child-serving primary care providers by type; 2. Key Measure: How many primary care providers have requested consultations? How many family practice physicians, pediatricians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants? How many trainees?; 3. How many, what types of community-based mental health service providers are in the telehealth referral database?; 4. What percent receiving telehealth direct services would recommend this service to someone with similar needs?; and 5. Numerator: How many children and adolescents are served by engaged rural providers? Denominator: Number of children and adolescents in rural counties. Formative and summative approaches will be used to evaluate progress from structural, process, performance, and outcome perspectives. The Data Manager for this project will also serve as the Evaluator and manage all evaluation activities.

Date Last Reviewed: