Funded Projects

Grant Status: Active

Grant Title: BHIPP TAP: Maryland Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program

Project Director(s):

Steve Whitefield, MD
Maryland Department of Health, Behavioral Health Administration
55 Wade Ave.
Catonsville, MD  21228
Phone: (410) 402-8429
Email: steven.whitefield@maryland.gov

Problem:

There is a well-documented gap between the need for and the availability of child and adolescent behavioral health services, particularly in rural or remote communities. In Maryland, there is a significant maldistribution of behavioral health providers, particularly child psychiatrists: While a handful of select counties have a relatively high density of child psychiatrists, nine counties have only one or two, and six have none at all. The overwhelming majority of the latter counties are located in the Southern, Western, and Eastern Shore regions of the state, at a prohibitive distance from better-resourced counties as well as the major academic medical centers concentrated in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. In 2012, Maryland Behavioral Health Integration in Pediatric Primary Care (BHIPP) was established to build pediatric primary care providers’ (PCPs) capacity to address the behavioral health concerns of their child and adolescent patients. This statewide initiative is supported by funding from the Maryland Department of Health, Behavioral Health Administration (BHA), and is executed through a collaboration among the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (JHU SOM), and Salisbury University.

Goals and Objectives:

We seek funding to expand Maryland’s existing psychiatric consultation service for pediatric primary care providers, BHIPP, to add direct tele-mental health treatment and care coordination services to children and adolescents in Southern Maryland, Western Maryland, and the lower Eastern Shore. In addition, BHIPP TAP will expand BHIPP’s existing training program to include interactive, web-based training opportunities and technical assistance for all Maryland pediatric providers.

Methodology:

We will do this by building upon the existing infrastructure and organization of BHIPP with the addition of a licensed clinical behavioral health professional and care coordinator, as well as utilizing the Project ECHO model for web-based training and technical assistance.

Coordination:

BHA will partner with the UMSOM, Department of Psychiatry, for program implementation and clinical expertise, and will collaborate with the Mental Health Association of Maryland (MHAMD) for outreach and education and JHU SOM for clinical training and evaluation. Both universities have worked together on BHIPP.

Evaluation:

Building on existing BHIPP infrastructure, program operation and practice transformation (e.g., changes in provider confidence in identifying and treating mental health problems) data will be collected from PCPs in target regions and used to monitor program implementation quality and initial impacts of BHIPP TAP. We expect that expanding Maryland’s existing program with federal funding will result in a successful program for improved child and adolescent behavioral health care, improving outcomes for children and adolescents, and developing a model for expansion to other states.

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