Media Releases

Grand Rapids Mental Health Partnership Joins National Research Study


\The partnership of Pine Rest, Touchstone Innovare, and the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) and the Department of Psychiatry at Michigan State University has been selected to participate in a research study known as the RAISE Early Treatment Program (ETP). The ETP study is part of the National Institute of Mental Health’s (NIMH) Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) Project. RAISE seeks to develop interventions that can be tested in real-world treatment settings and be quickly put into practice should they prove successful.

“We are pleased to have Dr. Eric Achtyes as a member of ETP. We believe the participation of Touchstone/Network180/Pine Rest and its staff is essential to the success of ETP and RAISE,” said John M. Kane, M.D., of the Zucker Hillside Hospital, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y., who is leading the ETP study. The study features national collaborations, with treatments being delivered in 35 clinical sites across the United States, including three here in Michigan.

Despite the availability of moderately effective treatments, such as antipsychotic medications and various psychosocial interventions, people with schizophrenia often do not receive treatment until the disease is already well-established, with recurrent episodes of psychosis, resulting in costly multiple hospitalizations and disabilities that can last for decades. Periods of unemployment, homelessness, and incarceration are common, making schizophrenia a costly disease for individuals, their families, and the community at large.

“We are excited to be able to offer this cutting edge research to the people of the state of Michigan,” says Eric Achtyes, M.D., primary investigator at the Grand Rapids site, and clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. “This project highlights the development of the ‘Research Corridor’ linking Grand Rapids in the west, to Lansing centrally, and the Ann Arbor and Detroit areas in the east.” 

The study is seeking both male and female participants ages 15-40, and who have had symptoms of psychosis and have been treated with an antipsychotic medication for less than 6 months. Commonly reported symptoms of psychosis include: having trouble concentrating or thinking clearly, being confused about what is real or imaginary, hearing voices or seeing things that aren’t really there, having problems with work, school, or social situations, and feeling suspicious or paranoid. The study will follow each person’s progress for up to 2-3 years. Eligible participants will be reimbursed for their time spent participating in the study. For more information about the study or to see if you may qualify, please contact:

Grand Rapids – Heather Willett, Network 180/Touchstone T: 616-459-0255 x315

Ann Arbor – Lorin Burgess, Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County T: 734-926-4653

Lansing – Catherine Adams, Clinton-Eaton-Ingham Community Mental Health Authority
T: 517-346-9591 Email:

For additional details on the national study, see




Our Partnership

Pine Rest and Touchstone Innovare are working in concert with the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) and the Department of Psychiatry at MichiganStateUniversity to establish a psychiatric clinical research network across the State of Michigan. The collaborative goal of this partnership is to develop new treatments, engage communities in mental health research and foster career development and research opportunities for clinicians.

This alliance will work to ensure that patients throughout the state of Michigan have access to medicines and therapies that are on the cutting edge and help bring about medical advancement in the area of mental health to the residents of Michigan.

About the MSU - Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute

The Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) at Michigan State University strives to assist researchers with the development, implementation, management, and completion of industry and government-funded clinical research (i.e., clinical trials, investigator-initiated research, etc.) conducted through MSU and its community partners, to expedite the research administration process, and to facilitate research compliance. In addition it will provide high-level informatics and information technology support to clinical and translational researchers.

The CTSI is designed to be flexible and responsive to the needs of academic investigators and community health care providers; to facilitate team research, and to nurture the next generation of clinical and translational researchers.

About network 180

A community leader in Kent County, Network180 connects individuals and their families to services for mental illness, substance use disorders, or developmental disabilities. Last year alone, more than 24,000 adults, children, and families found help, hope, and care through network180 and its network of care of more than 30 agencies, hospitals, and clinics.Network180 provides services to citizens of Kent County enrolled in Medicaid, as well as a sliding-fee-scale for individuals who are uninsured or have little or no income.

About Pine Rest

Pine Rest is one of the five largest free-standing behavioral health providers in the U.S., offering a full continuum of services including addiction treatment and recovery, extensive child and adolescent programs, senior care services, and Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT). In addition to the main campus in Grand Rapids, Pine Rest also has 16 outpatient locations throughout West Michigan and two in Iowa. Pine Rest achieved a historic milestone in June 2010 when the organization marked 100 years of service to the greater Grand Rapids and national community.

About Touchstone Innovare

Touchstone Innovare is a non-profit organization that has provided services to individuals with mental health concerns for over 35 years. They provide a full spectrum of services using scientifically-proven approaches including outpatient therapy, psychiatric care, substance abuse counseling, assertive community treatment, case management services, and after-hours emergency mental health services. They also provide for support groups and mental health education. In addition to their treatment and rehabilitation services, the agency helps its clients access community resources for housing, transportation, and vocational rehabilitation.

About the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

The mission of the NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery and cure. For more information, visit the website at

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation’s Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit