Internationally Recognized Psychiatrist To Share Expertise To More Than 200 Professionals At Symposium

Internationally Recognized Psychiatrist To Share Expertise To More Than 200 Professionals At Symposium

Pine Rest will host an internationally recognized psychiatrist and health services researcher, Jürgen Unützer, MD, at a half-day symposium on April 11, 2018 from 1 – 4 p.m. His work focuses on innovative models of care that integrate mental health and general medical services and on translating research on evidence-based mental health care into effective clinical and public health practice.

His presentation is titled, “We Can Do Better: Integrated Behavioral Health Care & Collaborative Care for Pregnant Women and New Parents.” About 230 clinicians are expected to attend the half-day seminar. Adult and pediatric physicians and psychiatrists, family practitioners, ER physicians, OB/GYN physicians, social workers, and insurance payers are attending.

His first session is, “Behavioral Health Care: Achieving the Triple Aim,” There is strong evidence that effective integration of behavioral health services into primary care can help achieve the triple aim of health care reform: improved access to care, better clinical outcomes, and lower health care costs. In such evidence-based integrated care programs, primary care providers are supported by trained consulting psychiatrists to provide evidence-based behavioral health services in primary care. This effectively leverages the existing psychiatry workforce to improve the reach and the effectiveness of behavioral health services at the population level.

Dr. Unützer’s second presentation is titled, “Moving Mental Health Care Upstream.” Providing effective health care to pregnant women or to new parents struggling with a mental health or addiction problem not only helps a family during a critical time, but also reduces the risk of a child having adverse birth outcomes or mental health problems in the future. Left untreated, mental illness or substance abuse during pregnancy or after delivery can lead to poor mother-infant bonding and affect the child’s language development, communication, social skills, thinking, sleep, and ability to control emotions and behaviors.

Children of mothers with untreated mental illness have higher rates of depression and other mental disorders in childhood, adolescence, and later in life. One of the best ways of breaking the inter-generational cycle of mental illness and substance use is to help pregnant women and new parents who are struggling with mental illness and addiction today, akin to “immunizing” a child against mental health and addiction problems downstream. Dr. Unützer will talk about current efforts to move mental health care upstream.

Dr. Unützer has more than 300 scholarly publications and is the recipient of numerous federal and foundation grants and awards for his research to improve the health and mental health of populations through patient-centered integrated mental health services.

Dr. Unützer is Professor and Chair in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington. He also holds adjunct appointments as Professor in the School of Public Health and as Affiliate Investigator at the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, Washington.

Dr. Unützer founded and directed the AIMS Center (Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions) from 2004 – 2018. He was the principal investigator for the Improving Mood: Providing Access to Collaborative Treatment (IMPACT) trial, which showed that patients receiving IMPACT care (collaborative care) were twice as likely to show improvement than patients in usual care. In recent years, Dr. Unützer’s work has focused on developing local, regional, national, and global partnerships that support workforce development and capacity building in primary and behavioral health care.

He has served as Senior Scientific Advisor to the World Health Organization and as an advisor to the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. Dr. Unützer trained in Medicine (MD, Vanderbilt University), Public Policy (MA, University of Chicago), and Public Health / Health Services (MPH, University of Washington). He completed fellowships in Geriatric Psychiatry at UCLA and in Primary Care Psychiatry at the University of Washington.

This lecture is underwritten by the family and friends of William Van Eerden, M.D., and is free to attendees. More details about the lecture can be found here:


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