ETSU Pediatrics awarded PCMH Recognition with a Distinction in Behavioral Health Integration

Congratulations to ETSU Pediatrics for being awarded recognition by the National Committee for Quality Assurance Patient-Centered Medical Home Program with a Distinction in Behavioral Health Integration.

Only forty-eight facilities in the entire United States have been awarded this recognition. The Recognition Programs assess whether clinicians and practices support the delivery of high-quality care and are built on evidence-based, nationally recognized clinical standards of care. Primary care practices that earn NCQA's Distinction in Behavioral Health Integration have incorporated resources, evidence-based protocols, standardized tools and quality measures to support the broad needs of patients with behavioral health conditions. ETSU Pediatrics is the first Pediatric practice to earn a Distinction in Behavioral Health Integration in Tennessee.

Behavioral health integration has been a priority for ETSU Pediatrics since 2009, when Dr. Gayatri Jaishankar, working in conjunction with psychologist Jodi Polaha, began to develop the program by integrating a clinical psychology doctoral student into the clinic. From 2009 to 2016 Dr. Polaha supervised students in the clinic and helped build the foundation for the robust program we have today. In 2016, Dr. David Wood had the vision to integrate a full time in-house clinical psychologist and hired Dr. Matthew Tolliver.

Dr. Tolliver has played a large role in the development and sustainment of the behavioral health program at ETSU Pediatrics. Working closely with the patient’s pediatrician, he delivers brief interventions (usually 5-30 minutes) to patients and their families. About 80% of his visits are “warm handoffs” that occur when a patient is seeing their doctor and a behavioral, emotional, or developmental concern is raised. The behavioral health team also includes a full-time social worker, Brandi Johnson. Brandi directs the resource team, assists families with community resources, and oversees social work students in the clinic.

ETSU Pediatrics has worked diligently to ensure that patients receive comprehensive care; both physical and mental. Integrating behavioral health into primary care not only ensures that patients receive the care they need in the most efficient manner possible, but also helps remove the stigma that has surrounded mental health services for too long. This team approach to integrated care has been shown to greatly improve patient care on the national level, and ETSU Pediatrics is excited to be able to bring these enhanced services to the region.

ETSU Pediatrics is currently accepting new patients, whether you are a new parent, new to the area, or just in need of a new pediatrician. Call 423-439-7320 today to schedule your child’s next appointment.


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