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Dr. Blount part of the team defining IPC competencies

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Sandy Blount and Competencies in Integrated Behavioral Health

Many people know the Center through the work of our founding Director, Dr. Alexander Blount, whom just about everyone refers to as “Sandy.”  Retired from the Directorship, Sandy remains involved in the work of the Center.  Participants in his acclaimed course, “Primary Care Behavioral Health” hear from him during live monthly webinars as he answers their questions about primary care integration and behavioral health.  Sometimes, Rory, the family dog makes a cameo appearance as well!

He readily joins our faculty and staff around the table to offer his insights and opinions about the Center and its online courses.  Dr. Blount continues to do important work in his “retirement” as Professor of Clinical Psychology at Antioch University in New Hampshire.  His expertise as a thought leader in the field of behavioral health integration is sought after by regional and national groups.

In 2016 over 100 behavioral health clinicians, primary care physicians and administrators came together to try to isolate and describe the competencies that behavioral health clinicians in primary care should bring to a health team.  The meeting was the culmination of a 6-month process of meetings and exchanging ideas, which produced “Core Competencies for Behavioral Health Providers Working in Primary Care.”  Click this link to see a recently produced video that introduces the competencies <>. You can read the details of the competencies in the report <>, which was published in late 2016.

The final course evaluation that PCBH participants must complete is a retrospective pre-post assessment based on the competencies.  Results over the past couple years confirm that the course is successful at building the competencies in individuals taking this online course. At the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association (CFHA) conference in Houston, TX this Fall, CIPC faculty member Amber Hewitt gave a presentation on Preparing Physicians to Practice Integrated Behavioral Health: A Competency Based Curriculum.

Sandy Blount was also an invited participant in Starfield III in Washington, DC, a meeting of approximately 50 experts from around the US and a few from other countries to work on measurement in primary care.  The Starfield Summit process is built on early findings from two years of work to catalog insights from more than 1,000 diverse stakeholders—clinicians, patients, payers, policymakers—on what matters in primary care and how what matters might be measured and used in ways that are helpful.