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HealthForumOnline adds course on primary care integration

May 26, 2011
by News release
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Philadelphia — A new online CE/CEU course, "Primary Care Behavioral Health: The Basics for a New Model of Mental Healthcare," has just been added to HealthForumOnline’s (HFO) extensive online CE/CEU resource library. HFO is a provider of nationally-approved (APA, ASWB, NBCC, PSNA, CA-BBS) online continuing education (CE) for psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses and other allied healthcare professionals.

"Primary care is fast emerging as an area of tremendous opportunity for behavioral health professionals," said Dr. Michelle Rodoletz, Clinical Psychologist and Director of HealthForumOnline's Continuing Education Program. Patients regularly present to primary care providers for treatment of the entire spectrum of psychiatric and substance abuse disorders, while at the same time these problems are often undetected in many primary care patients.

A wide variety of other behaviorally-based problems are also common in primary care, such as chronic diseases (e.g., diabetes), stress- and lifestyle-related health problems (e.g., chronic pain, insomnia), sub-threshold problems (e.g., parenting questions, bereavement), and preventive care needs (e.g., smoking cessation). Unfortunately, treatment outcomes for behaviorally-based problems in primary care are often unimpressive, owing to the generally insufficient training and time given to primary care providers for such problems.

In response to the clear need for more behavioral health help in primary care, many clinics are bringing behavioral health professionals on to the primary care team. Yet, primary care is a very different world from specialty mental health, and there is often not a clear understanding by either the primary care clinic or the behavioral health professional of how to make this new partnership successful.

This new online CE course from HealthForumOnline helps behavioral health professionals understand how to succeed in the world of primary care. Specifically, the course will detail the contributions a behavioral health provider can make to primary care by addressing how to identify the various behaviorally-based health problems that commonly present in this healthcare context. The challenges the primary care system has in identifying and treating behaviorally-based problems will be presented. Lastly, the basic clinical, administrative, and theoretical adaptations a behavioral health provider must make in order to work effectively in primary care will be detailed.

This is the first HFO CE/CEU course for author Jeff Reiter, PhD, ABPP, a Clinical Psychologist and Diplomate in Behavioral Psychology. Co-director of Primary Care Behavioral Health Services for HealthPoint Community Health Centers, Seattle, WA, Dr. Reiter is the co-author of Behavioral Consultation and Primary Care: A Guide to Integrating Services. In 2008, he was one of three consultants contracted by the U.S. Air Force to help implement integrated care services throughout their bases worldwide. His work in primary care recently earned him an APA Presidential Award for Innovative Practice, one of twelve given annually.

Dr. Reitier has plans to write two other online CE courses for HFO that will further address the integration of primary care and behavioral health. One upcoming course, entitled Assessment and Intervention Strategies for the Primary Care Behavioral Health Professionals, focuses brief functional assessments and tools, measures, and interventions specifically designed for use in primary care. His second upcoming course, entitled Managing Chronic Pain in the Primary Care Clinic, will address one of the most commonly encountered, and resource-consuming, behaviorally-based problems in the primary care context -- chronic pain.

Psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses and other allied health professionals can chose from HFO’s 19 categories of continuing education (CE) topics related to health psychology and behavioral medicine (i.e., ethics, cancer adaptation, women’s health, cultural diversity, eating disorders, reproduction/sexuality, aging/gerontology, pediatric behavioral medicine, assessment, chemical dependency, chronic/acute illness, clinical intervention, group therapy, infectious disease, long-term care, neuropsychology, pain management, spirituality, LGBT issues) containing over 70 online CE courses that are fast, convenient and cost-effective.

For more information on this course or a complete listing of titles in our online CE resource library, visit

www.HealthForumOnline.com.

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