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Affordable Care Act, Integrated Health Will Be Focus of June Conference

A conference on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the integration of health, mental health, and substance use services, which the act addresses, will be held June 6 at the California Endowment Conference Center in Oakland. The conference, Integrated Care: A Roadmap for the Future Workforce—Building Momentum for Change In Graduate Education will be from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. 

CalSWEC, the California Institute for Mental Health (CiMH)'s Greater Bay Area Mental Health & Education Workforce Collaborative, and the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) Integrated Behavioral Health Project are co-sponsors, with support from Zellerbach Family Foundation and CalMHSA.

This event is targeted towards graduate level faculty in social work, MFT, psychology, counseling and nursing programs in California, along with public mental health leaders.

Confirmed keynote speakers include Dr. Alexander Blount, Director of the Center for Integrated Primary Care at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Dr. Sandra Naylor Goodwin, CiMH President and CEO.

Proceedings will be available after the conference on the CalSWEC website. 

Conference Goal
The conference goal is to enhance attendees' knowledge about the ACA and offer tools to equip students and staff to thrive in integrated health settings. The conference will:

  • Present an overview of the ACA and its implications for major changes in policy and service delivery, along with consumer outcomes, and how this will impact workforce training needs for social workers, MFTs, psychologists, and nurses working in the public mental/behavioral health system;
  • Provide examples of current behavioral health-primary care integration efforts in the Bay Area and hear from practitioners/county teams, including peer/consumer staff;
  • Present the research and business case for integration, including results of recent surveys of professional organizations regarding integration initiatives and implications for graduate curricula;
  • Build momentum for change in graduate professional education programs;
  • Offer practical resources, such as curriculum resources, websites, etc.; and
  • Consider “next steps” to continue to support education of a diverse workforce prepared to deliver integrated care in rapidly evolving public healthcare systems.

Background
The ACA, the historic federal health reform law, will affect service delivery, insurance coverage, and access to health care for everyone in the country. Although it officially begins in 2014, California is already moving ahead to implement some components, including integration of health, mental health, and substance use services as part of each person’s "medical home.” Strengthening the size, diversity, and skills of the workforce is seen as critical in this new environment.

Registration and Information
The registration fee is $55.  Please register at the CiMH site.  

For more information, please contact CiMH Project Manager Kimberly Mayer, kmayer@cimh.org, or CalSWEC Mental Health Program Director Gwen Foster, gwen77f@berkeley.edu.