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News and Notes   |    
News Briefs
Psychiatric Services 2014; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.654News2
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Copyright © 2014 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Core workforce competencies for integrated practice: Despite the increasing focus on integrated care, there is no single, widely recognized set of workforce competencies on this approach for either the behavioral health or primary care workforce. To address this gap, the Annapolis Coalition on the Behavioral Health Workforce, in consultation with content experts and leaders across the integrated care field, has developed a set of competencies in nine practice areas: interpersonal communication, collaboration and teamwork, screening and assessment, care planning and coordination, intervention, cultural competency, systems-oriented practice, practice-based learning and quality improvement, and informatics. The core competencies, which are described in a 24-page report, are intended to help provider organizations shape job descriptions, orientation programs, supervision, and performance reviews for workers delivering integrated care and to help educators develop curricula and training programs. Frontline workers can use them as a foundation for building individual skill sets and creating effective teams. The initial project goal was to develop two competency sets: one for behavioral health practitioners and another for primary care practitioners. However, developers soon realized that most competencies required for integrated care were common to both types of provider. Thus the competencies are structured as a single integrated set. They were developed under the auspices of the Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS), which is funded jointly by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Health Resources and Services Administration. The report, Core Competencies for Integrated Behavioral Health and Primary Care, is available on the CIHS workforce Web site (www.integration.samhsa.gov/workforce), which also lists links to resources relevant to each competency.

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