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APA Achievement Awards   |    
2013 APA Achievement Awards: Four Exemplary Programs
Psychiatric Services 2013; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.6401008
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Copyright © 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association

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In 1986, a group of New York City psychiatrists began voluntarily offering services at dilapidated commercial SRO hotels and at parks and shelters where they knew they would find persons struggling with homelessness and treatable mental illnesses. Within a decade, their efforts, known as the Project for Psychiatric Outreach to the Homeless (PPOH), had attracted the support of funding agencies, and by 2005 PPOH was providing services at 32 programs in the city. In 2005, PPOH was acquired by the Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS), a comprehensive human services agency that serves over 25,000 people each year and is the nation’s largest provider of supportive housing social services. PPOH is now called Janian Medical Care, and it is the primary provider of psychiatric services for CUCS, employing 40 full- or part-time psychiatrists at more than 55 locations throughout the city. Beginning in 2012, Janian began offering badly needed primary care to CUCS clients. Janian plays a unique role in training psychiatrists to work in nontraditional settings, a subspecialty that to this day lacks formally endorsed standards or best practices. Despite all the changes since 1986, Janian Medical Care has remained true to its roots. In recognition of its innovative program that provides community-based care for persons at high risk of homelessness, CUCS Janian Medical Care was selected to receive APA’s 2013 Gold Achievement Award in the category of community-based programs. A detailed description of the program is available in an online supplement.

The practice of shared decision making is central to the provision of recovery-oriented care. As part of a broad initiative to promote person-centered care, Community Care Behavioral Health Organization, a nonprofit managed care company that is part of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, has implemented peer-run Decision Support Centers (DSCs) at 12 sites in its Pennsylvania provider network since 2009. DSCs provide people who have a diagnosis of severe mental illness with tools to prepare for their psychiatrist visit and make informed shared decisions. DSCs use CommonGround, a unique software program designed by Patricia Deegan, Ph.D., that helps individuals organize and express their treatment concerns clearly. Even people with low literacy and no computer skills can readily use the program’s touch screens. Community Care began a collaboration with Pat Deegan & Associates (PDA) in 2007 to develop a replicable version of CommonGround and design a standard implementation process. Community Care sponsored implementation of the second DSC in the United States to use CommonGround and was the first of PDA’s partners to take the program to scale, playing a crucial role in the migration of CommonGround into medical practice. In recognition of its innovative efforts to empower individuals to play an active role in their recovery by implementing DSCs, Community Care Behavioral Health Organization was selected to receive APA’s 2013 Gold Achievement Award in the category of academically or institutionally sponsored programs. A detailed description of the program is available in an online supplement.

Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan increasingly are enrolling in college, but many have difficulty adjusting to college life. Up to 25% have a psychiatric diagnosis, and many have cognitive disorders associated with a traumatic brain injury. Since 2010, the San Francisco VA Medical Center’s (SFVAMC) Veterans Outreach Program at the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) has helped veterans adjust to college by providing comprehensive specialty mental health care on campus. In recognition of its innovative program that provides accessible mental health services for veterans enrolled in college, the SFVAMC’s Veterans Outreach Program at CCSF was selected to receive APA’s 2013 Silver Achievement Award. A description of the program is available in an online supplement.

The Hasbro Children's Partial Hospitalization Program (HCPHP), a joint program of the Department of Pediatrics and the Division of Child Psychiatry at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, serves children and adolescents who have co-occurring general medical and psychiatric disorders and their families. Patients aged six to 18 for whom conventional approaches have failed receive individualized, intensive, integrated care in a day hospital setting. The program has treated more than 2,200 patients since it was established in 1998. In recognition of its innovative program that has become a model of integrated care for children and adolescents and their families, HCPHP was selected to receive APA’s 2013 Bronze Achievement Award. A description of the program is available in an online supplement.

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