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Innovative Mental Health Care in a Primary Care Setting Available Through NewYork-Presbyterian

First and Largest Program of Its Kind in NYC, Serves Adults and Children

NEW YORK (Jun 24, 2005)

Adults and children in need of mental health care are now treated by bilingual psychiatrists and psychologists experienced in cultural diversity in eight primary care sites of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's Ambulatory Care Network. The first and largest of its kind in New York City, the Integrated Mental Health Primary Care Program (IMP), has helped close the gap between primary care and mental health services.

The unique and innovative program de-stigmatizes the use of mental health services by offering evaluation and short-term treatment services in a familiar and convenient primary care setting. A staff of eight psychiatrists and five psychologists work closely with primary care physicians to ensure prompt and appropriate treatment. Simultaneously, the staff also helps educate primary care physicians on how to recognize psychiatric disorders.

"The benefits of this program have been enormous. Patients can be seen onsite and immediately, avoiding unnecessary delay. IMP staff also offer new immigrants concrete help navigating educational and medical systems, parenting tips to encourage healthy mental development for their children, as well as advice on behavioral management of problem situations," says Dr. Trish Gallagher, director of the pediatric component of the Integrated Mental Health Primary Care Program at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

A 2004 survey among IMP-served primary care practices found that 86 percent of primary care physicians surveyed reported improved access to psychiatric services. Ninety percent of patients reported being satisfied or very satisfied with the IMP referral and 95 percent of primary care physicians reported being satisfied or very satisfied with the IMP program.

The World Health Organization estimates the prevalence rate of psychiatric disorders in children visiting primary care facilities at 12 to 29 percent, only 10 to 22 percent of which were recognized by health care workers.

"Addressing mental health needs requires the help of each primary care physician, as well as families, particularly in pediatrics. Our program has demonstrated the value of this hands-on community-based approach," says Dr. Daniel Hyman, chief medical officer of the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Ambulatory Care Network (ACN) and assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Beginning in 2002, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital placed psychiatrists and psychologists onsite in three community primary care clinics to work in collaboration with social work staff and primary care physicians to provide psychiatric evaluations for ambulatory care patients, and to offer onsite treatment of adult, children, adolescents and families with uncomplicated mental disorders. The program was extended to eight community medical clinics in July 2003.

Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian
Ranked by U.S.News & World Report as one of the top five children's hospitals in the country, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian offers the best available care in every area of pediatrics – including the most complex neonatal and critical care, and all areas of pediatric subspecialties – in a family-friendly and technologically advanced setting. Building a reputation for more than a century as one of the nation's premier children's hospitals, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian is affiliated with Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and is New York City's only hospital dedicated solely to the care of children and the largest provider of children's health services in the tri-state area with a long-standing commitment to its community. Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian is also a major international referral center, meeting the special needs of children from infancy through adolescence worldwide.

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