Newsletter 3
February 13, 2017
Welcome to the Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center's newsletter, where you can keep up to date with our research, presentations, publications, and events.
News & Updates

The Center for Interdisciplinary Health Workforce Studies at Montana State University and the Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center at the University of Michigan School of Public Health are pleased to co-sponsor a four-part webinar series in February, March, April, and May 2017. 

  • The first webinar, “Research to Strengthen Behavioral Health Workforce Capacity”, which will be held on February 16th, 1:00 p.m. EST, provides an overview of the state of the behavioral health workforce in terms of size, composition, and characteristics. It will also summarize efforts underway by the SAMHSA/HRSA-funded Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center to conduct studies to build workforce capacity. Register HERE
  • The second webinar, “Solving the BH Workforce Crisis:  Award-Winning Tools for Growing your Pipeline of Providers”, which will be held March 30th, 1:00 pm EST, addresses workforce development challenges and highlights ongoing efforts in Nebraska and New Mexico to bolster the behavioral health workforce pipeline.
  • The third webinar, “Changes and Constants in National Behavioral Health”, which will be held April 13th, 1:00 pm EST, focuses on legislative and policy changes and their potential impact on the behavioral health workforce.
  • The final webinar "The Challenges and Opportunities facing the Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Workforce” will be held on May 11th, 1:00 p.m. EST.

BHWRC Partnerships: New Consortium Members and Investigators
Karen Stamm, PhD
American Psychological Association
The American Psychological Association (APA) recently joined the BHWRC's Consortium. Primary representatives include Karen Stamm, PhD, senior research officer at APA’s Center for Workforce Studies and Jim Diaz-Granados, PhD, Director of APA's Education Directorate.

BHWRC received a supplemental award from the Health Resources and Services Administration to work with APA on a study of health service psychology doctoral programs to ensure recruitment and retention of a diverse psychologist workforce. 

Jessica Holmes, MPH
Council on Social Work Education
Jessica Holmes, MSW is Director of the Office of Social Work Education and Research with the Council on Social Work Education. Ms. Holmes joins the BHWRC Consortium to provide guidance on further development of a workforce research agenda for social work. She is also assisting with the BHWRC's project to pilot test a workforce minimum data set with a sample of social workers.
Roger Smith, JD
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
Roger Smith, JD is Director of Government and Corporate Affairs/General Counsel for the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). AAMFT is the national association that represents the professional interests of over 62,000 licensed marriage and family therapists throughout the United States. Mr. Smith has over 11 years of experience with AAMFT. In this current role, Mr. Smith oversees AAMFT’s federal and state government relations activities, as well as the association’s ethical code compliance and legal risk management programs. Mr. Smith also serves as AAMFT’s representative to the American Red Cross and the Coalition for Patients’ Rights.

As a member of the BHWRC Consortium, Mr. Smith will be assisting in a minimum data set project focused on marriage and family therapists.
David Bergman, Esq.
National Board for Certified Counselors

Dave Bergman, Esq. is the Vice President of Legal and External Affairs/Chief Legal Officer for the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). NBCC is the national certification organization for the counseling profession, representing over 65,000 National Certified Counselors (NCCs). Mr. Bergman has over 20 years of public policy experience with more than 16 in mental health policy development at the state and federal level.  He has represented mental health professionals before Congress, the Administration and state governments. Mr. Bergman has significant experience in nonprofit law and governance, serving as the NBCC Chief Legal Officer.

As a member of the BHWRC Consortium, Mr. Bergman will assist with reviewing and assessing legal scopes of practice for licensed professional counselors.

Rebecca Haffajee, PhD, JD, MPH
University of Michigan School of Public Health

Rebecca Haffajee, PhD, JD, MPH joins the BHWRC as a Faculty Investigator at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Dr. Haffajee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Formerly a practicing health care attorney, Dr. Haffajee combines detailed legal analyses with empirical investigations of the relationships between laws and health. She focuses on the ways in which laws and policies facilitate or serve as barriers to patient access to quality health care and improved population health outcomes. She substantively focuses on evaluating behavioral health interventions, such as mental health and substance abuse parity as well as prescription opioid misuse prevention and treatment policies.

Dr. Haffajee is serving as an investigator on BHWRC's study focused on Medication-Assisted Treatment providers.

BHWRC on the Road
BHWRC's work will be featured at the following 2017 conferences:

Dissemination of Study Findings

The BHWRC website features several policy briefs and project reports that highlight findings of our Year 1 projects. The reports are available on each project page and also under the Publications tab.

Visit our website:

  Project Spotlight: A Minimum Data Set for the
Behavioral Health Workforce

The purpose of this project was to develop a uniform set of measures for the behavioral health workforce to standardize data collection procedures and improve data quality across occupations and practice settings. The behavioral health workforce Minimum Data Set (MDS) includes five main themes with numerous data elements to describe workforce size, composition, and characteristics of the behavioral health workforce:

  • Demographics 
  • Licensure and certification 
  • Education and training background 
  • Occupation and area of practice
  • Practice characteristics and settings

The MDS instrument was developed based on previous health workforce MDS work, as well as feedback from BHWRC Consortium members and other subject matter experts. Future BHWRC projects will focus on testing and refining the MDS through data collection in behavioral health disciplines; strategies for integrating the MDS into data collection processes; and developing an MDS to collect data at the organizational level.

Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center | University of Michigan
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