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
In this Issue:
  • BHWRC Staff Updates
  • New Consortium Partners
  • Data Visualization Update
  • BHECN Innovation Award
  • Year 3 Project Highlights
  • Behavioral Health Workforce News
  • Conference Presentations
  • Connect with Us on Social Media
BHWRC Staff Updates
The BHWRC recently welcomed Maria Gaiser, previously one of our part-time student workers, as a full-time permanent staff member to the Center; and added Amanda Mauri to our team as a Doctoral Research Assistant.
Maria Gaiser, BA
Research Area Specialist

Maria is a Master of Public Health Candidate in the Health Behavior & Health Education department at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Maria’s professional experience includes cross-disciplinary training on addressing health disparities created by social, political, and physical factors through mixed-methods research. Her research interests include chronic disease prevention, social determinants of health, adolescent behavioral health and resiliency, and mental health outcome inequities in underserved communities.
Amanda Mauri, MPH
Doctoral Research Assistant

Amanda is a PhD student in the Health Management and Policy Department at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Amanda combines political science and health services research methods to evaluate behavioral health policies. She focuses on national and local policies related to insurance equity, opioid misuse, and the behavioral health workforce. Previously, Amanda worked as the Policy Advisor at the Kennedy Forum and the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation and as the Senior Researcher on Patrick Kennedy and Stephen Fried’s  A Common Struggle .
New Consortium Partners
The BHWRC welcomes two new organizations to our Consortium, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and the American College of Academic Addiction Medicine (ACAAM).We are looking forward to collaborating with them on current and future research projects and value their knowledge and expertise in the areas of addiction prevention and treatment.
Data Visualization Update
In summer of 2018, the BHWRC launched its Behavioral Health Workforce Scope of Practice Data Visualizations on its website. This launch version of the tool utilized only data gathered for the 2016   " Preliminary Analysis of State Scopes of Practice for Behavioral Health Professions "  project. This meant that the data visualizations included only one credential (license or certification) per occupation, per state. The launch version included 10 occupations: psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, advanced practice registered nurses, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, addiction counselors, prevention specialists, peer recovery support specialists, and psychiatric aides. 

Since the 2016 project, the BHWRC conducted a more in-depth collection and analysis of  mental health counselor credentials  and of  addiction counselor, peer support specialist, and community health worker credentials . As such, the BHWRC will be updating its visualizations to include the full list of credentials it has collected thus far. This will expand the list of 478 credentials to 805, and add community health workers to the list of occupations covered by the visualizations. The update is currently being tested in-house. The Center expects to roll out the updated visualization by April, at the latest

Check BHWRC social media for the release of the Scope of Practice data vizualization update, no later than April.
BHECN Receives National Innovation Award
The Annapolis Coalition for Behavioral Health recently bestowed its Innovation Award to BHWRC Consortium partner, the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN), recognizing the organization for addressing the behavioral health workforce needs in Nebraska. Congratulations, Dr. Howard Liu and BHECN!
Year 3 Project Highlights
Mapping the Psychiatric Workforce
The United States has a well-documented shortage of psychiatric providers , when compared to the amount of citizens in need of psychiatric care.

For this project, researchers compiled state-by-state counts of psychiatrists, psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners, physician assistants primarily practicing psychiatry, and board certified psychiatric pharmacists, respectively from the following sources:
  • American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)
  • College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP)

These state counts were then transformed into heat maps.
Distribution of the Psychiatric Subspecialist Workforce
Vulnerable populations like children, the elderly, and patients with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders benefit from specialized treatment. Yet there's a national shortage of these providers , and a disparity in access between rural and urban populations .

For this project, researchers combined data from the American Medical Association (AMA) Physician Masterfile , U.S. Census Bureau , and Federal Office or Rural Health Policy to calculate ratios of providers per 100,000 county population, with CAPs being compared to children under the age of 18, GPs being compared to the adult over the age of 64, and psychiatrists and addiction counselors being compared to total county population.

Findings indicate rural counties had significantly lower provider-to-population ratios across all four subspecialties, and large swaths of the rest of the country (51.5% of counties) had no providers at all.
Behavioral Health Workforce News
Primary Care Making Up for Psychiatric Scarcity
In Michigan,  one in seven children  have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but about  half of Michigan counties have no child and adolescent psychiatrists . This often leads to primary care providers, like pediatricians, having to serve as behavioral health providers - a role they feel "ill-equipped" to fill. In response, programs like the  Michigan Child Collaborative Care (MC3)  program connect pediatricians with psychiatric providers across the state. While policymakers, universities, and professional associations work on long-term solutions to provider shortage and maldistribution, telehealth and programs like MC3 can allow providers to utilize the current workforce as efficiently at possible.

"With a Shortage of Psychiatrists, MI Pediatricians Take Lead in Mental Health Care for Kids, from Michigan Radio NPR, goes into detail.
Upcoming Events
Look for BHWRC's poster presentations at these upcoming conferences:
"Nurse Practitioners' and Physician Assistants' Experience with Medication-Assisted Treatment"

I nnovations in Addiction Medicine and Science
April 4 - Orlando, FL

"Community Health Workers"

From Ideas to Innovation: Partnerships, Policy and Practice
May 20 - Washington, D.C.

Connect with Us on Social Media
In addition to carrying out important research projects, the BHWRC seeks to serve as a convener of behavioral health organizations and practitioners, and to become a recognized voice on behavioral health news, information, and research.

One method we use to accomplish these goals is social media, so please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up with the latest behavioral health news.

Check BHWRC social media for the release of the SOP data viz update, no later than April.
Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center | University of Michigan
Phone: (734) 763-3118 | E-mail: bhworkforce@umich.edu