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 Update
  • Welcome, Jessica Kay!
  • Year 4 Project Highlights
  • The Behavioral Health Workforce in Rural America
  • COVID-19 Coverage
  • In the News
  • NEJM Publication
  • Upcoming Events
  • Let's Connect on Social Media
BHWRC Staff Update
The BHWRC recently welcomed Jessica Kay to our team as a Marketing Coordinator.
Jessica Kay, MPH
Marketing Coordinator

Jessica began her studies in public health after living abroad in Costa Rica as an undergraduate - an experience that led to earning her MPH from the West Virginia University School of Public Health. Since then, Jessica has used her passion for health marketing and communications to enhance brand and service line programs for Detroit Medical Center, Tenet Healthcare hospitals, Chevrolet LMA, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, among others. Her programs put an emphasis on program strategy and measurement, using an integrated approach to increase brand recognition and improve results.
Year 4 Project Highlights
The Behavioral Health Workforce in Rural America: Developing a National Recruitment Strategy
Nationally, rural American communities have some of the largest need for behavioral health care providers and yet the lowest access. This is reflected in the fact that more than 60% of rural Americans live in a Mental Health Professional Shortage Area, and more than 90% of psychologists, 90% of psychiatrists, and 80% of social workers practice exclusively in metropolitan areas.

Some key employment factors that attract behavioral health providers are:

  • A living wage with health care benefits
  • Opportunities to grow and advance
  • Clarity in a job role
  • Some autonomy and input into decisions
  • Manageable workloads
  • Administrative support without crushing administrative burden
  • Basic orientation and training for assigned responsibilities
  • A decent and safe physical work environment
  • A competent and cohesive team of coworkers
  • The support of a supervisor, and rewards for exceptional performance

Researched in partnership with the Center for Health and Research Transformation (CHRT) , the project focused on a multi-case comparison study to describe state incentives for behavioral health provider recruitment, particularly into rural areas. Results of the project can be found as a full report , policy brief , and offered as a toolkit .

COVID-19 Coverage
With news and information about COVID-19 a top priority, there has been an increase in attention on the BHWRC and Center Director, Angela Beck, PhD, MPH. News coverage includes:

The New England Journal of Medicine has also published two articles co-authored by Angela Beck, PhD, MPH:

Upcoming Events
While the in-person 2020 Academy Health Annual Research Meeting (ARM) has been canceled, the following BHWRC researchers have been recognized for having abstracts accepted for presentation:

Jessica Buche, MPH, MA
Behavioral Health Capacity of Primary Care Physicians

Amanda Mauri, MPH
Behavioral Health Provider Geographic Distribution and Reimbursement

Cory Page, MPH, MPP
The Effects of State Regulations and Medicaid Plans on the Peer Support Specialist Workforce

ARM will now pivot to a virtual event later this summer.
Let's Connect!
We're more than just a research center; We're a communicator of industry knowledge and resources. Our aim is to connect behavioral health organizations and practitioners, and to become a recognized voice on behavioral health news, information, and research.

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Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center | University of Michigan
Phone: (734) 763-3118 | E-mail: bhworkforce@umich.edu