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    Partnership Between DBHDD and Morehouse School of Medicine to Strengthen Behavioral Health Service for Georgians

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    November 1, 2010


    Media Contacts:
    Kristie N. Swink
    404-463-8035
    knswink@dhr.state.ga.us

    Frances Thompkins
    404-756-6701
    fthompkins@msm.edu



    Partnership Between DBHDD and Morehouse School of Medicine to Strengthen
    Behavioral Health Service for Georgians

    Today the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) announced a new partnership with the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine during a public signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU gives fellows from the Institute an opportunity to serve on DBHDD’s advisory boards and develop policies and best practices to improve behavioral health services for Georgians. The partnership will also result in two psychiatrists being placed at Grady Hospital Emergency Department (ED) to provide appropriate interventions for patients presenting at the ED with mental illness.

    The MOU builds upon a statewide initiative by DBHDD to seek involvement from local universities that have stellar medical programs. “Our partnership with the Morehouse School of Medicine represents our commitment to providing the citizens of Georgia with the best possible care,” said Frank E. Shelp, Commissioner of the DBHDD. “Morehouse School of Medicine produces great medical minds that can only enhance to DBHDD’s mission, vision and values. Everyone will benefit from the steps we have taken here today and we hope this partnership can be used as a model to further extend our resources and education to improve the way we provide care to Georgians throughout the state.”

    DBHDD in partnership with the Satcher Health Leadership Institute will develop programs that focus on early intervention and access to quality of care for people with mental illnesses, particularly those with schizophrenia and other Severe and Persistent Mental Illness. The partnership in conjunction with Kaiser Permanente will work with 10 primary care sites to integrate mental health into their primary care practices, thus improving access to both primary and mental health care services in the community.

    These efforts will not only bring about better mental health promotion and mental health care for those in the community who frequently must do without, it will also help reduce the stigma associated with mental health treatment by pushing for it to become part of routine primary care, said Dr. David Satcher, The 16th U.S. Surgeon General and director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine. “We are excited about this partnership to address a critical need.”

    Both DBHDD and Morehouse will comply with all aspects of the Privacy and Security Rules of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and with Protected Health Information to the Institute to carry out its teaching functions to the students who participate.

     

    For more information, please visit www.dbhdd.georgia.gov.