Row 1: E Harris, S Sampang
Row 2: S Batsel-Thomas, C Engel
Row 3: S Delgado, M Johnson, D Vogel, M Sorter
Improving Outcomes for Abused Children
Child abuse leads to young people with severe deficits in emotional, physical and cognitive functioning. The Therapeutic Interagency Preschool Program, a special education mental health and Head Start program, works with young victims of severe abuse to stabilize/improve their safety, social and emotional development, school readiness and family stability. This interdisciplinary treatment service is able to understand the unique mental health and developmental needs of this high-risk population of children and their families, and enables parents, guardians, case workers, child advocates, therapists, early childhood educators and child care providers to better provide for the appropriate developmental and therapeutic services necessary for these vulnerable individuals. This results in improvement of the child’s chances of fulfilling his or her personal developmental potential by reducing the impact of trauma and increasing family stability. This program has demonstrated best-practice evidence and shows significant reduction of cognitive and developmental difficulties. The preschool program, led by Jane Sites, EdD, LSW, has demonstrated outcome data that includes reduction in the number of children in foster care, significant improvements in speech, language development, social skills and self-control and reduced problematic behaviors.
Improving Access to Care through Improved Consultation
The demand for child and adolescent mental health services continues to increase. Over half of children in our nation who suffer with psychiatric conditions do not receive adequate care. Primary care physicians, and especially pediatricians, are increasingly providing psychiatric evaluations and treatment. To enhance these services, division director Michael Sorter, MD, and his team have worked with other Ohio children’s hospitals and the Ohio Department of Mental Health to develop the Pediatric Psychiatry Network. This is a real-time phone consultation service available to all primary care physicians in the state. Primary care physicians are able to reach a child and adolescent psychiatrist within minutes to discuss assessment techniques and treatment options. Consultations have been provided in the majority of Ohio counties, with requests growing continuously. This program has placed Ohio in a national leadership role of psychiatric consultation to primary care.
Specialized Treatments for Psychiatric and Intellectual Disabilities
Intellectual disabilities, such as mental retardation, are frequently associated with mental health difficulties and often complicate attempts to recover from acute psychiatric illness. To address these difficulties, the Division of Child Psychiatry has developed a specialized psychiatric inpatient service that addresses the complicated needs of these dual diagnosis patients. Applied behavioral analysis (ABA) is a best-evidence based approach for treatment of disruptive and self-injurious behavior for patients with developmental disorders. Through integration of ABA with advanced psychiatric care, these patients are able to have enhanced outcomes, rapid stabilization and integration into community care. This 10-bed unit is unique in the region and has served more than 300 children in the past year. Clinical efforts are led by Hilton Rodriguez, MD, Division of Psychiatry, and Michael Lind, PhD, Division of Developmental Disabilities and Behavioral Pediatrics. The leaders of this multidisciplinary team have enhanced our care of this challenging population and filled a large gap in the care of these children and families.