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This year we had 3 nominations for the OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PCBH MODEL AWARD. The voting procedure for this award states that after viewing the statement of nomination, all current members of the PCBH SIG may vote for their selection, and the nominee receiving the most votes will be selected for the award.

Please review the candidates and supporting documents listed here and click the button to vote for one candidate by Wednesday, September 28th.

Email ledwards@cfha.net with any questions. 

Candidates

  1. Laura Bridges
  2. Anne Dobmeyer
  3. Virna Little

Laura has been a fundamental engine in bringing the PCBH model to my organization; she admirably, has dedicated time, energy, and her wisdom to her team and the entire organization so all of us, and mostly, our patients could receive the benefits of this model. She is a great role model and an amazing leader!

Nomination Letter for Anne Dobmeyer, PhD, ABPP for Outstanding Contributions to the PCBH Model

Do you know Anne Dobmeyer, PhD, ABPP? You might know her as one of the most influential contributors to PCBH over the last two decades. Or, you might not have heard of her, because she is also one of the most humble and unassuming leaders you will meet. Either way, I am proud and happy to nominate Dr. Dobmeyer for this year’s “Outstanding Contributions to the PCBH Model” award from CFHA, because it is not hyperbole to say that the PCBH model might not exist in its current form without her influence.

Dr. Dobmeyer is also known as Captain Dobmeyer, because she has achieved the highest rank possible for a psychologist in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS; in her typical humble fashion, though, she normally just goes by “Anne”). As a leader in the USPHS, Anne has helped oversee the most massive PCBH program in the world. The Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) PCBH program has a $62 million budget geared toward integrating 345 BHCs into primary care clinics on military bases around the world, and Anne has helped lead this program since 2008. In addition to providing leadership and overall direction for the program, she specifically oversees the development and provision of the BHC training program, which is generally regarded as an industry-best program. Over 450 BHCs were trained in just the first two years of the program Anne created; countless others have been trained in the years since.

I could probably stop writing here because the last paragraph alone should be enough to earn Anne this year’s PCBH award. However, there is so much more that Anne has contributed to PCBH over the years. For starters, she has published three PCBH books. One, “Integrated behavioral health in primary care: Step-by-step guidance for assessment and treatment”, has become one of the leading books about PCBH (the first edition was published in 2009, and a second edition in 2017). She also is the sole author of “Psychological treatment of medical patients in integrated primary care” (2017).

Anne has also published 13 scientific, peer-reviewed articles about PCBH, the first in 2003 and the most recent in 2021. She has published in some of the most influential journals in the field, including a 2014 article for the American Psychologist that detailed the learning experiences from the DoD’s PCBH program. She was also one of three PCBH leaders who in 2018 coordinated a special edition of the Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings dedicated to the PCBH model. That special edition pulled together around 30 of the country’s PCBH experts who in their writings helped galvanize better PCBH understanding and dissemination in the field. Anne has also co-authored 4 book chapters on PCBH and 4 government publications and reports on PCBH that have shaped how thousands of BHCs and primary care team members in the DoD practice integration. She has also given 24 talks about PCBH at CFHA and other conferences, and contributed to PCBH in so many other ways, such as poster presentations, podcasts, multimedia presentations, and representation on numerous influential committees and working groups.

Anne has spent her entire career doing PCBH. After being introduced to PCBH during her internship in 2000, she immediately began working as a BHC. By 2004, she was leading a health psychology service that included a team of BHCs, and by 2008 she was Chair of a large Psychology department that supplied BHCs to four primary care clinics. She has been a PCBH champion and innovator in every position she’s held, yet to this day despite all of her other duties she still works one half-day per week as a BHC. She considers this an important way of staying connected with the in-the-trenches reality of primary care work.

In case all of this is not enough, Anne has also had a robust professional life outside of PCBH. In college she was a National Merit Scholar (after being Salutatorian of her high school), and after becoming a psychologist she completed Officer Training to become a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force. She has been on the Board of Directors of several organizations and done editorial review for various journals and been honored with various awards for her USPHS service. As a USPHS officer, she has deployed to Liberia, Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), and Diego Garcia (among other locations) and provided humanitarian and clinical assistance on-site after Hurricane Sandy, the Boston Marathon shooting, the 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Maria, the Puerto Rico earthquakes and to the Navajo Nation during Covid-19 (among others).

As all of this illustrates, to say that Anne’s career has been a success would be a massive understatement. Similarly, it’s hard to overstate how much Anne has done for PCBH. And yet, despite it all, she’s remained the same humble, unassuming person that she’s been since I first met her almost 20 years ago. I hope you will agree with me that Anne should receive this year’s award for Outstanding Contributions to the PCBH Model. She has certainly earned it.

It’s no secret that gaps between physical and behavioral health systems often leave too many patients unidentified or untreated, while simultaneously placing massive pressure on primary care physicians to make up for these gaps without sufficient support. Through her work on a national level and at Concert Health, Dr. Little aims to both improve behavioral health services for patients and support primary care providers in managing and treating their patients’ physical and behavioral conditions. Dr. Little has been an advocate of PCBH work and developing training for behavioral health and primary care providers in PCBH models across the country, developing training materials and sustainable models.

Concert Health co-founder and Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Little, PsyD, LCSW, is an internationally recognized clinician known for developing sustainable integrated delivery systems for behavioral health services and suicide prevention for more than 30 years. She has spoken at the White House on her pioneering work in the field, including a long term focus on increasing access to much-needed behavioral health support and reaching underserved populations. She has also served as faculty for the national and international Zero Suicide efforts and developed a curriculum that has trained more than 3,300 primary care providers and their teams in suicide safer care in more than 20 states, a training that is provided to all requesting organizations.

Furthermore, Dr. Little has built one of the first and most comprehensive suicidality registries in the industry stratifying suicide risk and, enabling providers to track outcomes and provide effective interventions. Dr. Little brings a strong perspective and expertise on why PCPs are uniquely positioned to identify suicide risk and intervene (~45% of people who die by suicide visit a primary care provider in the month before their death, while only 20% have contact with mental health services). Additionally, data shows that patients disconnected from all care resurface in primary care within a month of death, giving primary care providers a unique opportunity to identify and care for patients at risk, further demonstrating the critical need for successful integration. Dr. Little firmly believes and advocates for all PCBH models and organizations have systemic approaches to caring for patients at risk for suicide.

As co-founder and Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Little brings three decades of clinical experience and leadership to Concert Health, America’s leading behavioral health medical group integrating exceptional behavioral health services into primary care, women’s health and pediatric practices. In her time with the company, Dr. Little has launched over 55 clinical partner implementations with medical groups and health systems in 13 states, including with AdventHealth, Southern New England Healthcare (SoNE HEALTH), and Paving the Way Multi Service Institute (PTWMSI).

Dr. Little’s deep experience has enabled Concert Health and their partner medical groups and health systems to deliver best-in-industry health outcomes. Concert’s team of expert clinicians and psychiatrists provide patients industry leading same-day or next-day access to evidence-based behavioral health support as an extension of their primary care team and supports providers in effectively diagnosing and treating these conditions to improve both physical and mental health. As a result, over 50% of Concert Health patients have seen their symptoms of depression or anxiety reduce by half within the first 90 days.

Concert and their partner providers have already supported over 32,000 patients, with a strong foundation for continued growth in 2023. To support their rapidly expanding patient base, Dr. Little also increased Concert Health’s multi-state behavioral health clinical team to over 200 licensed professionals.

On a broader scale, Dr. Little has a long history of shaping national policy to support physicians and increase access to care across the country. She has worked with state leaders to develop suicide prevention strategies, most recently in Montana and New York, and has co-developed an overdose safety plan that has been adopted by hundreds of healthcare providers, namely all licensed substance abuse facilities in New York. Widely known for her expertise in the field, she has published an article on suicide workloads for primary care providers alongside national leaders and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and was invited to speak at the American Medical Associaton (AMA) on suicide prevention in primary care and healthcare workers, a growing need that has rocked the medical field nationwide.

As a catalyst for change in the industry from the inside out, Dr. Little has invested heavily in shaping the next generation of behavioral health clinicians and has personally trained and mentored hundreds of students. She has been recognized for creating quality field placements for students and is a valued speaker in universities around the country. Within Concert Health alone, the company currently has relationships with 17 different universities for student placements, and along with Adelphi University, has received an HRSA workforce grant to train social workers and psychiatric nurse practitioners to work with underserved pediatric populations. Dr. Little has helped many PCBH organizations develop student and intern training programs to support services and create recruiting opportunities.

As a longtime clinical leader in behavioral health, Dr. Little has provided technical assistance to hundreds of health centers, and community-based and healthcare organizations to develop clinically excellent and financially sustainable integrated delivery systems, materials, and strategies that grow revenue, increase access and improve outcomes.

The vote is closed.