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Behavioral Health Integration: Beyond the Basics

According to the World Health Organization, more than 450 million across the globe suffer from mental illnesses, and depression will be the second highest cause of disease burden in middle-income countries and the third highest in low-income countries by 2030.

It’s no secret that behavioral health and physical health are inseparable — when patients have both behavioral health and chronic medical conditions they experience poorer outcomes and higher costs than patients with a medical condition alone. Integrating behavioral health and primary care is a key component of the Triple Aim, leading to better outcomes, better patient experience of care, and lower per capita costs, particularly​ for patients with multiple chronic conditions. Organizations trying to achieve the Triple Aim for their population will struggle to succeed without the successful design and execution of a population-based strategy for behavioral health integration.

To support health care organizations and health systems in accelerating their work in behavioral health integration, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is convening leading experts and innovators from around the country to take a deep dive into some of the core competencies and skills organizations will need to sustainably integrate behavioral health and primary care. The IHI Virtual Expedition: Behavioral Health Integration – Beyond the Basics is a five-session training that teaches best practices, provides the opportunity to learn from experts in the field (as well as from peers), and presents actionable changes and tools needed to move beyond the basics of your behavioral health integration work. Participants will leave knowing how to sustainably implement the clinical, operational, and financial changes required to make meeting patients’ medical and behavioral health needs a standard part of primary care and begin testing changes to put ideas into action.​

​Wha​t You'll Learn: 

At the end of the IHI Virtual Expedition, each participant will be able to: 

  • Understand the importance of implementing a population-based strategy to integrate behavioral health and primary care
  • Describe a conceptual framework for integrating behavioral health and primary care
  • Understand how to optimize the primary care team to integrate behavioral health, including staffing models, managing complexity as a team, co-management of patients, and warm handoffs
  • Implement workforce development for the entire care team, with a particular focus on behavioral health providers
  • Make a plan to develop the required operational infrastructure: physical space, electronic health records and documentation, and workflows
  • Understand how to measure successful integration
  • Identify how to make the business case for integration, including alternative financial models and working with insurers 

Note: We expect that participants in this IHI Virtual Expedition will have made some initial steps to integrate behavioral health and primary care and are seeking support to continue this work.

​​​​​​​ IHI Virtual Expedition is approved for a maximum of 7.5 continuing education credits  for physicians.

​​​18% of Adults in the U.S. have a Mental, Behavioral, or Emotional Disorder




​Session 1 
Overview and designing a population-based integration program
Wednesday, August 16, 2017, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM ET

Session 2
Financing integration: living with workarounds and moving beyond

Wednesday, August 30, 2017, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM ET

Session 3
Optimizing the care team to integrate behavioral health – Part I
Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM ET

Session 4
Optimizing the care team to integrate behavioral health – Part II
Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM ET

Session 5
Making it all work: Operational infrastructure and measurement

Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM ET

Learn more about course Materials & Technology​.



Mara Laderman, MSPH, Expedition Director, is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). She leads IHI’s work in behavioral health, developing content and programming to improve behavioral health care. In addition, as a member of IHI’s innovation team, she researches, tests, and disseminates innovative content to advance IHI’s strategic priorities. Prior to IHI, she served as an external program evaluator for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. At the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research, she managed the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS), a nationally representative psychiatric epidemiologic survey that investigated the effect of social and environmental factors on the mental health outcomes of Latinos and Asian Americans. Mara received a Master of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Smith College.

Jill_Duncan.png Wendy D. Bradley, LPC, CAADC, is Director of Behavioral Health Integration at TMF Health Quality Institute. She is supports CPC Plus Practices across the United States to establish behavior health integration. Prior to joining TMF, she spent over thirteen years implementing and expanding behavioral health integration programs with Ampersand Health and Southcentral Foundation (SCF) in Anchorage, Alaska. Her experience included the oversight and implementation of team based care, managing high risk patients and community engagement approaches to address determinants of health. Ms. Bradley provides training, consultation, and results-driven solutions for organizations around the US.

Glenda_Wren_MD_web.jpg Glenda Wrenn, MD, MSHP, FAPA, is a psychiatrist and health policy/mental health services researcher at Morehouse School of Medicine, where she also directs the Division of Behavioral Health in the Satcher Health Leadership Institute (SHLI) and serves as Interim Co-Director of the Kennedy Center for Mental Health Policy and Research. Although much of her research focuses on systems of care improvements related to the culturally-centered integration of behavioral health and primary care, Dr. Wrenn’s passion and overall research aim is to help create environments where individuals adversely impacted by trauma will face a path forward that makes it easier for them to recover and build a good life. As there are many paths to the trans-theoretical construct of resilience, Dr. Wrenn’s work has examined diverse health conditions and approaches to fostering individual and community resource development and recovery. Dr. Wrenn has helped to advance integration in several large health systems and individual practices of all sizes. She is a community engaged researcher, with frequent knowledge exchanges in the community through speaking and events. Dr. Wrenn also serves as an advisor for several local, regional, and national health-related organizations.

NK pic 2012.bmp Neil Korsen, MD, MSc is a family physician/geriatrician with 18 years of practice experience, mostly in small towns in Maine. He led the development of behavioral health integration for MaineHealth, an integrated health system in southern and central Maine for 10 years, from 2006-2016. He now works as a physician scientist at the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Maine Medical Center, Portland, ME. He has worked on behavioral health integration since 1996. He has received funding support for his work from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the MacArthur Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Maine Health Access Foundation. He has many peer-reviewed publications related to behavioral health integration and was lead author for AHRQ on the Integration Playbook. Dr. Korsen received his undergraduate from Dartmouth College in 1975, his medical degree from Hahnemann Medical School in 1979, and a Master’s of Science from the Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences at Dartmouth (now the Dartmouth Institute) in 2002.

NK pic 2012.bmp Parinda Khatri, PhD is Chief Clinical Officer at Cherokee Health Systems (CHS), a comprehensive community health care organization in Tennessee. She earned her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Behavioral Medicine at Duke University Medical Center. As Chief Clinical Officer at CHS, she provides oversight and guidance on clinical quality, program development and management, workforce development, clinical research, and clinical operations for blended primary care and behavioral health services within the organization. Dr. Khatri is the training director for the CHS APA Accredited Psychology Internship program as well as APPIC member post-doctoral psychology fellowship program in integrated primary care. She is also the principal investigator of several research programs, including the NIH funded All of Us Research Program. Dr. Khatri is also involved in integrated healthcare policy and practice issues at the national level. She is past President and Board Member of the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association (CFHA), a member of the National Integration Academy for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and on several national advisory boards for improving population health and integrated primary care. She has been on the Governor’s Technical Advisory Group for Patient Centered Medical Home for the state of Tennessee, is a member of the Research Advisory Committee for the Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centers for Health Disparities at Morehouse School of Medicine, and on the Clinical Advisory Committees for Amerigroup, as well as BlueCare of Tennessee.

NK pic 2012.bmp Elizabeth Martin joined The Lewin Group in November 2015. As Project Director for the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus and Regional Learning Network, her work includes overseeing support, coordination and learning dissemination for practices engaged in multi-payer reform, data-informed quality improvement and meaningful use of health information technology. In addition, she serves as the Project Director of the Health Care Innovation Awards. Prior to joining The Lewin Group, Ms. Martin served a successful tenure as Vice President of Program and Network Integrity at Optum-Specialty Networks. There she oversaw system change and public sector program realignment, directing all public and commercial fraud, waste, abuse and error activities (audit and recovery) for both behavioral & physical health programs. She previously was CEO for OptumHealth New Mexico where she provided executive leadership for $430 million statewide, mental health contract and oversight of six regional offices. Licensed to practice law in New Mexico and Texas, Ms. Martin is an attorney and former business consultant specializing in operational management and systems building.