Spotlight: Tri-County Community Action Agency Enhances Support for Children’s Mental and Behavioral Health

  • 18 May 2022
Jennifer Caffrey, MSW, LICSW
Daniella Pierre, MPH, HCM

This Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re spotlighting one of the pediatric practices that recently wrapped up their participation in our Pediatric Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) pilot program: Tri-County Community Action Agency. We interviewed Jennifer Caffrey, MSW, LICSW, IBH Director and Daniella Pierre, MPH, HCM, Health Center Chief Quality Officer to talk about Tri-County’s participation and advice for other practices.

How did your participation in the Pediatric IBH project impact the team and patients at Tri-County? 

Participating in the Pediatric IBH project created an opportunity for our multi-disciplinary team to closely collaborate, identify gaps in services and work together to create a streamlined approach to screening and delivery of services. Our monthly meetings with CTC-RI were crucial in the process of continual improvement of our Pediatric IBH program.  

What new adjustments or changes have been the most surprising, challenging, or helpful in your IBH work? 

Establishing a consistent approach to screening and ensuring ongoing training of staff in all positions has been challenging but so important in ensuring that patients are appropriately screened and clinicians are available in the moment for warm hand-offs from providers. Working closely with our quality improvement team was essential to the success of our IBH program.  

What advice would you give to other pediatric practices interested in exploring/introducing IBH? 

Having the support of our agency administration and health center leadership has been instrumental in the success of our IBH program. Review of the research and evidenced-based practice supporting true integration of behavioral health is essential to a successful IBH program. Participation from all disciplines within the practice is key to a successful and truly integrated program.