Embedded within one of the largest community health centers in the country, the Weitzman Institute is dedicated to primary care innovation and transformation through research, education, and policy, with a particular focus on the underserved. Since 2007, the Institute has grown into a nationally recognized organization with expertise in health services research, continuing education, and workforce training. Its unique environment, within a safety-net health system, has enhanced its ability to conduct research and promote innovation aimed at improving outcomes, decreasing health disparities, and developing implementation strategies for evidence-based, integrated practice for Federally qualified health centers and other primary care practices nationwide. The Institute has worked with practices in all 50 states, focused on building provider capacity and overcoming provider isolation in 15 content areas highly relevant to primary care, including complex integrated pediatric care, trauma-informed care, pain management, substance use disorders, HIV and HCV treatment, COVID-19 care, LGBT Health, diabetes and health weight management, as well as other complex conditions.

There are several project opportunities for an early or mid-career Delivery System Science Fellow, including, but not limited to the following: 1) Universal Implementation of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Screening Tool: In 2017, CHC implemented a 10-item ACEs screening tool among its adult behavioral health patients, and found that this patient population experienced high ACEs that were highly correlated with substance use disorders, along with mood and anxiety disorders (Bryant et al., 2020; Damian et al., 2021). CHC has decided to roll out a universal screening of all its 155,000 active patients, which presents an opportunity for a Fellow to examine the implementation of such screening in other settings (e.g., medical, dental), as well as referral process to co-located behavioral health services for patients with high ACEs. 2) School Based Health Centers (SBHCs) as a Patient Centered Medical Home: CHC is one of the largest FQHC sponsors of SBHCs in the country, however, has not conducted any formal evaluation in its 25+ years of SBHC sponsorship, which presents ample opportunity for examining the role of SBHCs in reducing disparities in healthcare access and outcomes given that SBHCs are largely located in low-income schools with high proportions of racial/ethnic minorities. 3) Telemental Health Implementation: Prior to the pandemic, CHC did not offer any telehealth services. Three weeks into the pandemic, CHC fully shifted into behavioral health services to telehealth. Moreover, with school closures and other socioeconomic disruptions, clinicians anecdotally reported a rise in cases of trauma in its pediatric population. With this project, the Fellow has the opportunity to focus particularly on the role of telemental health in addressing childhood trauma.

The Weitzman Institute is a 2022 AcademyHealth Delivery System Science Fellowship host site. Find out more about the fellowship here.