Behavioral Health Learning Collaborative Learning Session 1

On November 1, 2016, 110 participants joined clinical co-leaders, Dr. Henry Chung and Dr. Damara Gutnick, for the first learning session of the MHVC Behavioral Health Learning Collaborative. The full-day event in Tarrytown was a rich mix of overview topics, team building, and breakout groups that addressed some of the challenges faced by behavioral health integration teams, including training for depression screening, integrating primary care and work flows, and adopting and using a registry.

The session helped attendees take a step back and look at their projects and workstreams on a smaller scale, encouraging incremental, manageable steps. Techniques such as Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) were discussed, with very practical applications: How do you do PDSAs? And once you do them, how do you implement and study the results? How do you integrate these into your workflow? How do you work SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-oriented)?

The focus was on practical, sustainable, and immediately applicable learning. As a measure of success, 90% of respondents said they would be able to apply the knowledge/skills they learned to their work in coming weeks. Survey respondents emphasized their appreciation of the group activities and having the time for team discussions with their teams. Most cited “team-building and getting everyone on the same page,” “group interaction,” and “collaborative problem-solving through PDSA” as benefits from the day. To reinforce the lessons, there was a follow-up Webinar for participants on November 15 to answer questions and support the momentum.

“The energy of the attendees was fabulous,” said Dr. Chung, “It was very gratifying to see the high level of engagement.” One of the most effective aspects of the day was peer leadership at the breakout sessions. “They are going through the same thing as participants,” said Dr. Chung, “walking the walk, and talking the talk.” Learning from peers who have the same or similar experiences, and are perhaps at the same point in the process or only slightly ahead, was extremely helpful for attendees.

Breakout sessions were led by MHVC partners including Allison DuBois and Dr. Daniel Miller (HRHCare); Katariina Hoass (Access); Dr. Alissa Mallow, Dr. Thomas Betzler, Evelyn Figueroa, and Maritza Casillas (Montefiore); and Dr. Michelle Blackmore, Dr. Sally Ricketts, and Kelly Carelton (CMO).

The MHVC Behavioral Health Integration Learning Collaborative is a 12-16 month learning experience comprising learning sessions, Webinars, and workshops. With the help of feedback from Learning Session 1 attendees, MHVC will improve and expand the offerings for Learning Session 2, which will be held in Spring/Summer of 2017. For more information, contact

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