State Extends Grant Addressing Shortage of Child Psychiatrists

David L. Kaye, MD

Published March 19, 2015

David L. Kaye, MD, University at Buffalo professor of clinical psychiatry, has received a one-year, $1.2 million grant extension for the country’s second-largest pediatric mental health consultation program.

“This is a remarkable and unprecedented collaboration among academic institutions to improve the mental health care of children in New York State.”
David Kaye
Professor of psychiatry

The statewide initiative, known as Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for Primary Care — or CAP PC — provides consultations, education and referrals to primary care physicians treating pediatric patients with mild to moderate mental health conditions.

Since 2010, the New York State Office of Mental Health has funded the program, which aims to integrate mental and physical health care while addressing the state’s critical shortage of pediatric psychiatrists.

UB is CAP PC’s lead institution. In addition to physicians with its Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the following universities have collaborated to build the program:

  • Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • University of Rochester
  • SUNY Upstate Medical University
  • Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine

Phone, Face-to-Face Consultations for Pediatric Cases

CAP PC child psychiatrists consult with primary care physicians treating children in more than 90 percent of the state.

The five university divisions maintain a toll-free phone number that physicians can call for real-time consultations. In some circumstances, they also provide in-person or telepsychiatric consultations.

“This is a remarkable and unprecedented collaboration among academic institutions to improve the mental health care of children in New York State,” Kaye, the program’s director, told Psychiatric News.

Kaye also is the UB psychiatry department’s vice chair for academic affairs.

Mental Health Training for Primary Care Physicians

CAP PC has delivered more continuing medical education (CME) credits to primary care physicians than any of the roughly two dozen statewide programs in existence, Kaye said.

Physicians can enroll in CAP PC’s free “mini fellowship” — a two-day intensive, interactive CME course that helps them identify, assess and manage common pediatric mental health conditions. The course was designed by the REACH Institute, a national organization dedicated to educating primary care providers in pediatric mental health.

Once physicians complete the weekend course, they take part in 12 biweekly case-based conference calls, applying their newfound knowledge to actual cases.

In addition to the mini fellowship, CAP PC offers other educational training not readily available to primary care physicians during residency or while in practice. Physicians may enroll in onsite CME courses, take evening classes and participate in webinars.

“While other programs ‘provide fish’ for primary care physicians, we are dedicated to helping these physicians learn how to fish — and that marks our program out from others nationally,” Kaye said.