News & Announcements

Call for Abstracts for the 21st Annual National Hispanic Medical Association Conference

Posted: March 23, 2017

The National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) invites health professionals as well as health professional students to submit a Hispanic Health Research or Community Service Poster Abstract for the NHMA 2017 Conference: Trabajando Juntos - Integrated Healthcare for Hispanics. The conference objectives are to:

  • Describe how health care innovations are influencing health care reform’s access to care, quality, and population health strategies.
  • Review patient-engaged and health services research that focuses on knowledge and policy strategies that show promise of eliminating health disparities.
  • Explain new treatment modalities and strategies to educate Hispanic patients with diabetes, cancer, obesity, cardiovascular disease, depression, sarcopenia, Alzheimer’s disease, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis-C, and aging in order to decrease morbidity and mortality in their medical practices or in their organization.
  • Identify cultural competence, literacy, and language services programs for medical education and health care delivery.
  • Describe how leadership skills can be used to improve the health of Hispanic patients in public health, health care organizations and corporations.

Read more about the call for abstracts on

APA Teams With Microsoft to Bring Mental Health Education Into the Classroom

Posted: March 22, 2017

The American Psychological Association has relaunched a collaboration with Microsoft to hold a series of lessons that will bring psychologists into elementary and secondary school classrooms via Skype. APA’s “Let’s Talk about Mental Health” initiative is part of the Skype in the Classroom program, a platform used by educators to learn from each other through the online world.

APA also has made supplemental resources available to teachers who may be looking to use materials to prepare students for a Skype session or to expand on mental health education outside of the lesson.

Skype in the Classroom is a free educational program that aims to remove geographic and economic boundaries to education through the innovative use of technology in a classroom environment. The APA program allows students to interact with psychologists to learn about mental health issues and overcome any stigma they may associate with seeking mental health care. The APA program first began in 2014 and over 220 individual lessons were held during the initial year.

Approximately 20 APA members have volunteered as presenters for the program. The psychologists and teachers work together to schedule 50-minute presentations about anger and anxiety, depression, and resilience. During the scheduled lesson, the psychologist guest speaker presents to the classroom via Skype using materials provided by APA. Each lesson includes time for Q&A with students. All presenters are licensed psychologists and are experienced clinicians actively participating in programs to educate the public about mental health issues.


BHbusiness: No-Cost Online Courses to Expand Behavioral Health Business Practices

Posted: March 21, 2017

To behavioral health organizations and providers: what are your behavioral health business goals this year, and what educational opportunities do you need to achieve them? BHbusiness can help. 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers self-paced, online business courses to behavioral health organizations and providers through its BHbusiness program. BHbusiness offers 12 courses to help you improve and expand your business opportunities and thrive in the changing health care marketplace. These courses are available at no cost. You can learn at your own pace and also earn continuing education credits.

What’s the key to being strategic in business? Data, of course. BHbusiness now offers Data Driven Decision Making as a self-paced, online course on understanding the importance of effective data collection, and how to use data to take advantage of service opportunities with multiple funders.

In addition to Data Driven Decision Making, take advantage of these online courses:

  • New Business Planning teaches the basic steps needed for planning, funding, implementing and evaluating a new clinical service.
  • Effectively Marketing Your Services offers strategies for developing and executing a marketing plan to communicate the value of your organization’s clinical services to the community you serve.
  • Costing Out Your Services provides the necessary tools and methods to effectively cost out your clinical services, and improve your decision-making potential and revenue forecasting.

These and other courses are available at no cost. You can also earn continuing education credit hours from the Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC) for completing any of the self-paced courses.

Learn more on Questions? Contact

Depression Strikes Today’s Teen Girls Especially Hard

Posted: March 20, 2017

It's tough to be a teenager. Hormones kick in, peer pressures escalate and academic expectations loom large. Kids become more aware of their environment in the teen years — down the block and online. The whole mix of changes can increase stress, anxiety and the risk of depression among all teens, research has long shown.

But a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics suggests many more teenage girls in the U.S. may be experiencing major depressive episodes at this age than boys. And the numbers of teens affected took a particularly big jump after 2011, the scientists note, suggesting that the increasing dependence on social media by this age group may be exacerbating the problem.

Psychiatrist Ramin Mojtabai and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health wanted to know whether rates of depression among teens had increased over the past decade. They analyzed federal data from interviews with more than 172,000 adolescents. Between 2005 and 2014, the scientists found, rates of depression went up significantly — if extrapolated to all U.S. teens it would work out to about a half million more depressed teens. What's more, three-fourths of those depressed teens in the study were girls.

The findings are just the latest in a steady stream of research showing that women of all ages experience higher rates of depression compared to men, says psychologist and author Catherine Steiner-Adair. And no wonder, she says — despite gains in employment, education and salary, women and girls are still "continually bombarded by media messages, dominant culture, humor and even political figures about how they look — no matter how smart, gifted, or passionate they are."

Today's constant online connections — via texting, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, — can exacerbate that harsh focus on looks and other judgments from peers, she says. The uptick in teen depression Mojtabai found after 2011 could be evidence of that.


The Power of Alignment and “Commitment to Change Training” in Trauma-Informed Systems Change

Posted: March 17, 2017

The San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) recognizes that trauma and toxic stress are critical public health concerns, with detrimental effects on individuals, agencies and across generations. But with 9,000 employees serving a diverse city with almost a million residents, making sustainable change is a daunting task. In their Trauma-Informed Systems (TIS) initiative (pdf), SFDPH has used multiple strategies to bring their entire organization – and their community partners – into alignment with principles of a trauma-informed public health approach.

In order to promote a shared culture and common language, SFDPH developed core principles and competencies for a trauma-informed approach and a foundational training curriculum. They made training mandatory for all employees, developed a trauma champions learning community, trained trainers, and host twice-monthly master’s training sessions. They increased the likelihood that training will lead to change by using a “commitment to change” process, where participants commit to a specific action based on what they’ve learned – and then following up to see if it actually happened. SFDPH took another step towards alignment by re-examining and re-tooling related organizational processes, including the Black and African American Health Initiative, ongoing cultural humility training, ongoing staff development efforts, and a workforce satisfaction survey.

And they created alignment with community partners by using the same principles in training for city departments and agencies throughout the San Francisco area, including schools, juvenile justice, human services, early child development services, family violence prevention programs, and others.


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