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Centerstone Researchers to Speak at NIMH Conference on Mental Health Services Research

Dr. Thomas W. Doub, Dr. April Bragg, Dr. Benjamin Brodey, Dr. David Ayer, and Casey Bennett, MA, to Speak About Importance of Collaborative Research and Present Research Findings on Use of Health IT to Improve U.S. Mental Healthcare

Bloomington, Ind. and Nashville, Tenn.—Centerstone Research Institute (CRI), a company of Centerstone, the nation’s largest provider of community-based behavioral healthcare, today announced that five of its researchers will be featured at the 20th NIMH (National Institutes of Mental Health) Annual Conference on Mental Health Services Research. The conference will be held July 20-21, 2009 at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C.

During the linked paper presentation titled “Collaborative Research in a Community Mental Health Setting,” CRI researchers Thomas W. Doub, PhD, April Bragg, PhD, and David Ayer, PhD, will join CRI research partner, Benjamin Brodey, MD, of TeleSage, Inc. to speak about CRI’s multi-faceted work to bridge the gap between mental health research and clinical practice as described in NIMH’s groundbreaking 1998 report, “Bridging Science and Service,” and the Institute of Medicine’s 2001 report, “Crossing the Quality Chasm.”

Drs. Doub, Bragg, Ayer and Brodey will review the values, principles and strategies employed by CRI in developing an array of mutually beneficial research partnerships. A review of the research will be provided, as well as an overview of the organization of CRI’s research division, which includes clinical research, program evaluation, dissemination, analytics and grant writing. CRI’s analytics staff has combined technical resources with expertise in statistics, informatics and IT to establish a data warehouse for 70,000 clients per year, which has been extraordinarily productive for organizational management as well as research.

Additional topics for discussion will include how to create a community mental health and university research partnership; the impact of research on clinical care; financing of research; challenges and lessons learned from research collaborations; future directions; and recommendations for others interested in setting up university/community partnerships.

In a separate paper presentation, “A Pathway to Clinical Productivity: The Centerstone Research Institute Model,” Casey Bennett, MA, will present the results of the CRI clinical productivity model. Three months after implementing a clinical productivity model for Centerstone of Tennessee, the largest community mental health provider in Tennessee, the organization’s revenue increased by nearly 30 percent without any appreciable gains in staff time or costs. Every variable integrated into the system showed significant improvement, including a 10 percent rise in time spent giving clinical services and a 25 percent rise in treatment plan completion. These gains represent a significant increase in efficiency and point toward the potential for reducing overall healthcare costs through the use of advanced technology. Mr. Bennett will outline the process for creating and duplicating this model and review potential extensions of this model to improve patient outcomes while decreasing costs.

Thomas W. Doub, PhD, chief operating officer for Centerstone Research Institute, is working with academic researchers and clinicians across the U.S. to create a future where all people have access to the most innovative mental health and addiction treatments and cures. Dr. Doub’s work centers around both conducting the highest quality community mental health research and then implementing these findings into direct practice. He has successfully directed research on numerous grants for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency and is a sought-after speaker on effective treatments, assessment tools and supportive technologies for community mental healthcare.

Benjamin Brodey, MD, MPH, a graduate of M.I.T. and Harvard Medical School, is chief executive and director of research for TeleSage Inc., which specializes in creating affordable telephone and Internet survey software that can securely measure outcomes. TeleSage has developed its survey software products with the help of National Institutes of Health innovative technology grants as well as capital investment from other parties. A long-time CRI research partner, Dr. Brodey has worked with CRI to develop several tools for measuring mental health outcomes, including the Tennessee Outcomes Measurement System (TOMS).

David Ayer, PhD, director of clinical research for CRI, is responsible for the successful completion of numerous clinical studies. Through independent clinical studies and studies conducted in partnership with academic institutions, the Clinical Research Division combines the work of world class medical and behavioral researchers with access to more than 70,000 clients in order to be at the forefront of the quickly expanding field of behavioral health research. The Clinical Research Division has had a key role in dozens of important studies, ranging from the NIH-funded landmark CATIE study for people with schizophrenia to a study on the efficacy of teaching non-therapists motivational interviewing. Currently, the Clinical Research division is partnering with Madhukar Trivedi, MD, at the University of Texas Southwestern to transform Centerstone’s clinical depression care into a state of the art treatment program.

April Bragg, PhD, research communications manager for Centerstone Research Institute, works to distribute research results discovered at CRI to the wider scientific community. Overseeing CRI’s Knowledge Network, Dr. Bragg works to encourage cross-disciplinary dialogue between mental health centers, academic researchers, behavioral health advocates, industry leaders, and policymakers, in order to stimulate collaboration, encourage academic research in applied research settings, and impact federal funding and policy priorities.

Casey Bennett, MA, is a data architect with the Data Analytics department at CRI. A biological anthropologist by training, Bennett first got his start writing computer programs, designing genetics databases and conducting statistical analyses at the Indiana University Molecular
Biology Institute. With CRI since 2006, Bennett is the lead designer for the data warehouse. He develops interactive tools to monitor clinical processes, case management, billing and financial figures, and compliance measures. Besides designing and implementing the decision-support style clinical productivity system for Centerstone of Tennessee, he also provides database design and management for CRI’s federal grants projects.

About Centerstone Research Institute

Centerstone Research Institute (CRI), a company of Centerstone, is linking science to clinical service through diverse privately and publicly funded research studies and community-based projects. The company works both independently and in collaboration with major academic institutions. Since 2001, CRI has conducted more than 110 service and clinical studies ranging from medication management for mental illness to suicide prevention in older adults. It has received more than $40 million in grants and philanthropic funds to support research and service. In 2008, CRI received the coveted Innovation Award from the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare for its model to link research and practice in a community environment. CRI maintains an Institutional Review Board and manages the Knowledge Network, a technology-based, partner-driven alliance to facilitate the translation of research to practice. The company also offers Behavioral Pathway Systems, a best practices benchmarking service. For more information about CRI, visit www.centerstoneresearch.org.

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