Integrated Behavioral Health Scholars Program

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Organization Type: 
Educational Institution
Program Type: 
Education Level: 
Educational Elements: 
Self Reflection Activities
Experiential including clinical contact with patients
Program Description: 

The Integrated Health Scholars Program at the UT Austin School of Social Work is embedded in the MSSW Program clinical track. Scholars are either two-year MSSW candidates, or are post-BSW MSSW candidates eligible for the advanced standing program which completes in one calendar year. Scholars take all the classes for the clinical track with a few exceptions. 

IBHS Field Requirements: For their field requirement, scholars are required to be placed at CommUnityCare, a FQHC that is partnered with the local mental health authority, Austin Travis County Integral Care, to provide integrated behavioral healthcare at various clinic sites around Austin. Two year students do a second field placement at Central Texas VA, Lone Star Circle of Care, or other pre-determined sites that use an integrated behavioral healthcare model.

IPE Course: IBH scholars are required to take two IBHS-specific courses. The first is Transformative Teams, taught by Dr. Barbara Jones. This semester long interprofessional education course is co-taught with Dr. John Luk, Assistant Dean for Regional Medical Education with the UT Medical Branch. In this course, scholars work in teams with medical, pharmacy, nursing and educational psychology students to learn collaboration and communication with the ultimate goal of providing safe, effective, patient-centered care. Dr. Jones is Assistant Dean for Health Affairs at UT SSW and is a leader on campus and nationally in IPE (go to for more information).

Motivational Interviewing Course: IBH scholars are also required to take Motivational Interviewing with Dr. Mary Velasquez. In this semester-long course, scholars learn MI theory, MI interviewing techniques and the application of MI with various health behaviors. Dr. Velasquez is the Director of the Health Behavior Research and Training Institute at UT Austin, and is an internationally recognized MI trainer.

Supplemental Trainings: Scholars are required to participate in two additional trainings. The first is a two-day Motivational Interviewing training provided every fall and presented by Dr. Mary Velasquez and Dr. Nanette Stephens. This training brings together new IBH scholars to learn the basics of MI so they can be equipped to practice in their new field placements. Doctoral students from Educational Psychology are included in this training, as are medical, nursing and other health care staff from IBH field agencies. The second training required of IBH scholars is called Standardized Patient Training and is provided in the spring semester. This half-day session gives scholars the opportunity to apply their emerging MI skills in a mock patient interview. UT theater majors are hired to portray patients typical of an integrated primary care setting. Scholars are observed interviewing their "patient" through a one-way mirror by expert MI coaches. After each 15-minute interview, the coaches join the students in their interview rooms to provide specific feedback about their skills and handling of the interview. Each student interviews four "patients" and receives feedback after each one.


Targeted Professions
Family Medicine
Registered Nurses
Ambulatory Care
Social Work: 
Psychiatric social work
Medical social work
Self-Reported Competencies
PCPCC’s Education and Training Task Force identified 16 interprofessional training competencies critical for preparing health professionals for practicing in team-based, coordinated care models such as patient-centered medical homes. Listed below are the self-reported competencies that this program has achieved, which have been organized by the five core features of a medical home as defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Patient-Centered Care Competencies: 
Advocacy for patient-centered integrated care
Cultural sensitivity and competence in culturally appropriate practice
Development of effective, caring relationships with patients
Patient-centered care planning, including collaborative decision-making and patient self-management
Comprehensive Care Competencies: 
Assessment of biopsychosocial needs across the lifespan
Population-based approaches to health care delivery
Risk identification
Coordinated Care Competencies: 
Care coordination for comprehensive care of patient & family in the community
Health information technology, including e-communications with patients & other providers
Interprofessionalism & interdisciplinary team collaboration
Team leadership
Quality Care & Safety Competencies: 
Assessment of patient outcomes
Evidence-based practice
Quality improvement methods, including assessment of patient-experience for use in practice-based improvement efforts
Accessible Care Competencies: 
Promotion of appropriate access to care (e.g., group appointments, open scheduling)
Last updated October 21, 2014

* Please note: Information contained in this database is self-reported by representatives from each program. It does not represent an exhaustive list of education and training programs and inclusion does not constitute an endorsement from the PCPCC.


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