Message from the Interim Executive Director
The Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute completed a very successful fiscal year as indicated by the grants and contracts awarded, new degree programs that further our legislated mission, training and service activities.
In fiscal year 2011-12, FMHI's Department of Child & Family Studies (CFS) and Department of Mental Health Law & Policy (MHLP) received a combined $26 million in new external funding. On the Institute's research page, I invite you to read about the many recent grants and contracts FMHI researchers have received. Examples of recent funding include:
- A $999,000 CFS grant from the US Department of Education on interventions for children with disabilities and behavioral challenges
- Medicaid behavioral health studies funded by the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration
- The National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans at the University of South Florida funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- A $600,000 HIV Education Center grant from the AIDS Education & Training Centers National Resource Center to improve outcomes for HIV-infected patients in historically underserved communities
- Several MHLP contracts with the Florida Department of Children and Families to address such issues as prevention of underage college drinking, criminal justice drug abuse treatment, medication assisted drug court treatment, and the Child Welfare Training Consortium's receipt of a $1.3 million contract to provide training services to a 20 county area in northeast Florida.
These examples illustrate how FMHI research focuses on two major goals impacting behavioral services in Florida and nationally. The first goal is effectiveness, addressing the question: Can we produce change in "real world" settings? The second goal is implementation, answering the question: How can we obtain system changes through adoption of evidence based, best practices?
FMHI's educational programs have increased in recent months. FMHI's graduate certificates were expanded such that in addition to certificates in Children's Mental Health, Positive Behavior Support, and Behavioral Health, a graduate certificate was established in Behavioral Research Immersion to Develop Graduate Excellence (BRIDGE). This two-semester, 16-credit program prepares post-baccalaureate students for admission to Ph.D. programs in the behavioral and social sciences by strengthening their behavioral science research skills, with students participating as active members of faculty-mentored research teams, and obtaining community-based experience.
In the summer of 2012, two new degree programs were approved by the USF Board of Trustees. For the Fall Semester 2012, the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy's undergraduate major in Behavioral Healthcare which starts this Fall Semester 2012. This began as the Minor in Behavioral Health Care to teach students about evidence based treatment approaches, organization, financing, delivery, and outcomes of behavioral health services. The second establishes the Department of Child and Family Studies' (CFS) doctoral program in Applied Behavior Analysis. The doctoral program builds on the existing ABA master's program with its high academic standards, emphasis on research and practice, and network of community partners. Beginning in 2013, five students with a master's degree in ABA will be accepted each year for the 54 credit hour program. Graduates are expected to be in high demand, both in community agencies and schools and in colleges and universities with ABA programs.
Finally, reflecting FMHI's efforts in continuing education, workforce development, and dissemination of evidence-based practices, CFS is also offering the free 2012 Webinar series in behavioral health services to disseminate information on changes in the health care systems, outcome data, ongoing research, and policy development on a wide array of topics that support children, youth, and their families. Presenters include CFS faculty as well as scholars, educators, policy makers, youth and families involved in shaping the children's mental health field through their expertise in a variety of areas.
To learn more about these accomplishments and talented people, I invite you to visit the home pages of CFS and MHLP, and look through their newsletters and updates such as CFS' Impact, MHLP's publications and training opportunities.
Larry Schonfeld, Ph.D., Interim Executive Director, FMHI