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APA Silver Award

American Psychiatric Association Recognizes
Integrated Pediatric Behavioral Health Program

with Silver Award for Psychiatric Services Achievement

Congratulations to Dr. Abigail Schlesinger, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and her colleagues on their receipt of the 2014 Silver Award from the American Psychiatric Association.  The Psychiatric Services Achievement Awards Committee chose the Children’s Community Pediatrics Behavioral Health Services in the Pediatric Medical Home initiative as winner of this year’s Silver Award for serving as a national model of creative service delivery.

Dr. Schlesinger serves as the Clinical Director of Community-Based Services (Behavioral Science Division) and Medical Director of the Center of Independence at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.  She worked closely with Kathy Guatteri, RN, BSN, MBA, Vice President of Outpatient Services, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and President, Children's Community Pediatrics, and others to implement this initiative.  

The formal awards announcement and ceremony took place on October 30, 2014 at the Opening Session of the 66th Institute on Psychiatric Services in San Francisco, CA.  As part of the award, Dr. Schlesinger and Ms. Guatteri were invited by the Institute’s Scientific Program Committee to present at a special workshop following the Opening Session of the meeting.  The American Psychiatric Association also presented the program with a cash prize and featured it in the October issue of Psychiatric Services.  

The Children’s Community Pediatrics Behavioral Health Services is a collaborative effort of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC (WPIC), Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and Children’s Community Pediatrics.  It is designed to provide early access to empirically supported interventions for children and adolescents with behavioral health problems in the pediatric medical home.  The service provides behavioral/physical health integrated services access to more than 188,000 children and families in Western Pennsylvania.  This integrated approach is designed to reduce stigma, increase patient and family engagement in services, and improve access to empirically supported interventions.  Early intervention provided by an integrated behavioral/physical health system in the pediatric medical home can alter the trajectory of the behavioral health problems, in order to prevent lifelong problems for children and families in any area of the state or country.