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10/13/2014

Improving Mental/Behavioral Health Services: A Conversation with Joyce Wale (October 14th)

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Despite recent efforts to improve care delivery for mental health and substance use conditions, for example, passage in 2008 of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, mental health and substance use conditions remain both woefully under-diagnosed and treated.  For example, one recent study of emergency department patients showed psychiatric illnesses were under-diagnosed in 75 percent of patients.   Compounding under diagnosis is the fact that these conditions are highly correlated with common chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes - making successful treatment for these illnesses far more difficult and costly.  With major healthcare delivery and financial reforms now being tested under the Affordable Care Act, for example the Primary Care Medical Home and the Accountable Care Organization, there exists today an opportunity to improve substantially diagnosis and treatment for these conditions. 

During this 22 minute interview Joyce Wale discusses the prevalence of mental and substance use conditions and the extent to which they're undiagnosed, efforts (motivated largely by ACA reforms) currently underway to improve care (moreover in the primary care setting) for these patients and what good mental and behavioral healthcare looks like.           

For the past 18 years Ms. Joyce Wale has served as Chief Behavioral Health Officer and Senior 0[1]Assistant Vice President of New York City's Health and Hospitals Corporation where she is
responsible for behavioral health services at over 10 acute care hospitals and numerous diagnostic treatment centers and long term care facilities throughout New York City.  Prior to Joyce served as the Regional Director to the Bronx Mental Health Center and prior still worked for the Bureau of Children's Services at the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Hospitals.  Joyce has received numerous awards over her thirty-five year career as well as has served on an equal number of professional boards and committees related to mental and behavioral health.  Ms. Wale is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker having been graduated from the University of Louisville with a Masters of Social Work.    

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