Georgetown to open Center for Trauma and the Community


$2.5 Million NIH grant to support new partnership

Washington, D.C. Georgetown University Medical Center today celebrated the official opening of the Georgetown Center for Trauma and the Community, a collaborative research initiative focused on developing effective mental health treatment in primary care settings for low-income women and their families.

"We know that many mental health disorders can be treated successfully, but there are huge gaps in the health-care system for women with no medical insurance who have extremely limited access to specialized care," said Bonnie L. Green, a trauma expert and professor of psychiatry at Georgetown who will serve as the center director. "Our goal in creating this center is to work with local service providers to develop and test innovative treatment approaches that will help women overcome their posttraumatic stress and depression, and improve their overall health and the health of their families."

Georgetown's Departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine and School of Nursing and Health Studies are partnering with MEDTAP International of Bethesda, Maryland; Unity Health Care of DC; the Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County, Maryland; and the Health Department of Prince George's County, Maryland in this new effort.

"One size does not fit all when it comes to delivering effective mental health treatment to low-income women and their families in need of help," said Green. "This collaboration will bring some of this area's finest academicians and frontline health care providers together to research, design, and implement treatments created to benefit women who now are uninsured and medically underserved."

Interdisciplinary teams within the Center will conduct research to advance culturally appropriate and innovative methods and research designs for trauma intervention. The Center will also provide coordinated research training and mentoring, and will maintain ongoing community partnerships to inform its direction and to implement collaborative research activities. In addition to conducting their own research, Center members will support many existing research efforts at Georgetown that are focused on improving health outcomes for abused children and women, preventing child neglect, and treating depression and substance abuse in women and adolescents.

The Center has three associate directors assisting Dr. Green in managing the overall direction of the projects: Mary Ann Dutton, PhD, an expert on post-traumatic stress disorder and battered women; Sharon Landesman Ramey, PhD, a child development and methods expert, and director of the Center for Health and Education and professor at Georgetown's School of Nursing and Health Studies; and Dennis Revicki of MEDTAP International, a veteran health care services and cost-effectiveness researcher.

The NIH's National Institute of Mental Health will provide $2.5 million over five years to fund the Center.

"Guided by Georgetown's mission of cura personalis, or care for the whole person, many of the Center's members have a distinguished record of improving health care for women and children with few resources, and this center is the culmination of many years of successful and federally funded work by researchers at the medical center" said Green. "I am very proud to be a part of this new, promising venture."

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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