204725 Innovations in graduate social work education: Telebehavioral health in Alaska

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 11:10 AM

Virginia Miller, DrPH MS MPH , Department of Health Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
Robin L. Hobbs, LCSW , The Alaska Psychiatric Institute, Anchorage, AK
Lisa Jamieson, MSW, LCSW , Alaska Tribal Health Consortium - AFHCAN, Anchorage, AK
Jaedon Avey, BS , Department of Psychology, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
Beth A. Sirles, PhD , School of Social Work, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
Susan Pope, PhD , School of Social Work, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
Based on geographic size and distribution of the population, Alaska has been at the forefront of innovations in health and social services delivery. The use of community behavioral health aides is one example. A resident in a remote village receives training and ongoing supervision offsite and assumes the role as the front-line provider of behavioral health services. This includes medication management, identification of mental and behavioral health concerns, and patient management (through consultation with an offsite counselor and/or psychiatrist). The overarching goal is to improve access to services, reduce costs associated with MedEvacing patients to urban hospitals, and to provide care at the village level in the patient's cultural and community context. A growing innovation in social work practice includes the use of teleconferencing to provide direct patient services, such as assessment, counseling, referral and case management, and the supervision of the behavioral health aides in the villages. The School of Social Work at the University of Alaska Anchorage, MSW Program, has developed a new course focusing on telebehavioral medicine in social work practice. A multidisplinary team in social work, health sciences, and clinical and community psychology from the University of Alaska Anchorage, in partnership with the Alaskan Native Tribal Health Consortium, and Alaska Psychiatric Institute Recovery Center has designed the course. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the technology, to gain experience in establishing rapport via video, to develop a better understanding of rural issues and culture, and to trouble shoot with the new and expanding technology.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the roles of community health behavioral aides in rural Alaska 2. Explain the advantages of teleconferencing to provide social work services to individuals in remote villages 3. Discuss the challenges presented by this expanding technology for graduate social work education

Keywords: Education, Social Work Roles

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Currently faculty in an MPH program Areas of reseasrch include access to care for underserved populations
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.