Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Center for Research on Access


Lisa Fortuna, MD, MPH, MDiv
Director, Center for Research on ACCESS
Medical Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

The Center for Research on ACCESS (Access to Community-based Care and Evidence-based Services and Solutions) comprises a team of physician and psychologist researchers in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP) who are engaged in a range of integrative, collaborative and community-based research initiatives, which are leveraged to inform the range of clinical care services provided to our patients. Research initiatives focus on the implementation of clinical and services interventions aimed at achieving innovative solutions to health disparities and improving mental health care access and quality for traditionally underserved children, adolescents, emerging adults and families. Current projects include:

TEAM Up for Children (Transforming and Enhancing Access to Mental Health in Urban Pediatrics)
This four-year project focuses on establishing how to best address behavioral health needs of vulnerable children and families within the medical home in three community health centers (Dimock, Codman and Lowell). The project uses implementation science methods to develop and study a clinical model and learning curriculum designed to build capacity for behavioral health integrated primary care practice in pediatrics, especially with multicultural, traditionally underserved and low-income communities.

Co-Directors/PIs: Lisa R. Fortuna, MD, MPH and Emily Feinberg ScD, CPNP
Director for Evaluation: Megan Merritt-Bair, MD, MSCE
Project Manager: Mahader Tamene, MPH
Learning Community Directors: Michelle Durham, MD, MPH and Lisa Fortuna, MD, MPH
Funding Acknowledgement: TEAM UP is supported by the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

International Latino Research Project (ILRP) and the IIDEA Intervention for Latino Immigrants
Through a grant funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) thie International Latino Research Project (ILRP) brings together research institutions and their partnering community clinics in Boston, Madrid and Barcelona, Spain to enhance a collaborative international partnership and to develop the research evidence necessary to respond to Latino migrants’ behavioral health service needs. Building on that work, we test the feasibility, acceptability and efficacy of the “Integrated Intervention for Dual Problems and Early Action” (IIDEA) intervention addressing mental health, substance use, and prevention of HIV/STIs.

PI (Massachusetts General Hospital): Margarita Alegria, PhD
Co-Investigator and Site PI (Boston Medical Center): Lisa R. Fortuna, MD, MPH
Funding Acknowledgement: This study is supported by Research Grant 7R01DA034952, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and research supplement R01MH100155, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

BREATH Intervention for PTSD in Primary Care
The project goal is to develop and pilot test a novel brief intervention protocol called BREATH for the treatment of PTSD in adolescents for use in primary care clinics.

Co-PIs: Lauren Ng, PhD (Psychiatry) and Mandy Coles, MD, MPH (Pediatrics).
Co-I: Lisa R. Fortuna, MD, MPH
Funding Acknowledgement: The Center for the Urban Child and Healthy Family and the Joel and Barbara Alpert Endowment.

Quality Improvement (QI) Project to Improve Patient Engagement
This quality improvement (QI) research project seeks to better understand the factors that predict patient engagement in, and dropout from, child psychiatry services at BMC. The findings of this project will be used to improve service delivery at BMC to facilitate patient engagement in child psychiatry, and to inform child psychiatry service delivery more broadly.

Co-PIs: Lauren Ng, PhD and Andrea Spencer, MD

Task Sharing in Recovery Learning Communities: Implementation of Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation (STAIR) for PTSD
A community engagement implementation-effectiveness pilot trial aimed at refining a cognitive-behavioral intervention package that can be delivered by certified peer specialists in non-traditional mental health settings.

PI: Sarah Valentine, PhD
Funding Acknowledgement: Boston University Clinical and Translational Science Institute (BU-CTSI) Integrated Pilot Grant

Collaborative Office Rounds (COR)
The Collaborative Office Rounds is an opportunity for pediatric primary care colleagues to enhance their confidence, knowledge and skills to address behavioral health issues in minority and underserved primary care settings. The collaborative case-based learning rounds allows for shared learning and collaboration between BMC developmental and behavioral pediatrics, child and adolescent psychiatry, and our community partners.

PI: Michelle P. Durham, MD, MPH
Funding Acknowledgement: HRSA Division of Maternal and Child Health

Revolutionizing Equal Access to Care and Health (REACH) for ADHD 
The mission of REACH for ADHD (Revolutionizing Equal Access to Care and Health for ADHD) is to develop, test, and implement novel strategies to improve the lives of diverse individuals with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In particular, our program focuses developing strategies to reduce disparities in ADHD detection and treatment, to address environmental contributors to the disorder, and to improve continuity of care. Our current projects include: 1) a 3-year project funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Boston University Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) to develop a community health worker-led intervention to improve engagement in ADHD care; 2) an assessment of the psychometric properties of a revised ADHD Stigma Questionnaire and its Spanish adaptation; and 3) a National Institutes of Mental Health (NIHM)-funded project to develop an intervention targeting social determinants of health (SDoH) for low-income preschoolers with early symptoms of ADHD. For more information about our program, visit our website.

PI: Andrea Spencer, MD – Associate Director of Integrated Pediatric Behavioral Health at Boston Medical Center
Funding Acknowledgement: Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation; Boston University Clinical and Translational Science Institute (BU-CTSI) Integrated Pilot Grant; National Institutes of Mental Health K23 Award.