Outlook: Newsletter of the Society of Behavorial Medicine

Summer 2022

Shaping the Future of Integrated Primary Care: An Interview with Dr. Stacy Ogbeide

Philip Fizur, PsyD and Stacy A. Ogbeide, PsyD; Integrated Primary Care SIG

Stacy A. Ogbeide, PsyD

Like many specialties within Behavioral Medicine, the pace of research and clinical work within Integrated Primary Care (IPC) is exceedingly fast. When working in such fast-paced areas it is wise to frequently check in with the experts as to remain up-to-date with the current state of affairs while also having one eye on the future. As such, the IPC SIG recently sat down with Dr. Stacy Ogbeide, an expert helping to shape the future of integrated primary care. She shared with us her thoughts on the importance of high-quality mentorship at all professional levels, the different pathways to engaging in IPC work, the importance of active involvement in advocacy, and much more.

Cultivating Different Pathways to IPC Clinical Work and Research

Behavioral Medicine is setting more and more training programs offer specialty tracks and concentrations geared toward primary care. But while some graduate programs and mentors help create a path to primary care, Dr. Ogbeide notes that “for some time now, people who are trained in traditional mental health are coming back into primary care and having to relearn things, which is not a bad thing at all. It's just a different path.” For those interested, she shared the following resources:

Mentorship as a Means of Shaping Future IPC Researchers and Clinicians

Dr. Ogbeide highlighted the role mentorship can play and highlighting the value integrated care brings to the table, and how good mentorship is helping to shape the future of this approach to service delivery. “I definitely was not planning to be in primary care, and I am some people have similar stories. I had originally planned to work in behavioral cardiology.” This was her plan throughout her undergraduate education, but upon beginning her doctoral studies she met one of her mentors, Dr. Chris Neumann, who asked “given your interests, are you familiar with integrated primary care?” From there, she learned of her program’s primary care track and was mentored in this specialty throughout the rest of her training.

Dr. Ogbeide has continued to emphasize the importance of mentorship as her career has progressed. Two years ago, the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine launched a program for mentoring underrepresented faculty in academic family medicine, focusing both on “not only offering mentorship for faculty, but training mentors, especially mentors who may not be the same from underrepresented or marginalized group as the mentee, in the nuances of this role. So if you're if you're a white female, what your black female mentee is going through is very different to your experience.” Recognizing this, and providing training on how to handle this, Dr. Ogbeide feels is an important part of training the next generation of IPC clinicians and researchers.

When asked to summarize the importance of mentorship and how it integrated with her other work, Dr. Ogbeide shared that she thinks “mentoring can sometimes be seen as something only for those who are wanting to be in academic medicine, which is definitely not the case. So many of our masters’ students who are coming into the program, they want to be on the ground clinicians in a community health center or a federally qualified health center. I want to let them know that they still definitely will benefit from mentorship.”

Shaping the Future Through Advocacy and Policy Work

Dr. Ogbeide also feels that everyone’s involvement in advocacy is key the future of IPC, including advocating for what billing, coding, and insurance coverage as well as assuring fair and equitable reimbursement rates and more. She recalls when completing her fellowship, she attended a lecture on policy by Dr. Ben Miller. “He is a policy rock star within integrated care, and has been for a number of years. He was giving a didactic to us on policy as fellows in terms of how to get involved with whatever state we were going to for after fellowship was complete, and I remember speaking to him after that and saying, ‘I'm moving to Texas who should I talk to about grassroots on the ground work with primary care?’ He gave me this group, Mental Health America of Greater Houston. They have an integrated care initiative where they work throughout the state, not just in Houston on anything and everything related to primary care." She points to how her work in these organizations led her to her involvement in shaping and advocating for an integrated care bill currently before congress right now. This is one of many examples of how she and others are using their knowledge as Behavioral Medicine experts to affect change locally and beyond.

Closing Thoughts

We spent the rest of our time with Dr. Ogbeide asking her about what she sees as the greatest challenges and most exciting things coming down the pike for IPC in the next five to ten years. As far as challenges, she feels that once people understand the purpose and function of different models of integrated care, it will lead to asking the right questions and having the right conversations to improving care. “I think the biggest challenge is resolving the misunderstanding of different ways to do integrated primary care.” She highlights the relationships among the Collaborative Care (CoCM) and The Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) and how understanding these can improve clinical and policy work.

Dr. Ogbeide also shared that she is excited about a few things. These include ongoing evolution of competency in primary care-focused graduate programs, and offering competencies for supervisors already working in the field, in addition to workforce training in the coming years. “I'm seeing so many programs develop (strong IPC training) through HRSA grants and other avenues, and so I am really excited that our current workforce, a lot of them are getting trained before they're licensed. And so their trajectory may look a lot different than working in the field and coming back later. So I'm very excited for our future of primary care that we're having individuals trained intentionally. They are being trained intentionally, on purpose” in programs designed with IPC mind to help you function as a member of the primary care team.