June 2021 – ENGAGE Mid-Month Training Presenter Preview
Telemental Health – Topics &Trends for the Future
Enjoy the Presenter Preview and join us on June 15, 2021, for the virtual training:
Telehealth: Where are We Now, What Does the Future Hold?
Presented by Brad Felker, MD and Cara Towle, RN, MSN
For more information you can watch Brad Felker and Cara Towle’s video blog here.
Bradford Felker MD dually trained in both psychiatry and internal medicine, his career has focused on improving access and care for populations of patients who lacked mental health services. His early career focused on developing, implementing, and evaluating mental health programs within primary care. This work led to the development and national implementation of the core components of integrated care, known in the VA is known as Primary Care Mental Health Integration (PCMHI). Locally, at VA Puget Sound, he led a team that implemented and developed the first PCMHI program that achieved national recognition and was rated as one of the top 10 PCMHI programs in the VA. This led to further national VA work on the development of curriculum to help promote PCMHI.
It was through this integrated PCMHI work that he realized rural patient populations lacked access to quality mental health care and he became interested in how the emerging telehealth technologies could be leveraged to improve mental health care. With the goal to improve care for this population, he developed, implemented, and led the first Telemental Health Service at VA Puget Sound.
From a research perspective, he has served as a principle and co-investigator on numerous research of projects that focused on the development and implementation PCMHI and Care Manager programs. More recently, his research has focused on evaluation and implementation of telemental health programs.
Besides his work at the VA, he also serves as a Professor in the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Finally, he is an Operation Iraqi Veteran and serves as a Captain in the United States Navy Reserve.
Cara Towle, RN, MSN has more than 20 years of experience in telehealth. With a master’s degree in Nursing (University of California, San Francisco) and in International Educational Administration (School for International Training, VT), she established the UCSF International Medical Services in 1996, building clinical and educational telehealth programs reaching Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. From 2001 until 2015, she served as the founding Director for Telehealth Services at the University of Washington, creating a new rural telehealth network, delivering numerous programs and services across Washington and beyond. In 2016, she moved to the UW Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences to develop innovative telepsychiatry services. She is a founding Board member and former Board Chair for the Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center, as well as a founding board member of the Washington State Telehealth Collaborative.