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2015/16 academic year UNC-PrimeCare trainee

Jamie Burgess-Flowers“I am currently employed as a Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) Project Manager for Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) in Raleigh. CCNC consists of 14 regional networks of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, hospitals, health departments, social service agencies and other community organizations working together to provide cooperative, coordinated care for Medicaid patients through the Medical Home model. As BHI Project Manager, I work with the Behavioral Health Integration Team to plan, coordinate, and implement a state-wide initiative focused on sustainably integrating behavioral health services into primary care practices state-wide. The majority of these practices operate in some of the most rural and underserved communities in North Carolina where patients lack reasonable access to quality mental and behavioral health services.

While the focus of UNC-PrimeCare is to train future integrated behavioral health clinicians, I believe the seminars and classes helped prepare me to enter either micro or macro-work in the integrated health care field. Having the clinical experience enriches what I’m doing, and my colleagues seem to really respect what I bring to our work. In my field placement, I was able to witness both the successes and the challenges of working in a developing integrated behavioral health program. I am taking that knowledge, and what I learned in my course work, and am using it to represent the voices of clinicians in the development and implementation of systems-level projects.

If it were not for the UNC-PrimeCare program, I would have not been able to gain the type of rewarding employment that I did post-graduation. PrimeCare allowed me the opportunity to connect with and learn from social workers in the community who are working to spread integrated behavioral health services state-wide. If you are a current or future PrimeCare student, I encourage you to take every opportunity to network with the professionals that you meet through this program (both at the School and in your Field Work). Ask to meet them over coffee so that you can learn more about the work that they are doing, how they got where they are today in their professional life, and what types of opportunities exist for social workers in integrated care. PrimeCare affords you the chance to learn from some amazing individuals doing great work around the state, so make sure not to let those potentially rewarding experiences turn into missed opportunities.”

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