As a new child psychologist in the 1970s, Barry S. Anton, PhD, was providing integrated care before he’d ever heard the term. Once a week after conducting clinical
evaluations of preschoolers at a local hospital, he sat down with
a team that included a child neurologist, social worker, physical
therapist and occupational therapist to devise a treatment plan
for each child.
“I never had a label for it at the time, but I remember
thinking ‘Wow, this is pretty comprehensive,’” recalls Anton,
who had trained at Colorado State University in a traditional
clinical model. “Integrated care isn’t a new idea but it’s really
clear that working as a team provides better health care at lower
Providing integrated care is still part of daily life for Anton,
who works closely with psychiatrists, social workers, school
psychologists, school nurses, teachers and administrators
through his clinical work at Rainier Behavioral Health in
Tacoma, Washington, where he treats children and adolescents
struggling with such issues as anxiety, grief, parental divorce
and school challenges.
As APA’s 2015 president, Anton has chosen to focus on
furthering comprehensive care — a priority for psychology
now more than ever thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Anton’s
major initiative of the year will be convening a two-day
International Summit on Psychology and Integrated Care in
November at the new Capitol View Conference Center at APA
“The Affordable Care Act has encouraged the evolution
in health-care delivery toward integrated care,” says Anton.
“Psychologists will play an integral part in enhancing the health
and mental health of all of our citizens.”
He will invite psychologists, physicians, nurses, economists,
social workers, demographers, health-care administrators,
consumer advocates, educators and other stakeholders from
around the world to share best practices, talk about ways to
reduce health disparities and discuss strategies for training the
next generation of health care professionals in an integrated
Anton also hopes the conference can identify the best ways
to deliver care to people in rural areas, as well as how to use
social media and technology to enhance health-care services.
Education and training — including how to create a curriculum
that teaches team care — will likely be another cross-cutting
theme, he says.
In addition, to address cost-saving concerns, Anton will
invite behavioral economists to explore such issues as whether
neighborhood clinics are a more practical and efficient option
for comprehensive care than big hospital multiplexes.
A focus on team care
As APA’s 2015 president, Barry S. Anton will concentrate his efforts
on promoting psychology’s role in integrated health care.
By Jamie Chamberlin • Monitor staff