The Clinical Psychology Department proudly announces that our colleague, Jim Fauth, has been named as the winner of this year’s Campus Compact “President’s Good Steward Award,” in recognition of his innovative and enduring efforts to enhance the mental and behavioral health of underserved populations in NH. From the letter nominating Jim for the award:
As soon as Jim arrived at Antioch in 2002, he began offering training in short-term therapy models to surrounding mental health agencies, while collecting data on the effectiveness of that training. A few years later, with support from the NH Endowment for Health, Jim began convening mental health stakeholders in one of NH’s most impoverished and underserved counties, to develop an understanding of local needs and a plan for improving access to services that could exert the greatest leverage on mental and behavioral health in the region. This first externally funded project embodied several elements that would become the hallmark of Antioch’s Center for Research on Psychological Practice (CROPP), under Jim’s leadership: beholden to local stakeholders, dedicated to the learning needs of practitioners, infused by the most current and relevant scholarship, and aiming for maximum impact on population-level health. The outcome of this project was a blueprint for incorporating mental and behavioral health expertise into several primary care settings in the region, because primary care is where all manner of health challenges show up. Jim and his community partners saw that distinguishing between physical and behavioral health introduces arbitrary, yet substantial social and logistical barriers to treatment, particularly in rural communities with dispersed service agencies. Tapping into emerging national interest in models of “integrated care,” they set out to adapt this innovation to a rural context.
Newly energized by the promise of integrated care, Jim returned to the NH Endowment for Health with a proposal to work with a group of four primary care clinics, representing diverse geography and practice contexts in NH, all of whom were pioneering integrated care in various ways. Jim’s goal was to learn how integrated care actually operated in naturalistic, mostly rural contexts, released from the supports and constraints of the controlled trials under which the published models were developed. The resulting Integrated Care Evaluation project vaulted Jim into regional, and occasionally national, prominence in the integrated care movement: he has served on the State Mental Health Commission and the Mental Health Council in NH; been invited to consult with health care reform groups in Maine and Vermont; and served on multiple grant review panels for the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. A Washington DC-based consulting firm sought Jim out last year to partner in an application to support and evaluate implementation of integrated primary care in 12 southern Texas counties. And when the nation’s pre-eminent integrated care agency (Cherokee Behavioral Health, in Tennessee) was recently commissioned to assess the status of integrated primary care in NH, Jim was on their list of interviewees.
Meanwhile, Jim has grown CROPP into a major regional resource for health care improvement and evaluation initiatives. In addition to his integrated care work, CROPP has evaluated two Statewide, federally funded, multi-year initiatives to prevent youth suicide, as well as a major statewide effort to develop a system of care for severely emotionally disturbed youth and their families. More locally, CROPP has provided ongoing consultation and evaluation services for the Healthy Monadnock 2020 public health initiative, which aims to make Cheshire County the healthiest in the nation by the year 2020. With seven currently funded projects and several more in development – all providing funded opportunities for student collaborators – CROPP has been recognized by partners such as the NH Endowment for Health and the NH chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness as a unique and precious resource for the State of NH. None of this would have happened without Jim’s vision and relentless energy; he is truly an ambassador of Antioch’s social justice and practitioner-focused mission.