Site: Lawndale Christian Health Center
Lawndale Christian Health Center (LCHC) is a faith-based community medical clinic on the west side of Chicago serving the North and South Lawndale and surrounding communities. The health center is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) providing primary care medical services to a primarily African-American and Hispanic population. LCHC serves over 55,000 patients, providing comprehensive pediatric and adult medicine, health support services in the areas of diabetes, asthma, HIV, substance abuse, maternal-child health, and behavioral health services.
The clinic was founded in 1984 through the efforts of local residents and members of the Lawndale Community Church who sought to address the stark health disparities in these medically underserved neighborhoods. The main clinic campus is located on Odgen Avenue, a main city thoroughfare, with the founding church Lawndale Community Church right across the street. Originally a Cadillac dealership in the 1970’s, the main clinic has undergone major renovation in 2004 including the addition of a fitness area. The clinic has also expanded to several locations in the Garfield, Little Village, Archer Heights, and Homan Square neighborhoods. The main clinic is accessible via the CTA blue and pink lines.
The Behavioral Health Department serves patients of all ages by seeking to address the following behavioral health needs in primary care: mental health concerns (depression, anxiety, post-partum adjustment, relational issues); coping with chronic illness; managing life stressors (e.g. poverty, immigration status, community violence); behavioral change (e.g. weight loss, smoking cessation, medication compliance), and lifestyle change (e.g. physical activity, parenting skills). Behavioral Health groups are also available to patients, including stress management groups for adults, coping skills groups for children and adolescents, and behavior management groups for young children and their parents. Consistent with the Behavioral Health Consultation model, Behavioral Health Providers are integrated into the medical care team and conduct same-day consults with patients referred by their providers. Initial visits last 30 minutes and follow-up visits 15 minutes. The Behavioral Health Department consists of licensed clinical psychologists, licensed clinical professional counselors, and trainees at the doctoral level (practicum students, doctoral interns, postdoctoral interns).
Interns who are completing their primary rotation at LCHC will be trained in the Behavioral Health Consultant model (BHC),a psychological approach to population-based clinical health care that is simultaneously co-located, collaborative, and integrated within the primary care clinic. In this model, the intern will grow in their ability to efficiently diagnose and screen for psychological disorders accurately, design strength-based behavior change plans, consult immediately with medical providers, and assist providers in utilizing pharmacological treatment effectively. More information is available regarding this model on the LCHC website. Trainees gain experience in utilizing brief screening measures (PHQ-9, GAD-7, Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, Geriatric Depression Scale, Vanderbilt ADHD) and assessment (MCMI-III, Millon Behavioral Medicine Diagnostic, Woodcock Johnson III) tools to inform diagnosis and treatment recommendations for PCPs. In addition, trainees also have the opportunity to co-lead weekly psychoeducational groups either for children or adults. LCHC provides opportunities for interns to supervise BA, MA level trainees, or doctoral level practicum students at varying levels of commitment and capacities over research, program development, and clinical activities when opportunities are available.Intern responsibilities will increase as the year progresses, beginning with intensive training and supervision in the BHC model, orientation to working alongside medical providers, and training in pharmacological treatment. The intern will work as a team alongside medical providers and their supervisor. A typical week will include behavioral health consultations, psychoeducational groups, supervision and didactics, and brief testing batteries and program/clinical development depending on clinic need.
Intern responsibilities will increase as the year progresses, beginning with intensive training and supervision in the BHC model, orientation to working alongside medical providers, and training in pharmacological treatment. The intern will work as a team alongside medical providers and their supervisor. A typical week will include behavioral health consultations, psychoeducational groups, supervision and didactics, and brief testing batteries and program/clinical development depending on clinic and patient need. Supervision includes formal group and individual supervision, as well as “shadowing” in-vivo supervision.