The totally online DBH program offered by Cummings Graduate Institute of Behavioral Health Studies is focused on the professional I have grown into: a synergistic disrupter for the healthcare industry, who is passionate about Wholistic Healthcare (e.g., health, behavioral health, and Social Determinants of Health and Mental Health), rendered skillfully through interprofessional teams. The program pillars of medical literacy, integrated behavioral health interventions, and entrepreneurship resonate loudly with me. The healthcare industry will continue to change, with doctoral level professionals needed to play a major role in any successful transformation. My goal is to further advance my knowledge-base, professional standing, and industry commitment to be part of these transformational efforts. In this way I can heed the Quadruple Aim: assuring quality-driven patient-centric care is rendered at the right time, through the right population-based treatment processes, at the right cost, and by empowered professionals embracing the work and committed to their charge.
Ellen Fink-Samnick MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRPDBH Candidate, Cummings Graduate Institute for Behavioral Health StudiesMarch 11, 2020
In the time that I have been a student at CGI, I have learned that integrated healthcare is no longer the exception; providers want behavioral health clinicians on their team. My courses demonstrate that the services that a DBH can offer are valuable and the opportunities abound. I’m learning that as a DBH, I can work to create a new norm in healthcare, one that promotes holistic care provided by a collaborative team delivering diverse services. I now view behavioral healthcare as a crucial piece of the medical care puzzle, rather than a separate entity. I can see the gaps in care that a DBH can fill and why including a DBH in treatment is critical. I am beginning to see how I will play a role in disrupting healthcare to provide quality treatment while advocating for my patients. Although I may still have to explain my role at times, I am learning that once I do, others will seek out my services. I am gaining confidence in what I bring to the medical team and am continuously expanding my knowledge of what else I can do.
Jennifer KellyDBH Candidate, Cummings Graduate Institute for Behavioral Health StudiesJuly 26, 2020
As a Social Worker, I believe my main mission includes advocating for and empowering patients. The DBH degree will allow me to fully integrate the “medical side of the house” with the “behavioral health side”. My experience working side-by-side with medical providers (PCM’s, ED docs, Hospitalists, etc…) has shown that most of them do not understand behavioral health issues nor how medical symptoms or diagnoses can effect a patients’ mental health and vice-versa. Alternatively, I have worked with a multitude of behavioral health providers who have very limited knowledge of how medical issues might affect their clients. I have often wondered how many patients I have had who were diagnosed with depression or anxiety or other DSM-V diagnosis when in reality the origin was medical. Earning a DBH will allow me to push the envelope when it comes to consulting with medical providers and promote the inclusion of “behavioral healthcare” within “healthcare” as its ALL healthcare! As Mahatma Ghandi said “be the change you wish to see in the world”; earning a DBH will enhance my ability to “change the world” – even if it’s one medical provider or one patient at a time.
Dianne Scott, MSW, LCSWDBH Candidate, Cummings Graduate Institute for Behavioral Health StudiesAugust 7, 2020
Prior to enrolling in CGI, my focus was that there was a limitation in care where I live and not a focus on the quality of care. I have learned quickly that quality integrated care can provide a better patient and provider experience which will decrease the burden on the workforce that is available. My vision is that Western North Dakota would have a series of truly integrated healthcare centers providing services to people with behavioral health concerns without the need for them to travel 100 miles or more to receive quality care that will meet their needs. As a DBH, I will have the knowledge and skills to create truly integrated quality healthcare in my region and to provide consultation to spread integrated care models throughout North Dakota.
Amanda BarnardDBH Candidate, Cummings Graduate Institute for Behavioral Health StudiesAugust 23, 2020
My friend and I were talking about the challenges and frustrations that we face daily in our careers with the clear divide between mental health and physical health and how we wished we had the knowledge and skills to shake up healthcare and bridge the gap. She brought up researching doctorate programs and how interested she was in the DBH. My reponse was, “What on earth is a DBH?” She laughed and said it was a newer doctorate degree in behavioral health, that focused directly on integrated care and doing exactly what we were dreaming of doing….shaking up healthcare and bridging the gap and treating the person as a whole. I had a hard time believing her. It sounded too good to be true. How was there a degree out there that fit my goals and aspirations to a T without me knowing about it? I had been looking periodically throughout my 20 year journey in behavioral health for a program that resonated with me. It was here all this time? How had I missed it? I immediately spent hours scouring the internet to find any crumb of information that I could about the Doctorate of Behavioral Health and the programs associated with it. Then I hit the jackpot. I found the Cummings Graduate Institute for Behavioral Health Studies.
Amy McConnell, LCSWDBH Candidate, Cummings Graduate Institute for Behavioral Health StudiesSeptember 18, 2020
During my tenure as a student at CGI, I wrote a book review that was published in the International Journal of Integrated Care. One of my papers became a newsletter article, a pitch for my population health class became a poster presented at a CFHA conference, a book chapter was developed based on a paper I wrote for my independent study, and I am submitting my CP project to a journal this weekend. So, everything that you write during the program is potentially publishable! You have the advantage of having faculty read and give you feedback on it before submitting it. Take risks! The worst that can happen if you submit a paper for publication is receiving a rejection letter. Well, if you don't send it you're already acting as if the paper had been rejected. ;-) Plus, if you receive a rejection letter, it usually comes with feedback, so you can improve your paper and send it again!
Dr. Liliane de Aguiar-Rocha, DBH, BCBADBH Alumni, Cummings Graduate Institute for Behavioral Health StudiesOctober 9, 2020
There is a substantial need for integrating care between our physical, and mental health. The gap between these domains are more so overlooked among those with developmental delays and intellectual disabilities – the very population I serve as a Behavior Analyst. Filling these gaps entails work that demands for a DBH who is competent, empathetic, and altruistic.
Pauline Pablo, BCBADBH Candidate, Cummings Graduate Institute for Behavioral Health StudiesNovember 11, 2020
I have been looking into doctorate programs for years but did not find a program where the courses (even from the initial prerequisites) got me energized, until learning of the DBH program. I applied to this program as I feel it is most in line with my professional beliefs and goals of impacting my community in a positive way. In my 22 years in the field of mental health I have always approached my practice with my ripple effect in mind. I realize that my engagement in the system not only impacts the client I am directly working with in that moment, but it also has a larger ripple effect to their family, community, their view of the system, and beyond. I feel like the DBH degree will provide me with a macro perspective to allow me to positively impact my system and my community.
Kimberly ButlerDBH Candidate, Cummings Graduate Institute for Behavioral Health StudiesJanuary 9, 2021
My interest in a DBH degree grew out of frustration and hope. On one hand, I grew frustrated with the quality of care my clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities were receiving. As members of a marginalized population who lack the skills to advocate for themselves, the clients I serve receive subpar medical care, mental health care, and behavioral health care. Many healthcare providers are not trained to address the unique language and cognitive challenges present when serving a person with Autism and I/DD.
On the other hand, as I learned more about the DBH program, a potential solution came into view. I believe this program will allow me to acquire the knowledge and skills to become a better advocate for my clients, and new job opportunities will open up in positions in which I will be able to make a bigger impact on a system level, thus improving quality of life for many clients. A DBH degree will command interest and respect from other healthcare professionals who are evaluating their practices and noticing areas in which they are not being effective, namely the behavioral health side of the equation. As we are learning in our first classes about the Biodyne Model, the Integrated Care Model is not widely accepted or known in the healthcare field, despite its proven track record. I believe a DBH degree provides the necessary tool to change the landscape of healthcare provision by arming my passion for this topic with knowledge and concrete strategies.
Valeria ParejoDBH Candidate, Cummings Graduate Institute for Behavioral Health StudiesJanuary 15, 2021
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