Behavioral Health Training Educates Providers on Medication Management

Thatcher Felt, DO, FAAP
Trustee, WCAAP

On Tuesday September 26, WCAAP hosted an evening at Community Health of Central Washington in Yakima. The evening was a great opportunity to bring together health care providers from across the spectrum for an event focused on ADHD and antipsychotic medication management as well as education on local behavioral health services. The event was hosted by myself and Chris Moore, Director of Children and Youth Intensive Services at Comprehensive Healthcare, a large behavioral health provider in our region.  Together we drew an audience of twenty three in the room and three through teleconference from nearby Ellensburg.  I was impressed to see aides, nurses, health department representatives, and physicians alike in attendance.

The medical curriculum for the evening was graciously prepared by WCAAP trustee Dr. Robert Hilt, Director of Community Leadership and the Partnership Access Line at Seattle Children’s.  In the weeks prior to the event I found myself carefully reading through the PowerPoint presentation and encountering many an unexpected “ah ha” moment.  I have been practicing in the small town of Grandview WA with the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic now for the past eleven years.  In my tenure, I have managed countless cases of ADHD but only a handful of kids requiring antipsychotic medications.

As the saying goes, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, well, preparing for this presentation certainly proved otherwise.  The slide deck taught me many novel nuances of care of which I was previously unaware.  My current practice has seen numerous changes already thanks to the thoroughness and clarity of Dr. Hilt’s material.  This was an unexpected but welcome outcome.  For example, I now have a handout to give parents that instructs teachers on novel ways they can structure their classroom to promote a successful environment for an ADHD student.  My knowledge of stimulants, noradrenergic, and alpha 2 agonists was greatly bolstered by the slide deck.  I have new recommendations for families that support stability in an often chaotic ADHD home.  Lastly, I was previously unaware of some of the antipsychotic monitoring parameters and MEDIS measures for ADHD and antipsychotics alike prior to giving this presentation.

I am truly grateful for the opportunity to deliver this material.  My practice was enhanced by the content of Dr. Hilt’s excellent PowerPoint.  It is my hope that I was able to present the material in a manner that fostered learning as much as I garnered during my own preparation for the event.  A huge thanks to Dr. Hilt is in store.  I would certainly encourage attending this presentation should it come to your area.