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$4.25 Million for Penn Medicine Center to Look at Community Integration of Adults with Psychiatric Disabilities
February 10, 2009, Volume 55, No. 21

The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research is funding $4.25 million for a Penn Medicine Center to look at community integration of adults with psychiatric disabilities.

Dr. Mark Salzer, assistant professor of psychology in psychiatry, is the principal investigator and director of a new five-year Rehabilitation Research and Training Center funded by a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. The $4.25 million Center will conduct research to advance theory, measures, methods, and intervention knowledge aimed at promoting full community participation (e.g., going to work, school, friendships, parenting, self-determination, leisure/recreation, citizenship) and independent living of adults with psychiatric disabilities. The Center will also work to ensure that research in this area drives practice and policy changes at the national, state, county, and agency levels.

The Center involves a strong multidisciplinary group of collaborators from Penn’s Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Social Policy & Practice and an additional nine universities around the country, as well as Philadelphia-based Horizon House and the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse at the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Specific projects involve seven additional provider organizations, four governmental agencies, and a managed care organization. More information about the Center can be found at www.upennrrtc.org.

As lead investigator for a separate study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Salzer is examining the employment experiences of individuals with mental illnesses who are newly released from jails. Dr. Salzer also received pilot funding from the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics to examine the recruitment and retention of entry-level behavioral health employees, to better understand how recruitment and retention impacts the quality of services and supports delivery.

Almanac - February 10, 2009, Volume 55, No. 21