What are PCPs saying about VMAP?

“I was having trouble with a patient this week and I called into VMAP this week and had a great deal of assistance from Dr. Dave. It was wonderful; lovely. And now next time I’ll know what to do.”

“I also called VMAP. A kid with terrible trauma, PTSD, and anxiety – kinda trying to make sure that I had the right combination of meds that wouldn’t cause activating symptoms as I start her on anxiety medication after she’s already been through months and months of trauma-informed CBT. It was very helpful.”
“Thank you so very much for this wonderful summary. I am so very grateful for the VMAP service, the two times I have used it I have been truly overwhelmed with gratitude at the practical help and guidance it provides for both myself and my patients in crisis. Please pass along my gratitude to the psychiatrist who helped me!”
“This service was invaluable and the patient has since returned to school and is doing much better! He will continue to see his therapist but this service helped him ‘get over the hump’ of a very difficult mental health crisis.”

“I had a consult with Dr. Dozier in Norfolk. He was so gracious and supportive. Great information for my patient needs and the summary is fabulous. My staff called in the morning and requested a 12:00 call back if able to accommodate a full clinic schedule. It worked. Best of all I felt confident to help my own patient and not have them wait for care. We were unable to get this college student into see a psychiatrist quickly. Now waiting for her appointment is less stressful for her family, her, and me! Thanks for making the VMAP program work. I took the Reach class last Sept and all of the other providers in my practice are taking it this October. Thankful to have a funded program and state resources.”

“I would like to thank you both for this wonderful opportunity. I personally learned a lot from this project and certainly feel that it was game changer for me and my office. It was very organized, very educational and very well done. Many thanks for all your time and effort and best regards.”
“The COVID epidemic has affected children and families psychologically in many different ways since March. This is evident in our mental health objective screens as well as our subjective discussion with families. Anxiety screens, e.g. SCARED have been positive at a much higher rate. Concerns for family health have been a recurring theme. There has been significant anxiety and outright panic attacks when children have entered the public domain and have been witness to people not social distancing and wearing facemasks.

Our population of ADHD patients and families seem to be struggling at a much higher rate. Online learning was particularly difficult. Maintaining structure, positive reinforcement in the setting of parental stress has been particularly challenging. VMAP’s assistance has been beneficial in a multitude of ways. Accessing mental health services on an ’emergency’ basis is difficult for parents. The knowledge that the input of an academic pediatric psychiatrist to their child’s care plan is very comforting to the parent. As a provider I can be confident that my intervention has been vetted by a professional.”

“As a community pediatrician, my practice has benefited immeasurably from the services provided by VMAP. Prior to recent events, it was already estimated that one in five children and adolescents suffer from behavioral health disorders. Unfortunately, recent social, economic, and health care stressors on families and individuals have not surprisingly led to a spike in behavioral health conditions. Telehealth has extended some accessibility to care, but primary care providers need to have the training and confidence to manage these disorders.

Our patients have a multitude of barriers that prevent them from receiving the vital care that they need. Through VMAP supported education programs like REACH and ECHO, our providers have been equipped with the tools necessary to provide prompt evaluation and treatment for common disorders such as anxiety, depression, and ADHD, right in the patients’ medical home. Even with this training and education, the medical management of individuals who suffer from mental health disorders can often present unpredictable challenges. VMAP’s telephone consult line provides primary care providers with a ‘lifeline’ to discuss more complex cases with a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. This consultation gives the treating clinician the necessary back-up and confidence to manage medications, rather than referring patients out to navigate an overburdened system that could take months to access. The combination of VMAP-supported education/training and utilization of the telephone consult line has undoubtedly prevented many patients in our practice from escalating to a crisis situation resulting in an emergency room visit, inpatient hospitalization, and even worse outcomes.

As an organizer of one of the regional VMAP-supported REACH fellowships, and as a current faculty of one of the ECHO teaching collaboratives, I can attest that pediatricians are desperately seeking to improve their ability to treat their patients’ behavioral health needs. There are many on a waitlist to take part in REACH training, and there has been robust participation in ECHO education collaboratives. Now, more than ever, the mental health of our pediatric population is at risk and requires our attention. Please continue to support the children and families of the Commonwealth of Virginia by funding VMAP!”