Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

Albany Medical College

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

December 2012

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

September 1, 2009 – December 27, 2011

A nationwide shortage in child and adolescent psychiatrists (CAPS) has led to a gap in developmental and behavioral health care for younger patients.

To address this pressing need in New York’s Capital Region, Albany Medical College developed a proposal with developmental and behavioral pediatricians—whose training is most similar to CAPS—to carry out the assessment and treatment of juvenile psychiatric patients. The proponents of the Pediatric Mental Health Services initiative aimed to increase the number of children in the Capital Region receiving diagnostic assessments, medication management, psychological testing, and psychotherapy, while improving education and support services for primary care providers about pediatric behavioral health.

NYHealth awarded a grant to Albany Medical College in September 2009 to provide start-up funds for this project, which would enable it to add additional hours and key treatment providers.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Increased the hours of developmental and behavioral pediatricians to provide care for juvenile psychiatric patients, and ensured their patient caseloads in general pediatrics were assumed by other physicians;
  • Increased services to underserved children; from 2009 to 2010, the number of diagnostic and behavioral evaluations increased from 106 to 790, and the number of follow-up visits increased from 942 to 2,244;
  • Presented three grand rounds conference opportunities to regional primary care providers on topics related to behavior health care; and
  • Purchased several psychological testing instruments and began conducting a range of psychological tests on patients to assist with diagnostic clarification and treatment planning.