OHSU

New Director of Public Psychiatry Research Appointed

03/08/05   Portland, Ore.

Psychiatry Chairman George Keepers, M.D., taps longtime community mental health advocate to lead department's discovery mission

Bentson McFarland, M.D., Ph.D., has been appointed director of public psychiatry research in the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine.

McFarland, a nationally recognized expert on the pharmaco-economics and pharmaco-epidemiology of psychotropic medications, has also done extensive research into the impact of managed care on the delivery of behavioral health services, the effectiveness of treatments for alcohol and drug abuse, and the influence of organizational and financial arrangements on the use of behavioral health services.

His work has been funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, private foundations and the pharmaceutical industry.

McFarland will work closely with Norwood Knight-Richardson, M.D., M.B.A., director of public psychiatry training in the School of Medicine, to develop a research agenda; expand current public psychiatry research efforts; stimulate increased faculty participation; develop funding from national, state, and private foundation sources; and develop a curriculum in mental health services and outcomes research for psychiatry residents.

Through the psychiatry research program (www.ohsu.edu/psychiatry/research/) he will explore strategies for improving prevention of substance abuse and mental health problems while strengthening quality of care for people with behavioral health disorders. Approaches he will investigate include telemedicine, Internet-based services, self-help and collaboration with primary care providers.

McFarland presently is involved in a project with RMC Research Corporation comparing the outcomes of methadone maintenance programs in Oregon and Washington. He also collaborates with the OHSU Center for Substance Abuse Policy and Research at the Oregon Health Policy Institute in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, and works with the OHSU One Sky Center, studying the effectiveness of substance abuse prevention and treatment programs among American Indian/Alaska Native populations.

His many professional memberships and appointments include: past-president, Oregon Psychiatric Association; American Psychiatric Association, Health Services Research Committee; American Public Health Association, Mental Health Section; American Medical Association; Association for Health Services Research; International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology; International Health Economics Association; and American Society for Addiction Medicine.

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