Workforce Shortage in Psychiatry and Possible Solutions Panel

The first part of this panel will focus on the psychiatry workforce shortage as a multifaceted problem, that seems mainly related to stigma and dis-parity, and that impacts healthcare organizations’ financial decisions. In mental health, insurers’ lower reimbursements (compared to other medical care) lead to small networks with small numbers of available psychiatrist. In Illinois, Medicaid and MCOs treat mental health differently compared to other health, so fewer psychiatrists and agencies can help those most in need. State spending cuts led to cuts at community agencies. Fortunately, existing options, programs and laws can help. Recognition, appropriations, and vigilance can reduce disparity, and improve Illinois’ psychiatric workforce so people with mental illness can get the care they need and deserve.

It then moves on to cover one of the newer alternatives in the psychiatric field, telepsychiatry.Illinois healthcare providers are turning to telepsychiatry to enhance their patients access to mental health services. Telepsychiatry allows clinics an alternative to hiring an in-person clinician, helping to overcome geographic barriers and costly travel and relocation expenses associated with hiring onsite behavioral health specialists. Our presentation will discuss how healthcare providers can implement a successful telepsychiatry program that will enhance their behavioral health services.

 Presenter Bios

Dr. Joshua Nathan attended medical school at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and his psychiatry residency was at Brown University in Providence, RI. After completing residency training, he became a clinical assistant professor at Brown University, and continued to work at Rhode Island Hospital (RIH) in the Mood Disorders Program. Upon returning to Chicago in2009, Dr. Nathan initially joined the Loyola University Chicago faculty, and worked at the Hines VA Hospital.  Dr. Nathan jumped at the opportunity to join the faculty at his alma mater when the opportunity arose and was on faculty of UIC from 2010 until 2018.  At UIC, Dr. Nathan became Director of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program and was Co-Chair of the hospital’s Clinical Ethics Committee.  He provided psychotherapy supervision to and other teaching for psychiatry residents, led small group discussions for medical students, and develop a model for teaching empathy to medical students and other medical providers.  He has also focused clinically in diverse areas such as adult ADHD and HIV psychiatry

Since July 2018, Dr. Nathan has worked as the Behavioral Health Medical Director at the Lake County Health Department & Community Health Center.  While being responsible for all psychiatric care at the Health Department, he continues to provide direct care to patients, and supervises a Rosalind Franklin University Psychiatry Resident Clinic.  He also represents the Health Department on the LCOI Board.

Outside of work, Dr. Nathan has been deeply involved Illinois Psychiatry and mental health.  He is the Immediate Past President of the Illinois Psychiatric Society and serves on the Government Affairs Committee.  He has testified before the Illinois House Mental Health Committee, to talk about mental health parity.  He is also a volunteer in the Lake County Suicide Prevention Task Force.

Justine Mitchell, Chief Clinical Officer

Justine has vast clinical, administrative and operational experience in mental health and healthcare sectors. As one of Regroup’s earliest executives, Justine brings extensive experience in aligning clinical services to the unique needs of organizations and their patient populations. Previously, she served as the Assistant Director of Hospital Operations at U of I Hospital & Health Sciences System and is a co-founder of EMOTE Therapy, a text- and video-based solution that connects patients to licensed therapists. Justine is a social worker and clinician by training. She holds a BA in Philosophy from Washington University in St. Louis and a Masters in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago.

Naveen Kathuria, SVP of Compliance and Partnerships

Naveen has worked in healthcare as an entrepreneur, attorney and consultant. Prior to joining Regroup, he worked for large law firms, co-founded a preventative care and wellness provider, and consulted hospitals and community health clinics. Naveen spends most of his time working with tribes as he is passionate about improving access to behavioral health within Indian Country. He has also been featured on the American Indian Living talk show.