Dartmouth Psychatric Research Center

I am very pleased to announce a new partnership between the Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center (PRC) and Pat Deegan & Associates (PDA). Together we will be evaluating CommonGround user data to understand:

  1. What changes for CommonGround users over time
  2. The best methods for feeding this information back to the sites for their own quality improvement efforts.

I really admire the work that the PRC has done in researching the efficacy and effectiveness of evidence based practices such as supported employment using the individual placement and support model. My hope is that under the expert guidance of Robert Drake, MD, PhD, we will eventually establish CommonGround as an evidence based practice that supports shared decision making and recovery. It will take time to get there but we are on our way!


I am currently a member of the executive and intervention committees of a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health called R.A.I.S.E (Recovery After Initial Schizophrenia Episode). This is a multi-year study of an intervention aimed at young folks who have a first psychotic episode. The intevention includes a team of professionals who work in a coordinated fashion to outreach and engage people in recovery-oriented services including supported employment and supported education. Active linkage to peer support, natural supports, substance abuse services and trauma services (if indicated) are part of the study protocol. 

Reducing Polypharmacy

I am working in the early stages of a pilot project to reduce polypharmacy with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.  Under the leadership of Mary Ellen Foti, Medical Director for DMH, I am assisting 2 clinics in developing supports for people who are interested in reducing the number or types of psychiatric medicines they take. Both clinics are using the CommonGround software and have peer-run Decision Support Centers. CommonGround is a great tool that simultaneously supports and documents polypharmacy reduction strategies. Evaluation of the project will be conducted by the Center for Mental Health Services Research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. I'll keep you posted on our findings as they emerge.