Spotlight: Dr. John Todaro, Clinical Psychologist and Director, Providence Behavioral Health Associates

  • 14 Feb 2022

As CTC-RI continues to progress integrated behavioral health (IBH) in primary care, we interviewed our IBH Committee co-chair, John Todaro, Ph.D., who serves as Clinical Psychologist and Director at Providence Behavioral Health Associates about IBH’s growing impact in Rhode Island. 

As the CTC-RI IBH Committee co-chair and director of Providence Behavioral Health, why is IBH important in Rhode Island?

The main objective of an integrated healthcare system is delivering the right care to the right patient at the right time. IBH allows us to achieve that objective since we are part of the healthcare team and our services are accessible in the primary care office. This level of integration can ensure that individuals who need behavioral health services can receive them when they are most needed, resulting in an overall better experience for the patient.

In your effort to help expand and support IBH in RI, how has IBH improved or changed the ways primary care teams support patients?

Over the past 10 years, we’ve seen IBH become a more vital component of primary care. Physicians and other medical staff are relying more on our expertise to assist with diagnostic formulation and treatment planning. This “raises the game” of the entire primary care practice as we can now address behavioral health and medical concerns with equally high levels of effectiveness.

How has CTC-RI's work to expand IBH in primary care impacted the workforce?

CTC-RI has done an excellent job of facilitating and expanding IBH’s footprint in primary care. As a result, there are more clinicians working in primary care as a result of CTC-RI’s work than there were 10 years ago. Now that IBH services are regarded as an integral part of primary care, we need to address the workforce shortage of behavioral health clinicians who are trained to work in this area. CTC-RI is being proactive on this issue by offering high-quality training opportunities to expand the IBH workforce.