CMU Health Division of Psychiatry secures residency accreditation

Need growing for expanded mental health care in central, northern Michigan
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The Central Michigan University Health Division of Psychiatry, which serves patients in the mid-Michigan area, has received initial accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

The Division of Psychiatry, a clinical arm of the CMU College of Medicine, will welcome its first class of residents in July 2014.

“This is a great accomplishment,” CMU Health Chief of Psychiatry Dr. Ronald Bradley said. “There’s never been a focus from other universities to supply and meet the demands of northern Lower Michigan.”

Bradley is a board-certified psychiatrist with expertise in chronic pain management — he serves on Gov. Rick Snyder’s Advisory Committee on Pain and Symptom Management — who works three days a week in the clinic in Foust Hall on the CMU campus. He sees the growing need every day.

“I’m booked a month out,” he said.

Receiving initial accreditation from ACGME, a private, nonprofit organization that accredits about 9,200 residency programs in 130 specialties and subspecialties, was an 18-month process. The CMU College of Medicine had to develop a broad staff of board-certified psychiatrists to partner with community hospitals in Mount Pleasant, Saginaw, Midland, Bay City and several community mental health centers. Initial review will be followed by another review in two years.

Bradley said the work of program director Dr. James Dillon, former director of psychiatric and medical services for the state of Michigan, and clerkship director Dr. Norman S. Miller was vital to building the services necessary for accreditation. In another important move, Miller, along with Dr. Cara Poland in Mount Pleasant and Bradley, created a center of excellence in alcoholism within the Division of Psychiatry. CMU Health also is providing autism diagnosis and treatment and works with military veterans and their families.

“We have military support programs and networks for military families,” Bradley said. “The Michigan military that serves in Afghanistan has a higher than usual rate of suicide and alcoholism, and we’re offering an important resource.”

The CMU College of Medicine, the nation’s 137th medical school, has a unique mission to train physicians to care for the residents of Michigan’s medically underserved cities and towns. Michigan is expected to have a shortage of 4,000 to 6,000 physicians by 2020.