Building Bridges

Lessons from a Pittsburgh Partnership to Strengthen Systems of Care for Maternal Depression — Executive Summary

by Donna J. Keyser, Ellen Burke Beckjord, Ray Firth, Sarah Frith, Susan L. Lovejoy, Sanjith Pillai, Dana Schultz, Harold Alan Pincus

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Between January 2007 and June 2010, members of the Allegheny County Maternal and Child Health Care Collaborative designed, implemented, and evaluated the Allegheny County Maternal Depression Initiative, a local systems-change effort focused on increasing identification, referrals, and engagement in treatment as needed and appropriate for women at high risk for maternal depression. The collaborative was successful in improving key organizational and clinical processes related to the achievement of its aims. This document summarizes a complete report that describes how and why the initiative was created, the processes through which it was implemented and evaluated, and the results and lessons learned. It concludes with recommendations in four areas for practice and policy change designed to expand and sustain the initiative's achievements: improve identification of maternal depression, enhance access to available resources and services, increase engagement in behavioral health treatment, and improve overall systems performance.

This work was conducted under contract with UPMC for You. It was funded by a consortium of local and state organizations. The research was performed in RAND Health, a division of the RAND Corporation.

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