McDaniel Wins Award for Inspiring Physician to Create Community Program

January 03, 2012

Susan H. McDaniel, Ph.D., the Dr. Laurie Sands Distinguished Professor of Families & Health at the University of Rochester Medical Center, will receive a 2011 Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award.

 The award of $25,000 recognizes educators in psychology, medicine and law who have inspired a student or students to create an organization which has demonstrably benefited the community at large.

The award will be presented at a ceremony Jan. 7 at the Carter Center in Atlanta.

Tillman Farley, M.D., medical director of the Salud Family Health Centers in Colorado, nominated McDaniel for the award. McDaniel was a mentor of Farley when he was a Family Medicine resident at the Medical Center 20 years ago.

In his nomination statement, Farley said he chose Rochester’s Family Medicine residency program because of its emphasis on the biopsychosocial model of care and the idea that mental health and medical health are intimately interwoven and cannot be separated. He described McDaniel, now associate chair of the Department of Family Medicine and director of the Institute for Family in the Department of Psychiatry, as the residency program’s “most eloquent and passionate teacher” of integrated care.

Over the last 20 years, Farley said he applied what he learned from McDaniel and the Family Medicine residency as he developed integrated care programs for practices in Palmyra, N.Y., rural Van Horn, Texas, and currently in northern Colorado. In each case, he brought behavioral health professionals into the practices to routinely see patients.

The Salud Family Health Centers serves approximately 80,000 unduplicated patients annually. Twenty-five behavioral health professionals work for Salud. They are “considered fully integrated primary care providers, not ancillary staff, and have full access to all patients without having to be invited into a room by a physician,” said Farley, who has published widely on this model of integrated care.

“The reason Salud Family Health Centers is so far ahead of everyone else in its development and implementation is because Susan McDaniel taught the concepts to me,” Farley said.

McDaniel said she planned to give the $25,000 to the Department of Family Medicine to support small annual awards for faculty for psychosocial medicine projects or conferences.

The award is named for Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman, an educator, author and pioneer in the field of psychology. One of the first female psychology professors at Columbia University and a teacher at the University of Pennsylvania, she wrote nine books and textbooks about child and adolescent psychology. Dr. Beckman, who died in 1988, was a champion of gender equality and an advocate for the advancement of women in academia. The award was established in 2008 through the will of her daughter.

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