Highland Family Medicine Receives Award for Successfully Treating Depression

December 06, 2013

Highland Family Medicine's Depression Care staff

The Greater Rochester Health Foundation has recognized the work of Thomas L. Campbell, M.D., the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Highland Family Medicine practice and the Anthony L. Jordan Health Center through a Robert Oppenheimer Impact Award. Presented at a ceremony Dec. 5, the award acknowledges their success in reducing depression in targeted patients by more than 50 percent.

Funded by the Health Foundation for a three-year program, Highland Family Medicine and Brown Square of Jordan implemented “Improving the Detection and Treatment of Depression” in low-income and minority patients, an evidence-based model for depression care. Under Campbell’s leadership, the two sites targeted patients with diabetes, chronic pain patients, mothers of newborns and patients with a history of depression. Over the three-year project, medical assistants screened 9,000 patients and those with a high depression score – one-quarter – were seen by Depression Care Managers who provided education and referred patients to therapy and/or medication, support groups or depression medical group visits. Of the 1,265 patients who enrolled in the program, 698 were successfully treated with resolution of their depressive symptoms.

“Dr. Campbell developed an excellent proposal for an approach to depression and provided the leadership to see it through to a very successful conclusion. The two sites exceeded their goal for the number of patients enrolled and realized a statistically significant reduction in depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation in their patients,” said John Urban, president and CEO of the Greater Rochester Health Foundation.

Thomas L. Campbell, M.D.

“Because of the enormous stresses that many of our patients experience, they have very high rates of depression that affect all aspects of their lives, including their mental and physical health, as well as their family relationships and parenting,” said Campbell, chair of the URMC Department of Family Medicine. “Depression is a terrible disease. Personally, it has been rewarding to see so many of our patients benefit from this program. Not only does their mood and general sense of well-being improve with treatment, but they are also able to take better care of their physical health. They exercise more, eat healthier and are, of course, much happier.”

The Robert Oppenheimer Impact Award is given by the Health Foundation to individuals and teams who help the Foundation to fulfill its mission to improve the health status of residents of the Rochester community, particularly people whose health care needs have not been met because of race, ethnicity or income, by exceeding measureable outcomes.

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Karin Christensen
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