Researcher Spotlight: Kristi Van Sickle

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Recent Grant Helps Place Doctoral Students in Primary Care Clinics to Address Patients’ Mental Health Concerns

Name: Kristi Van Sickle

Title: Associate Professor

Department/College: Psychology/College of Psychology and Liberal Arts

General research focus: Interprofessional training in integrated behavioral health care, professional competence in health service psychology.

Current funding: $1,042,313

What has you excited about your current work? The most gratifying part of this project is the creation of funded opportunities for clinical psychology doctoral students to train as valued members of primary care treatment teams. In these roles, they collaborate closely with physicians and other allied health professionals to address traditional mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression, as well as behaviorally-based medical issues including obesity and COPD. Not only does this experience make our students more competitive in the changing healthcare market, but it allows for the significant expansion and destigmatizing of behavioral health access, particularly for underserved and disadvantaged populations.

Why is it important to conduct research? There is so much that we don’t know or understand about ourselves and our world. From a healthcare perspective specifically, we need to continue to gather evidence on the most efficient and effective ways to treat and ultimately prevent a myriad of illnesses. Research is the vehicle for continued advancement of our healthcare knowledge base and improvement of our population’s health.

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