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Clinical Care Core | South Central MIRECC

Clinical Care Core Portfolio Mission and Overview

The mission of the South Central MIRECC Clinical Care Core is to serve as a resource and “facilitator” for local, regional, and national initiatives designed to improve access to high quality mental health care for Veterans. In line with the overall mission of the SC MIRECC, the Clinical Care Core is particularly focused on initiatives that improve mental health services for rural and underserved Veterans.

The SC MIRECC Clinical Care Core is organized into two overarching programs:

Partnerships. The SC MIRECC Clinical Care Core is committed to partnership-based approaches that ensure the voices of Veterans, VA providers, VA leadership, and other experts regularly inform and improve the impact of SC MIRECC clinical, educational, and research initiatives.

Major Partnerships

Consumer Advocacy Board (CAB) – Veteran Representation

Established in 2001, the CAB consists of 10+ Veterans that meet monthly to discuss SC MIRECC projects and programs. This Veteran advocacy board is diverse in its representation and is particularly knowledgeable about matters related to rural Veterans and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Points of Contact: Mr. Darrell Zeno and Dr. Joseph (Jay) Boffa

Clinician Input Committee (CIC) – VA Provider Representation

Established in 2024, the CIC includes 6-10 VA clinicians from various professions (psychology, social work, nursing, psychiatry) and multiple sites across VISN 16. The purpose of the CIC is to ensure that SC MIRECC projects and programs are aligned with the VA clinical environment so that they are feasible and have maximum benefit for Veterans and VA clinicians.

Points of Contact: Dr. Mary Shapiro and Mr. Darrell Zeno

Other Core Partnerships

VISN 16 Mental Health Leadership

VA Office of Rural Health

VA Center for Integrated Healthcare

Mental Health Improvement Programs and Training. The SC MIRECC Clinical Care Core is committed to creating infrastructure and projects to improve mental health quality through staff education and demonstration projects that directly impact Veterans and VA providers. As part of this work, the Clinical Care Core works closely with mental health leadership in VISN 16 and with mental health experts including other MIRECCs, VA mental health centers of excellence, VA Central Office, as well as the SC MIRECC CAB and CIC (see above).

Standing Programs

Quality Improvement and Clinical Demonstration Projects

The SC MIRECC regularly supports projects and programs at the local, regional, and national level to improve mental health care for Veterans and/or support VA clinicians in their efforts to deliver high quality care to Veterans. As a resource and facilitator of these programs, the SC MIRECC often either leads or provides direct methodological support to implement, disseminate, and scale-up known evidence-based approaches to improve care for Veterans. Example programs include efforts to enhance mental health referrals, distribution of safe gun storage materials and devices, and improving access to evidence-based psychotherapies.

Points of Contact: Dr. Jeffrey Cully and Mr. Darrell Zeno

Quality Improvement Training and Mentoring

The goal of SC MIRECC Mentored Clinician Quality Improvement Program (MC-QIP) is to provide learning and professional development opportunities for mental health providers seeking to engage in mental health quality improvement activities. The program is tailored to individual provider needs and leverages a combination of online didactics, project experiences, and mentoring. Ideally, providers will use skills developed through the program to improve mental health services at their facility and/or within the VISN through implementation or clinical demonstration projects.

Points of Contact: Dr. Kelley Arredondo and Mr. Darrell Zeno

SC MIRECC Clinical Core Leadership/Contacts

Jeffrey Cully, PhD; SC MIRECC Associate Director for Improving Clinical Care;

Darrell Zeno, MS; SC MIRECC Senior Program Manager;

Joseph (Jay) Boffa, PhD; SC MIRECC Assistant Director for Improving Clinical Care – Consumer Advocacy Board;

Mary Shapiro, PhD; SC MIRECC Assistant Director for Improving Clinical Care – Clinician Input Committee;

Kelley Arredondo, PhD; SC MIRECC Assistant Director for Improving Clinical Care – Quality Improvement Training and Mentoring Programs;


Last updated: June 28, 2024