Behavioral health integration strategies for independent practices

Webinar (series)
Behavioral health integration strategies for independent practices
Feb 25, 2021

Independent physician practice experts provide an overview of their experience integrating behavioral health, how they got started, the challenges and barriers they encountered and how they overcame those challenges and continue to measure success.

Physician experts share steps they took to ensure continued BHI success, implementation tips and how they are working to make their BHI model financially sustainable.



Kathleen Blake, MD, MPH, vice president, healthcare quality, American Medical Association

Kathleen Blake, MD, MPH
Kathleen Blake, MD, MPH

Dr. Blake is vice president, healthcare quality at the American Medical Association where she leads the payment and quality initiatives of the AMA’s Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability strategic focus initiative. This includes the convening of the Behavioral Health Integration Collaborative of eight medical organizations. Today’s program is offered by the Collaborative.

Dr. Blake is a clinical cardiac electrophysiologist who received her medical degree from the University of Chicago and her graduate medical education at Stanford University. She earned a Master of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. From 1988 until 2011, Dr. Blake practiced at the New Mexico Heart Institute, where she served as president. She is a past president of the New Mexico Medical Society. Dr. Blake is a member of the General Internal Medicine faculty of the Johns Hopkins University.  

Yun L. Boylston, MD, MBA, FAAP, partner, Burlington Pediatrics P.A.

Yun L. Boylston, MD, MBA, FAAP
Yun L. Boylston, MD, MBA, FAAP

Dr. Boylston is a pediatrician at Burlington Pediatrics/Mebane Pediatrics in Alamance County, North Carolina. As a physician partner, she champions innovative strategies and operational effectiveness to build and sustain a thriving independent practice. In March 2020, she led her practice to adopt and scale telehealth operations, which now account for 20% of visit volume. A leader across health care’s continuum of care, Dr. Boylston is a trustee for Cone Health System and board chair of Carolina Complete Health. She serves as a board director of the NC Pediatric Society and is a past recipient of the Society’s Rising Star Early Career Physician Award. 

Dr. Boylston enjoys engaging student learners as a clinical preceptor for the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. As a community pediatrician, she is passionate about improving access and quality of care within the medical home, including advancing integrated behavioral care. A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University in biochemical sciences, Dr. Boylston completed her medical degree and pediatric residency at Baylor College of Medicine and her MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Alexandra M. Cupito, PhD, behavioral health consultant, Burlington Pediatrics/Mebane Pediatrics

Dr. Cupito is is a behavioral health consultant at Burlington Pediatrics/Mebane Pediatrics, a privately owned practice in North Carolina. Dr. Cupito is a licensed psychologist with a specialty in pediatric and health psychology. She is developing an integrated behavioral health program at the practice utilizing the primary care behavioral health model. Dr. Cupito collaborates with the clinical care team to develop treatment plans, monitor patient progress and coordinate care. She also works directly with patients and families to encourage behavioral and lifestyle changes to promote wellness.  

Dr. Cupito received her bachelor's degree in psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill and her master's and doctorate in clinical psychology from UNC Greensboro. She completed her predoctoral clinical internship specializing in pediatric integrated behavioral health and neuropsychology at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Cupito received additional postdoctoral training in pediatric integrated care at UNC Children’s Hospital.

The American Medical Association along with seven leading medical associations have established the BHI Collaborative, a group dedicated to catalyzing effective and sustainable integration of behavioral and mental health care into physician practices.

With a focus on primary care, the Collaborative is committed to ensuring a professionally satisfying, sustainable physician practice experience and will act as a trusted partner to help them overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of meeting their patients’ mental and behavioral health needs. 

The medical associations include: the American Medical Association, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Physicians, American Osteopathic Association, and the American Psychiatric Association.

Explore the AMA STEPS Forward® Innovation Academy on-demand library of webinars on physician burnout, digital health, private practice, BHI and more.

With an increased number of people reporting worsening mental health in recent years, it is imperative that people are aware of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) telephone program.

People experiencing a suicidal, substance use, and/or mental health crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress can call, chat or text 988, and speak to trained crisis counselors. The national hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The previous National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will continue to be operational and route calls to 988 indefinitely.

Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed in this video are those of the participants and/or do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.