Interdisciplinary Behavioral Health Collaboration (IBHC)

Interdisciplinary Behavioral Health Collaboration (IBHC) Project

Apply for a $10,000 Training Stipend!

In 2017, the MSW Program and the College of Graduate and Continuing Education were awarded a Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training for Professionals grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to provide workforce development. We train social workers to provide integrated behavioral health (IBH) services, in-person and through telehealth, within the rural and medically underserved areas across Western and Central Massachusetts. As a state institution founded on inclusivity, the WSU MSW Program continues this legacy and is proud to help address the mental health professional shortages in our area.  

  • 58 IBH trained MSW social workers 
  • 92% have accepted employment within rural or medically underserved areas  
  • 42% represent diverse identities  

We have also completed 24 online training modules (click below to gain access) with free CEUs for social workers and nurses, Spanish translation and closed captioning. Through HRSA-BHWET funding, we have provided over 5,000 CEUs and certificates of completions.  

Click Here for FREE Online IBHC Training Modules

Preparing Social Work Students to Work in Medically Underserved Areas

The IBHC project provides training on working in team-based care in integrated settings and competitively awards $10,000 training stipends to 20 - 23 MSW students each year at WSU. Students selected into the Fellowship receive comprehensive education in both classroom and field settings providing integrated behavioral healthcare. Fellows gain the professional competencies outlined by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative and the Council on Social Work Education.  

To meet the health professional shortages across Massachusetts, we have partnered with Simmons University School of Social Work; the only other institution in Massachusetts to be awarded the HRSA-BHWET grant, to advertise our newly graduated MSW’s with advanced training within integrated behavioral healthcare. Please see the graduate catalogues below.  

IBHC Fellows - Class of 2020

Emma Baar-Bittman
Olivia Bernstein
Ana Bracken
Ellie Brotherton
Alex Camire
Liz Caracciolo
Felicita Cintron-Serrano
Elisha DeJesus
Terenz Deleon
Zee Johnson
Alison Kinsey
Kelly MacLeod
Ben Mclaughlin
Aaron Slater
Matt Swift
Ray Tea
Julio Vergne
Sandra Vrankovic
Laresa Wood
Ryan Zenivitch 
Class of 2020 IBHC Graduate Catalogue 
Class of 2020 Simmons University Catalogue

IBHC Fellows - Class of 2019

Bandu Adhikari
Michelle Bachetti
Jenny Bender
Deidre Brazenall
Tania Cabrera
Riley Cook
Haley Dexter
Toni Dolan
Melissa Gentile
Christina Girard
Jeremy Hill
Theresa James
Katie Leblanc
Jessica Mooney
Madison Morse
Kelly Noga
Randy Reed
Nicole Twining
Karina Velazquez
Keith Ward 
Class of 2019 IBHC Graduate Catalogue
Class of 2019 Simmons University Catalogue

IBHC Fellows - Class of 2018

David Bjorklund
Veronica Brandt
John Choiniere
Cristina Cintron
Brooke Deren
Paige Fairman
Daisy Hernandez
Laura Hoffman
Sarah Indominico
Mary Jamieson
Michael Keeney
Elizabeth Kelley
Montana McKim
Chantal Newkirk
Julie Pearce
Sara Pena
Jaqueline Rosado
Jessica Whitehead 
Class of 2018 IBHC Graduate Catalogue

Strong Community Partners

The IBHC Project has developed partnerships with a diverse group of community agencies to host IBHC Fellows in completing specialized integrated behavioral health care MSW Advanced Internships. Some of the IBHC practice settings include: a major medical center, outpatient clinics, behavioral health hospitals, a community-based program supporting persons on the autism spectrum and with learning differences, an urban homeless shelter, a program of all-inclusive care for the elderly (PACE), and community-based healthcare organizations. To assist our partners in further developing their integrated behavioral health work, they receive:

  • Agency-based needs assessment
  • Online training modules
  • Complimentary continuing education units
  • Attendance at the IBHC Annual Clinical Conference
  • Training opportunities within the Leadership in Human Services Academy
  • Individualized agency recommendations for training materials
IBHC Annual Clinical Conference

Hosted jointly by the IBHC Project and Social Work Field Education, this annual conference brings together healthcare professionals for a day long intensive. Each spring the conference focuses on topics related to interprofessional practice across social work settings, such as: foundation knowledge about integrated care; trauma and addiction; integrated behavioral health within primary care practice; collaborations with law enforcement; and team-based care for elders.

IBHC Project Team

Nora Padykula, Ph.D., MSW, LICSW
IBHC Project Director

Nora Padykula is the IBHC Principal Investigator and oversees the Project. Before entering academia, she provided collaborative behavioral healthcare services in various medically underserved settings while working with adults with chronic mental illness and addiction. Her scholarship and research has focused on topics related to addiction and recovery issues, program evaluation, the attainment of social work competencies, and scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL). Formerly, the director of the Baccalaureate Social Work Program, she continues to teach both undergraduate and graduate social work students, primarily in the practice sequence. Currently, she also serves as Chair of the Department of Social Work. Dr. Padykula has received several grants from Westfield State University to promote her work in SOTL, the current HRSA-BHWET award is her first federal grant.

The Interdisciplinary Behavioral Health Collaboration (IBHC) Project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1,299,235.13 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.