Certificate in Pediatric and Behavioral Health Integration

Register OnlineA nationwide transformation of pediatric primary care is underway, with a focus on whole person care to be provided in the medical home.  There is mounting evidence that the integration of behavioral health services into pediatric primary care facilitates a more holistic approach to healthcare and results in positive patient outcomes.  Team-based integrated behavioral health and primary care offers a framework to provide more comprehensive prevention and early intervention services as well as the opportunity to better meet the needs of underserved patients. Furthermore, the integration of behavioral health and pediatric primary care increases access to behavioral health care and reduces perceived stigma of these services. 

One of the barriers to successful integration of behavioral health into pediatric primary care is the reality that both medical and behavioral health providers must make changes in their practice patterns.  Most pediatric and behavioral health providers typically feel unprepared to effectively and efficiently implement and maintain interdisciplinary, team-based care.  Further, the pediatric practice must adapt to a team care model such that all providers and staff must develop new competencies to support integration efforts.

In response to this need, William James College is offering a Certificate Program in Pediatric and Behavioral Health Integration for pediatric health practitioners, mental health practitioners, and practice administrators seeking to establish an integrated approach to care.  The certificate program will concentrate on developing practitioners’ skills related to their patients’ behavioral health needs and will also focus on developing systems to support practice level changes, facilitating effective, sustainable integrated care.  The curriculum customizes the content to meet the needs of each professional role within the practice, though all participants are welcome to engage in all of the materials they find of interest. 

Program Delivery & Format

The program will follow a blended model, with two days in residence and online lectures, video conferences, and discussion boards.  In addition, participants will have opportunities for brief consultation with course faculty regarding specific implementation questions and challenges.  Participants who are part of pediatric practices implementing integrated services will work together to create the necessary infrastructure for successful integrated care.   Participants who are not part of a pediatric practice will engage in activities that prepare them to facilitate practice level integration.  The online module schedule is designed with flexibility to allow busy professionals to complete the Certificate expeditiously in an easy to navigate technology-enabled environment.

The Certificate program dates are:

Online Dates: November 23, 2019* - May 23, 2020
*The Behavioral Health track has a one hour online lecture pre-requisite in advance of the program start date.
This pre-requisite begins on November 11, 2019 and will be available through November 22, 2019.

Residency Dates: November 23, 2019 & June 20, 2020

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Credit Hours

  • Administrator: 10 credit hours = 10 CE Credits
  • Behavioral Health: 25 credit hours = 25 CE Credits for Psychologists, Social Workers, Nurses, Marriage & Family Therapists, Mental Health Counselors, Educators
  • Medical Provider: 21 credit hours = 21 CME Credits for Physicians


The curriculum addresses a wide array of systems issues, practice-based protocols, and intervention approaches critical in establishing an effective integrated pediatric medical home. Topics include:

Launching and Sustaining an Integrated Infrastructure in Pediatric Primary Care

  • Creating a practice culture that recognizes the centrality of behavioral health to overall health and wellness
  • Developing processes to ensure detection of behavioral health issues, as well as opportunities for prevention and early intervention.
  • Devising clinical protocols for responding in a coordinated manner to behavioral health concerns
  • Establishing effective systems of communication, consultation and collaboration between team members
  • Developing sustainable integrated systems for documentation and billing

Team-based Behavioral Health identification and intervention Strategies

  • Effective collaboration with families and patients
  • Pragmatic skills to facilitate clinical work in an integrated setting (e.g. navigating cultural issues, expanding knowledge of the interrelationships between medical and mental health presentations)
  • Appropriate screening and brief assessment processes (e.g., functional assessments)
  • Brief intervention techniques including Motivational Interviewing and SBIRT
  • Alternative intervention processes to facilitate outreach and prevention

Enhanced Collaboration with Community-based Behavioral Health Providers: Referrals and Follow-Up

  • Triaging patients and families to the appropriate level of care
  • Facilitating out-of-practice referrals when needed
  • Ensuring communication with community-based providers to monitor patient and family progress  
Frequently Asked Questions

What is the overall time commitment for this program?

The certificate program consists of six months of online instruction and two separate days of in-person residency. The residency requirement is comprised of two separate 6-hour days, held at the William James College campus in Newton, MA. The online requirements span over 6 months and the time commitment varies depending on your registration type. Behavioral Health Providers will be required to log-in to the online course every week to complete the weekly requirements. Medical Providers will participate in a few less lectures but often have weekly assignments, as well. Administrators will be required to participate in two online modules, with most of their learning taking place during the in-person residencies.  All participants are welcome to listen to those lectures they are not required to complete, however.

What should I expect to do in the online portion?

For every week the course meets online you will be required to watch a video lecture and participate in activities targeted toward your goal of practice transformation. Readings and links to additional information will be shared as resources. Activities vary from week to week but will always include a brief quiz and may include blackboard discussions, video conferences with the faculty, and an occasional brief written assignments in the form of action plans. These “action plan” assignments will take more time, however as practice level planning exercises they will prove useful in transforming a practice into an integrated model. 

For the online portion, how many hours per week should I plan for?

While everyone learns at a different pace, and materials may vary from module to module, we recommend reserving about 1 hour a week to devote to the online learning portion.  The video lectures are usually about 30 minutes long, and the assignments will usually take less than 30 minutes to complete.

Can I do the online portion on my own time?

You can log-in to the course website 24/7 and participate on your own schedule, however, you must adhere to the weekly deadlines.

What will I receive upon completion of the program?

Upon successful completion of the program requirements, all participants will receive a certificate of completion. Eligible participants will also receive Continuing Education (CE) credits or Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits that may be used to fulfill professional licensing requirements. Please see our Accreditation page for detailed information on CEs and CMEs.

Will I need to pass a test to get my certificate?

There is no formal testing in this program, however you will need to complete all of the weekly requirements, including the short quizzes that demonstrate your acquired knowledge of the module topics.

For More Information on our Certificate in Pediatrics and Behavioral Health Integration

For more information, please contact the Program Director, Debra Newborg, PsyD, at debra_newborg@williamjames.edu

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