Eastern Michigan University assistant professor receives $1.86 million grant to improve access to behavioral health services in Michigan communities

Grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration will target urban and rural Michigan communities to help to integrate behavioral health services with pediatric primary care practices

YPSILANTI — Alexandros Maragakis, an assistant professor in Psychology at Eastern Michigan University, has received a $1.86 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to improve access to behavioral health services for children in Michigan.

Alexandros Maragakis
Alexandros Maragakis

Assistant Professor Maragakis will receive approximately $465,000 per year for 4 years to integrate behavioral health services with pediatric primary care practices in a variety of urban and rural Michigan communities.

According to Dr. Maragakis, Michigan has a number of underserved urban and rural communities with limited access to quality mental health services for children, yet most children in these communities have access to primary care.

“The integration of behavioral health within primary care has recently gained global attention given that almost half of all pediatric primary care visits have some type of behavioral health concern documented,” said Dr. Maragakis. “The goal of this grant is to grow the behavioral health workforce to improve access to behavioral health services for children in Michigan.”

Trainees, which will include students from EMU’s Clinical Psychology and Social Work programs, will participate in interdisciplinary education that will expose them to various healthcare professionals, prepare them for both in-person and telehealth integrated behavioral health services, and emphasize experiences for working with minority cultures.

The Michigan Medicine/EMU Pediatric Integrated Behavioral Health Training Collaborative (the Collaborative) is a partnership with Eastern Michigan University’s Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology and Masters of Social Work Program, and Michigan Medicine in collaboration with MidMichigan Community Health Services. The Collaborative has received prior support from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, and this project is an expansion of that work.

Dr. Maragakis is a founding member of EMU’s Center for the Advancement of Neurobehavioral Health.  His current research interests involve using quality improvement methods to analyze best practices in integrated behavioral and primary care settings. Specifically, his research investigates the impact of integrated services on somatic and behavioral outcomes, as well as healthcare expenditures, provider burnout and efficiency, and access to evidence-based behavioral health services.

For more information about the Health Resources and Services Administration, visit the organization’s homepage.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

July 20, 2021

Written by:
Morgan Mark

Media Contact:
Morgan Mark