Iowa's Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Launches Training Series

March 15, 2023

Iowa’s Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health (CEBH) recently launched a virtual training series, which will help build the capacity of Iowa’s providers to ensure people with serious mental illness have access to the treatment they need to help them live healthy, meaningful lives in the community. CEBH is one of the newest grant programs based at Iowa’s UCEDD, the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD, Iowa’s UCEDD). Last spring, CDD was awarded a competitive three-year $2,200,000 grant from the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services to create CEBH, which focuses on providing training, technical assistance, and fidelity monitoring for entities responsible for developing and implementing evidence-based practices for individuals with serious mental illness, serious emotional disturbance, and co-occurring conditions in the state of Iowa. 

During the first year of funding, CEBH staff completed a statewide scan of provider capacity and fidelity reviews. Now, they have kicked off a training series that will support providers in the statewide delivery of three evidence-based practices: Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), and Individual Placement & Support (IPS). A training series for Iowa providers is underway.

The inaugural training began with a presentation by Robert E. Drake, MD, PhD, co-developer of the IPS supported employment model. Dr. Drake provided an inspiring look at the history of supported employment for people with serious mental illness, and the success of IPS evidence-based practice. Nancy Williams, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Medical Director for IMPACT at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, followed with a presentation on ACT. The ACT team provides consistent care and assertive client advocacy by teaching individuals in the program ways to improve quality of life, self and home care, and resource utilization. Mark Sertterh, BS, Associate Director of Shelter House, a homeless services organization that provides a wide array of housing and supportive services in the Iowa City area, presented on PSH. Darcey Sebolt, BA, who joined CEBH as the State and Fidelity Reviewer, presented on the development of IPS services across the state.

Additional trainings will begin in April. A two-day workshop for Iowa’s Behavioral Health Workforce, “Staff Resiliency & Wellness and Trauma-Informed Leadership,” will be delivered to professionals who are exposed to trauma and stress in their jobs, and who are at risk of experiencing issues that mirror those of the people they serve. A six-part monthly seminar series on Behavioral Health and Brain Injury will also kick off in April.

UCEDD Program Manager Torie Keith oversees the CEBH. Michelle Johnston serves as Program Coordinator for key CEBH activities. They are working on the development of the CEBH website—currently a work in progress—which will host future trainings.

Visit the Iowa CEBH website:

Address questions about Iowa’s CEBH to Torie Keith at [email protected].