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VA Center for Clinical Management Research

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Mission Statement 

The Ann Arbor VA Center for Clinical Management Research includes the Serious Mental Illness Treatment Resource and Evaluation Center (SMITREC). SMITREC was originally established in 1992 as the Center for Long Term Mental Health Evaluation and continues as an ongoing special evaluation field program of the Mental Health Strategic Health Group at VA Headquarters. The overall mission of the Serious Mental Illness Treatment Resource and Evaluation Center (SMITREC) is to conduct critical evaluation that will: 1) enhance the mental and physical health care of veterans with serious mental illnesses (SMI) by providing clinicians with state-of-the-art information on the effectiveness of treatment options; 2) inform the VHA on issues of access to care, customer and clinician satisfaction, efficiency, and delivery of quality healthcare; and 3) provide VHA policy makers with relevant and timely guidance on key issues important to optimizing the system-wide delivery of health care to veterans with SMI.

History of SMITREC 

The Serious Mental Illness Treatment Resource and Evaluation Center (SMITREC) is a group of almost 20 investigators, data analysts, project managers and support staff.  Monies for our Center were allocated by Congress in 1991 in the hope that it could provide VHA with timely information to help the system evaluate the care received by VA patients with serious mental illness.

SMITREC maintains two patient registries, the National Psychosis Registry (NPR) and the National Registry for Depression (NARDEP) which include data from multiple VHA sources for all VHA patients with these diagnoses.  The registries form the basis for annual report distributed to the field and available on our website, as well as being used to respond to data requests from Central Office and VISN/facility leadership to assist them in policy decisions.

Recent areas of study have included:

  • medication adherence
  • specialized mental health care in VHA Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs)
  • factors influencing the retention of the seriously mentally ill in VHA
  • impact of geographical distance on access to care for patients with SMI
  • ethnic disparities in diagnosis of psychosis
  • risk of mortality with use of neuroleptics in patients with dementia

SMITREC staff are also active on many national efforts, most recently including the distribution of FY06 funds to provide MH care in CBOCs, determination of appropriate evaluation procedures for newly funded programs, implementation of the Mental Health Strategic Plan, and organizing the Promising Emerging Practices Conference.


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