Foundation interns produce Behavioral Health Providers Repository

Randi Veasely (l to r), Sachita Bhattrai, Greg Shelton, Dr. Sushma Sharma, Alexander Fernandez, Rachel Blaydes and Dr. Mari Tietze.


The DFW Hospital Council (DFWHC) Foundation teamed with interns from the University of North Texas (UNT) Health Science Center and Texas Woman’s University (TWU) to produce an extensive Behavioral Health Providers Repository covering 16 North Texas counties.

The document lists behavioral health providers in each county including addresses, websites and services provided. The counties detailed include Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Erath, Grayson, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell, Tarrant and Wise.

“Since 2013, the DFWHC Foundation has offered internship opportunities to students from local universities,” said Dr. Sushma Sharma, director of public and population health research at the DFWHC Foundation. “We thought the creation of such a detailed list of providers would be a great project for the interns with the final list assisting North Texas residents.”

The project is a component of the North Texas Community Health Collaborative’s ongoing behavioral health initiative which began this year. In February, the Collaborative released the Behavioral Health Community Needs Assessment Report, a 130-page document detailing annual totals of patient visits from each county diagnosed with mental health and drug issues. The report revealed the number of behavioral care providers in the region were below national and state levels.

“The purpose of this new provider list is to help identify gaps in care, examine provider capacity and to have accurate reference material for medical providers and community members,” said Dr. Sharma. “This provides all of us with a starting point.”

Coordinated by the DFWHC Foundation, the North Texas Community Health Collaborative represents 10 area hospital systems, behavioral health authorities and community-based organizations with a goal of improving behavioral health services in the region over the next three years.

Behavioral health providers were included in the list if they had a physical location and website.

“Areas with potential provider shortages are more easily identified now with this new list,” said Dr. Mari Tietze, a professor and a Doswell Endowed Chair in Nursing Informatics at TWU. “Combined with other data, this repository can serve as a tool for providers and community members when discerning how to best utilize resources and services.”

Interns participating in the work included Alexander Fernandez of UNT (project lead), Randi Veasely of TWU and Sachita Bhattrai of TWU.

The Behavioral Health Providers Repository can now be found online at http://www.healthyntexas.org/resourcelibrary/index/view?id=135076201349268201.

For information, please contact Dr. Sharma at [email protected].