New Vermont Program to Increase Access to Child Psychiatrists

The Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP), in collaboration with the Division of Child Psychiatry at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Fletcher Allen Health Care, and Vermont Center for Children, Youth and Families (VCCYF), is pioneering a new program to increase access for primary care clinicians to child psychiatrists and improve mental health care in Vermont children and families.

Under the program, primary care practices that choose to participate will be assigned a UVM child psychiatrist who will be available to that practice for phone call and email questions during regular working hours regarding their patients. 

We are in the process of reaching out to the primary care practices to see who would like to participate in the program, at no cost to them.  Once the list is established, each child psychiatrist will be designated for a particular region of the state and the practices therein.   

The program provides for phone and email questions from providers of that practice as well as access to the VCCYF’s Family Wellness Coach who can help clinicians and families identify resources for treatment and health promotion activities.  In addition, all participants get a subscription to THIS BLOG! and will receive notices of other updates related to child mental health issues here in Vermont and elsewhere.

The one area that won’t change, however, is the process for in-person child psychiatry evaluations at the VCCYF.  Our clinic continues to receive many more evaluation requests than we can accommodate quickly and we feel compelled to continue to serve all the families we can on a first-come first-serve basis.

While there is no designated end point for this project, VCHIP relies on government grants to fund important programs such as this.  For those benefiting from the partnership, it would be a wonderful idea to let your elected officials know how important initiatives such as these are for Vermont youth and their families.

For questions or further information, you can contact Eliza Pillard at

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