Establishing the National Integration Academy Council (NIAC) was a critical first step in building the AHRQ Academy to support the integration of behavioral health and primary care. The NIAC assists the project team in strategic planning, community building, national collaborations, product development, and learning. They develop policy statements, conduct webinars, and create resources and presentations to help bring the field together.
Frank Verloin deGruy III, M.D., M.S.F.M., Woodward-Chisholm Professor and Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, serves as NIAC chair. The carefully chosen experts on the NIAC work as individuals or as a group to support the AHRQ Academy. Due to their knowledge of and shared commitment to behavioral health integration, the NIAC is now nationally recognized for its valuable contributions.
Historically, NIAC members have included clinicians and experts in the areas of:
- Primary care,
- Behavioral health,
- Health care finance,
- Medical education,
- Patient advocacy,
- Health care for diverse populations, and
- Health care policy.
New members with knowledge of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD) and health information technology have recently joined the NIAC to guide the work related to the AHRQ Academy’s added focus in those areas. These members will help support the AHRQ Primary Care MAT Grantees and others implementing MAT for OUD in rural primary care practices.