This summer, CBAM has had the pleasure of hosting 5th year PhD student Jennifer Hsia as our volunteer intern from the University of South Dakota’s Clinical Psychology program. Originally from the Los Angeles area, Jennifer chose to volunteer with UCLA CBAM after hearing about us through one of our professional colleagues at NIDA.
Ms. Hsia is a recipient of the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Fellowship, funded by SAMHSA and administered by the American Psychological Association’s Minority Fellowship Program. Along with completing coursework focusing on substance use, Ms. Hsia has worked with patients with substance abuse problems in her clinical practica.
This summer, Jennifer has been seeing patients at the UCLA Vine Street Clinic as part a study testing a novel medication for the treatment of methamphetamine dependence. Of the experience, she says, “I haven’t had exposure to long-term meth users—that seems to be a smaller percentage of what I’ve seen at my placement sites. It’s neat to see the full range of individuals with those issues.” By gaining more experience with this specialized population, Jennifer feels that her work with CBAM will help to inform her clinical work upon returning to South Dakota in the Fall.
Additionally, Jennifer has been working with the CBAM team to analyze data for a paper studying the efficacy of integrating behavioral and primary care. Jennifer believes that integrated healthcare is exciting and that the future of health services lies in integrated models of care: “There is a lack of access and availability to services, and people are more reluctant to seek help for behavioral and addiction problems, especially in rural areas. Having these services integrated makes it more likely that patients will gain access to behavioral or substance use treatment through their primary care physicians.”
This coming year, Jennifer will work as a Clinic Assistant at the PSC, or Psychological Services Center, an on-campus outpatient training clinic for USD’s Clinical Psychology graduate students. Along with helping to train and supervise junior students, Ms. Hsia will conduct interviews to screen potential patients. Ms. Hsia also plans to work on writing journal articles that are based on findings from her thesis and dissertation.
Thank you, Jennifer, for all of your hard work, and we wish you luck in your continued success!