I am writing to give my whole-hearted support for Connecting to Care and the services this outstanding non-profit provides.
The Department of Psychiatry has been providing telepsychiatry services to consumers of Far Northern Regional Center for over a decade and has been collaborating with Connecting to Care for that purpose. Our faculty has a collaborative relationship with the founders of Connecting to Care, who established a program that provides services for FNRC clients in need of specialty psychiatry services not available anywhere in the FNRC service area.
I have experienced firsthand the successes made by consumers when utilizing the Connecting to Care Assistive Technology Services and its positive impact on the following;
- Increased access to self-advocacy opportunities for consumers with the use of Assistive Technology.
- Providing a replicable, state of the art model for employment through the application of technology for specialty populations.
Having worked in telepsychiatry since 1996, I am well aware of the difficulty in designing integrated programs and then maintaining services. They have been easy to set up, yet have had poor sustainability and have come and gone. I am also aware of the need to adapt employment and self-advocacy opportunities to the regional center population and the local service network.
I believe the staff at Connecting to Care has done an exceptional job with this. Suzi Coleman is a gifted administrator who really knows how to make these programs operate successfully in a collaborative manner. She is a collaborator and co-author on an article we wrote entitled, Telepsychiatry for Children with Developmental Disabilities: Applications for Patient Care and Medical Education, accepted for publication in Child Psychiatric Clinics of North America Jan 2011.
In summary I support the Connecting to Care without exception.
Roxy Szeftel MD
Szeftel Medical Group – L.A. Telepsychiatry
Director, Child Psychiatry and Child Psychiatry Training
Telepsychiatry Developmental Disabilities Clinic
Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA