About | South Central MIRECC - MIRECC / CoE
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About | South Central MIRECC



About the South Central MIRECC


Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Centers (MIRECCs) were conceived to develop new knowledge about mental illness and its effective treatment and to quickly integrate new knowledge into clinical practice through education.

The South Central MIRECC (SC MIRECC) was proposed in April 1998 and funded in September 1998 with an initial mission to “. . . close the gap between efficacy (what treatment has the potential to achieve) and effectiveness (what treatment actually does achieve) in VISN 16 and throughout the VA through innovations in research, education and clinical practice.”

Today, SC MIRECC is a virtual center serving VISNs 16 and 17 with anchor sites in Houston, Texas, Little Rock, Arkansas, and New Orleans, Louisiana. Our mission is to promote equity in engagement, access, and quality of mental health care for Veterans facing barriers to care, especially rural Veterans.

Our goals and objectives are intended to help us realize this mission and address the three primary underpinnings of all MIRECCs: mental health care research, education and training of mental health care professionals, and dissemination of findings and best practices.

Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: Support improved quality of clinical care delivered in usual care conditions across the South Central Network by:

- Providing and evaluating clinical and educational interventions to improve care for Veterans with mental illnesses
- Evaluating alternative ways to deliver effective mental health care
- Incorporating Veteran consumers in mental health care quality improvement initiatives, program development, and performance evaluation

Goal 2: Conduct research that optimizes the effectiveness of mental health treatment by:

- Promoting the growth of our researchers in mental health care
- Generating new knowledge about mental illness and its effective treatment
- Providing national service related to research in mental health

Goal 3: Provide research training and support for mental health trainees and junior/mid-level investigators by:

- Providing didactic and consultative experiences for residents in mental health research careers
- Providing didactic and experiential training on grant writing for fellows and junior faculty
- Increasing the number of trainees entering research fellowships

Goal 4: Educate mental health providers and key stakeholders to promote recovery from mental illness by:

- Providing Network-wide educational opportunities on evidence-based practices
- Developing or importing needed educational materials
- Communicating educational materials to mental health providers, managers, administrators, consumers and families

Goal 5: Serve Network providers, administrators and key stakeholders as a major resource for improving the quality of mental health care by:

- Participating with the VISN 16 and 17 Mental Health Product Line Advisory Councils in developing and implementing new clinical programs
- Providing training programs that serve as a model to the Network and other MIRECCs as a model for changing clinician behavior
- Participating in key national review, advisory and VA healthcare and research policy committees

Regional Collaborations

The main collaborators with the SC MIRECC are the two HSR&D Centers of Innovation (COIN) in VISN 16, located in Little Rock (Director: Dr. Richard Owen) and Houston (Director: Dr. Laura Petersen). We also have a close working relationship with the QUERI for Team-Based Behavioral Health ( Director: Dr. JoAnn Kirchner) and collaborate routinely with the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) in Little Rock.

Academic Partners

We collaborate with our academic affiliates to recruit faculty, provide educational opportunities, and support our fellowship programs. Our affiliates include the Baylor College of Medicine Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Department of Psychiatry, the Tulane University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry in Louisiana, and the University of Mississippi School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry.

Mailing Address

South Central MIRECC
2200 Fort Roots Drive, Bldg. 58
North Little Rock, Arkansas 72114

Contact us: VISN16SCMIRECCEducation@va.gov


Last updated: November 5, 2018