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Jennifer S. Funderburk, PhD






Veterans & Families



Jennifer FunderburkBiography: Dr. Jennifer Funderburk earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Syracuse University. She is currently a clinical research psychologist at the Center for Integrated Healthcare at Syracuse VA Medical Center, an Adjunct Associate Professor at Syracuse University, and an Adjunct Senior Instructor at the University of Rochester Department of Psychiatry.

Dr. Funderburk is the leader of the monthly Integrated Primary Care Education and Consultation series co-led by the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s Integrated Primary Care Special Interest Group (; Collaborative Family Healthcare Association Research and Evaluation committee (; and American Psychological Association’s Society of Pediatric Psychology (Div 54) and Society for Health Psychology (Div 38). She was an elected member of the Board of Directors for the Collaborative Family Healthcare association for 6 years (2016-2021). She currently serves on the Editorial Board and was a guest co-editor of a Special Issue in Families, Systems, and Health ( titled Strategies for Evaluating Integrated Care in the Real World.

Research Interests: Dr. Funderburk’s research interests include the integration of behavioral health in primary care, with a special focus on brief interventions designed to address depression, alcohol use, insomnia, or multiple risk factors. She also has interests in the implementation of integrated healthcare, with specific interests in training and fidelity. Her current activities are directed towards evaluating:

  • a brief sleep intervention to reduce suicide risk in veterans
  • a brief problem-solving intervention to reduce suicide risk among older veterans
  • Whether a brief intervention using primary care team huddles can be used to assist primary care teams in suicide prevention
  • an interactive educational training that can be utilized to improve primary care provider’s skills in assisting veterans in distress
  • whether integrated primary care team characteristics and their relationship with access among veterans experiencing psychological distress and social needs.


Recommended Publications:
(*co-author is someone Dr. Funderburk serves as a mentor)

*Mitzel, L. D., Funderburk, J. S., Buckheit, K. A., Gass, J. C., Shepardson, R. L., &Edelman, D. (2021). Virtual integrated primary care teams: Recommendations for team-based care. Families, Systems, & Health. 39(4), 638-643

Funderburk, J.S., Gass, J.C., Wray, J.M., & Shepardson, R.L. (in press). Prevalence and Predictors of Team-Based Care Activities Between Primary Care Providers and
Embedded Behavioral Health Providers: A National Survey. Journal of Interprofessional Care

Funderburk, J.S., Polaha, J., & Beehler (in press). What is The Recipe for PCBH? Proposed Resources, Processes, and Expected Outcomes. Families, Systems, and Health.

Poleshuck, E. Possemato, K., Johnson, E., Cohen, A., Fogarty, C., & Funderburk, J.S. (in press). Leveraging Integrated Primary Care to Address Patients’ and Families’ Unmet Social Needs: Aligning Practice with National Academy of Medicine Recommendations. Journal of American Board of Family Medicine.

Funderburk, J.S., Gass, J.C., Shepardson, R.L., Mitzel, L., & Buckheit, K. (2021). Practical opportunities for biopsychosocial education through strategic interprofessional experiences in integrated primary care.  Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12: 693729 doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2021.693729

*Loughran, T., Scharer, J.L., Rodriguez, L., DeVita, M.J., Maisto, S.A., & Funderburk, J.S.(2021). Brief alcohol interventions in US medical settings: A systematic review of the implementation literature. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 131(1), 108456

Funderburk, J.S., Pigeon, W.R., Shepardson, R.L., Wade, M., Acker, J., Fivecoat, H. Wray, L., & Maisto, S.A. (2021). Treating Depressive Symptoms Among Veterans in Primary Care: A Multi-Site RCT of Brief Behavioral Activation. Journal of Affective Disorders, 283, 11-19. doi:

*Gass, J. C., Funderburk, J. S., Shepardson, R., Kosiba, J. D., Rodriguez, L., & Maisto, S.A. (2021). The use and impact of self-monitoring on substance use outcomes: A descriptive systematic review. Substance Abuse, 22, 1-36. doi:10.1080/08897077.2021.1874595

Funderburk, J.S., Dollar, K.M., King, P.R., Pomerantz, A., Bernstein, L., Aspnes, A., Tenhula, W., & Wray, L. (2021) Problem-solving training for VA integrated primary care providers: Real-world outcomes. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 52(1), 58–66. doi:

*Shepardson, R. L., Minnick, M. R., & Funderburk, J. S. (2020). Anxiety interventions delivered in Primary Care Behavioral Health routine clinical practice. Families, Systems, & Health, 38(2), 193–199. doi:

Funderburk, J.S., Levandowski, B.A., Wittink, M., & Pigeon, W. (2020). Team communication within integrated primary care in the context of suicide prevention: A mixed methods preliminary examination. Psychological Services, 17(1), 110–117. doi:

*Shepardson, R. L., Buchholz, L. J., Weisberg, R. B., & Funderburk, J. S. (2018). Psychological interventions for anxiety in adult primary care patients: A review and recommendations for future research. Journal of Anxiety Disorders 54, 71-86. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2017.12.004

Funderburk, J.S., Shepardson, R.L., Wray, J., Acker, J., Beehler, G.P., Possemato, K., Wray, L.O., & Maisto, S.A. (2018). Behavioral medicine interventions for adult primary care settings: A review. Families, Systems, and Health, 36(3), 368–399. doi:

*Wray, J., Funderburk, J.S., Acker, J., Wray, L., & Maisto, S.A. (2017). A meta-analysis of brief tobacco interventions for use in integrated primary care. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 20(12), 1418-1426. doi:

Hunter, C., Funderburk, J.S., Polaha, J., Bauman, D., Goodie, J., & Hunter, C. (2018). Primary care behavioral health model (PCBH) research: Current state of the science and call to action. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 25(2), 127-156.

For a complete list of Dr. Funderburk's publications please click the link below:


Recent Presentations:

Moskal, D., Funderburk, J. S., Gass, J. C., Shepardson, R. L., Mitzel, L. D., & Buckheit, K.A. (2021, December 14–16). Broadening horizons for improved patient care: A case study of interprofessional biopsychosocial education in integrated primary care. [Poster presentation]. Dissemination and Implementation Conference, Virtual.

Mitzel, L.D., Shepardson, R.L., Patterson, J.H., Johnson, E.M., & Funderburk, J.S. (2021, October). How to integrate patient values into primary care behavioral health practice. Discussion group to be facilitated at the 23rd annual meeting of the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association, Madison, WI (virtual conference).

Scharer, J. L., Funderburk, J. S. De Vita, M. J., Rother, Y., & Maisto, S. A. (2021, June). Treatment as usual control groups in brief alcohol intervention trials: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Poster presentation at the 44th Annual Research Society on Alcoholism Scientific Meeting.

Scharer, J. L., Funderburk, J. S., Loughran, T. A., & Maisto, S. A. Systematic review of brief alcohol intervention implementation in healthcare settings: Implications for selection of implementation strategies. Poster presented at the 13th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation. Virtual conference.

Shepardson, R. L., Minnick, M. R., & Funderburk, J. S. (2020, October). Correlates of delivery of evidence-based interventions for anxiety in Primary Care Behavioral Health routine clinical practice. Paper presented at the 22nd Annual Conference of the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association, Virtual Conference.

Sunderji, N., Polaha, J., Funderburk, J., Mullin, D., & Bennett, I. Raising the Ceiling: An Advanced Workshop on Publishing for Integrated Care Research. Workshop presented at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association. Virtual Conference.

Gass, J. & Funderburk, J. (2020, October). We can talk for 5 minutes over lunch, but it’ll probably get interrupted: How to engage frontline stakeholders in research or evaluation efforts. Paper presented at the 22nd Annual Conference of the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association, Virtual Conference.

Funderburk, J., Beehler, G., Polaha, J. (2020, October). What is the primary care behavioral health model? A logic model helping us define it. Paper presented at the 22nd Annual Conference of the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association, Virtual Conference.

Beehler, G., Funderburk, J., Corso, K. (2020, October) Warm hand offs 2020: Refocusing on a research agenda. Paper presented at the 22nd Annual Conference of the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association, Virtual Conference.

Mitzel, L., Shepardson, R., & Funderburk, J. (2020, October) Prevalence and correlates of sexual dysfunction and preferences for discussing sexual health concerns among veteran primary care patients. Paper presented at the 22nd Annual Conference of the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association, Virtual Conference.

Gass, J. C., Funderburk, J. S., Shepardson, R., Kosiba, J.D., Rodriguez, L., & Maisto, S. A. The use and impact of at-home self-monitoring on alcohol use outcomes: A descriptive systematic review. Poster accepted for presentation at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism. New Orleans, LA. (conference cancelled).



Selected Funded Grants:

Primary Investigator. Identifying modifiable factors that affect veterans at-risk due to social determinants of health and psychological distress access to care within integrated primary care settings. Health Sciences Research and Development Grant (Awarded 2022-2026)

Co-Investigator. Improving Anxiety Treatment Engagement and Effectiveness in Primary Care-Mental Health Integration: Multi-site Hybrid I RCT of a Brief Veteran-Centered Anxiety Intervention Health Sciences Research and Development Grant (Awarded 2021-2025)

Co-Primary Investigator. Piloting a Mailed Intervention to Reduce Alcohol/Tobacco Use Among Rural Ambivalent Veterans at High Risk Due to Chronic Conditions SWIFT pilot grant (Awarded 2021-2021)

Site Primary Investigator. Reducing Suicide Risk in Older Veterans with Mental Health Disorders Using Problem Solving Therapy- RCT Clinical Sciences Research and Development Grant (Awarded 2021-2026)

Co-Investigator. Brief Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Pain to Improve Functional Outcomes among Primary Care Veterans Rehabilitation Research and Development Grant (Awarded 2021-2025)

Primary Investigator. Adjunctive Team-Enhanced Intervention to Improve Suicide Prevention Evidence-Based Practices in Primary Care American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Grant(Awarded 2021-2022)

Co-Primary Investigator. Piloting a Self-Help Intervention to Improve Veteran Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic Health Sciences Research and Development COVID Rapid Response Grant (Awarded 2020-2021)

Primary Investigator. Improving Patient-Centered Suicide Prevention Care for At-Risk Veterans in Non-VHA Primary Care Suicide Prevention Research Impact NeTwork (SPRINT) Pilot Grant (Awarded 2021-2021)

Co-Primary Investigator. Improving sleep as a strategy to reduce suicide risk at-risk veterans: A real world clinical trial. Health Sciences Research and Development Grant (Awarded 2017-2022).

Co-Primary Investigator. Assessing the need, feasibility, and content of a team-delivered primary care-based intervention for Veteran smokers and drinkers with related chronic health conditions. Center for Integrated Healthcare Pilot Grant (Awarded 2017-2018)

Co-Investigator. Capturing Veterans’ experiences with VHA suicide prevention interventions: A quantitative and qualitative analysis. Center for Excellence in Suicide Prevention Pilot Research Grant (Awarded 2016-2017).

Co-Investigator.  Exploring stakeholder ideas for incorporating peer support into PC-MHI. Center for Integrated Healthcare Pilot Grant (Awarded 2016-2017).




Why do I mentor? “One of the joys of my position is my role in mentorship and training. I truly find that is what helps make the journey of my position fun and fulfilling. Working with mentees no matter what level of their training allows me to build a collaboration that I think of as lasting a lifetime. Although I recognize that a mentorship relationship is often seen as unidirectional, I often view it as bidirectional. I recognize that I may give more at times to help guide specific aspects of training, but I always find I learn something in the process as well. The other fun aspect is sharing my passion for integrated primary care and watching others realize it benefits themselves.”

How do I go about mentoring? “I tend to individualize the mentorship relationship depending on the current place that mentee is at in their development as well as to be suitable to that person’s personality. However, there are some general things that likely don’t change no matter who I’m mentoring. I work very hard to create an honest supportive environment. I also am hands on, such that my team generally meets weekly and then often I’ll meet separately for an individual meetings with mentees who are postdocs or early career professionals, especially if we have a project in development. I believe in being available to my mentees, so if someone feels they need more time—I give it to them.”

Areas I tend to Emphasize within Mentorship:

  • Grant writing to pursue personal research interests
  • Further developing research and clinical skills
  • Participating in professional conferences and seminars
  • Supervising graduate and undergraduate students
  • Helping mentees to home in on their areas of interest
  • Increasing professional network
  • Balancing work and life commitments in a healthy manner
  • Learning how to consider the audience in any presentation or publication to better market information

Accomplishments of Previous Students Mentored by me:

  • Awarded pilot grants as well as large external grand funding
  • Secured excellent research and academic teaching appointments
  • Increased collaboration and professional network
  • Publications and presentations

Accepting New Mentees

As part of the Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program, I am currently accepting new mentees.

Veterans & Families

The VA Center for Integrated Healthcare has the goal of improving the care of Veterans.

For example, you may have gone to your doctor and asked for help with your sleep. Although you may have thought your doctor would give you a sleep medicine, you find that they want you to meet another member of the team.

This member of the primary care team, known as the PCMHI provider, is there to help Veterans with mental or behavioral health concerns. For example, the PCMHI provider might offer you a treatment that doctors have found works even better than medications.

There are many people like myself at CIH who conduct research to find ways we can better serve our Veterans within the VHA.

Over 500 Veterans per year across the US, many from the Western/Central New York, help us in this work.

Most of the research we conduct invite Veterans to help us via a mailed letter from the VA followed by a telephone call. If you are interested in the future, keep your eyes out for a letter.

To share our work with Veterans and families, we created these one-page briefs:

  1. Brief Non-Medicine Treatments PCMHI Providers Can Use to Help Veterans when they see a member of their Primary Care Team
  2. An Intervention to Improve Mood in Veterans Seen in Primary Care
    1. Primary Care Small Initial Study (2013): Can 2 Brief Appointments Talking About Behavioral Activation (BA) Improve Veterans’ Mood?
    2. Large Study (2015-2018): Can Brief Behavioral Activation Help Improve Veterans’ Mood?

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