(Des Moines, IA) The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Broadlawns-UnityPoint Psychiatry Residency Program are pleased to announce the launch of a partnership program. Beginning in November, resident physicians from the Broadlawns-UnityPoint Psychiatry Residency Program will receive training at the Woodward Resource Center (WRC), in Woodward Iowa. WRC serves children and adults with intellectual disabilities and other related disabilities from throughout the state of Iowa. The goal of this initiative is to develop a mutually beneficial relationship between the Broadlawns-UnityPoint Psychiatry Residency Program and DHS to grow and strengthen Iowa's direct care workforce, while providing quality care to DHS clients and educational opportunities for Broadlawns-UnityPoint Psychiatry Residency Program resident physicians.

WRC has a high percentage of individuals with serious behavioral challenges, along with a number of individuals with serious health and medical conditions. The care provided to WRC residents is highly complex and requires each resident have a comprehensive person-centered individual support plan (ISP) developed to meet national standards and protocols. Throughout their rotation, resident physicians will attend psychiatrist rounds and appointments, as well as spend time in the homes with individuals with intellectual disabilities and behavioral issues related to co-occurring mental health diagnosis. They will experience the collaborative care provided by occupational therapists, speech & language pathologists, physical therapists, nursing staff and qualified intellectual disabilities professionals as pertaining to behavioral and mental health of individuals at WRC.

"Our partnership with the Broadlawns-UnityPoint Psychiatry Residency Program comes at a critical time for DHS, as it starts to address the deficit in direct care professionals that we're experiencing throughout the state as a whole. The participants will experience a highly collaborative program, which aims to train and retain this critical workforce in Iowa. We're also hoping some chose to stay with us at DHS, where we have rewarding jobs with great benefits. This is one of many partnerships we're working to establish to provide the highest quality care for our residents and to home grow our workforce," said Kelly Garcia, DHS Director.

Dr. Autumn Brunia, a second year resident physician in the program shared, "I went into medical school with the goal of being a part of the solution to the mental health crisis in Iowa. Being able to train in central Iowa where I grew up is important to me and takes us one step closer to finding the solution to this crisis. Having this program here ensures that people like me who want to practice in Iowa when we are done will have less barriers to doing this as we are not forced to put down roots in another community while training."

The current group of resident physicians will complete their training at WRC in June, 2021