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Lawrence S. Wissow


wissowlarryDr. LAWRENCE “LARRY” WISSOW is a “triple board” physician: pediatrician, adult, and child and adolescent psychiatrist. The longstanding theme of his research has been on the detection of psychosocial problems in children and families, with a particular interest in the interface between primary care and mental health care. His work, largely supported by NIMH, began with observational studies of communication in primary care visits. Building on parallels between patient-centered care and psychotherapy, it has evolved into the design and testing of mental health treatments “re-engineered” to fit within the strengths and limitations of primary care settings. He has worked in particular on “common factors” approaches to care as a basis on which to layer more specific interventions and to guide the transformation of integrated service systems.

Dr. Wissow received his MD from Duke University and trained in pediatrics and psychiatry at Johns Hopkins (not consecutively – he was a faculty member in general pediatrics and co-chair of the hospital’s child advocacy team for seven years before returning to training). His clinical work as a psychiatrist has been nearly all in non-traditional settings including Head Start centers, school-based health services, family advocacy programs, and outreach clinics for new immigrants. He has been a part of the co-located mental health team in the Johns Hopkins Pediatric HIV clinic for more than 15 years.

Dr. Wissow and colleagues have collaborated in the development and evaluation of integrated/collaborative care projects in several states as well as in Brazil, Canada, and Ethiopia. In addition to his research projects, Dr. Wissow co-directs Maryland Behavioral Health Integration in Pediatric Primary Care, the state’s program supporting child/youth mental health treatment by primary care providers (administered jointly with the University of Maryland). He is also principal investigator of the Pediatric Integrated Care Collaborative, a project of SAMHSA’s National Child Traumatic Stress Network that conducts learning collaboratives for teams seeking to implement integrated care.

Dr. Wissow is a member of the AAP’s Committee on the Psychosocial Aspects of Children and Families and on AACAP’s Presidential Initiative on Integrated Care. He served for five years as co-editor-in-chief of the journal Patient Education and Counseling and has been a member of advisory groups for the IOM, WHO, and several state agencies. He is a founding board member of the National Network of Child Psychiatry Access Programs.