I am Dr. Jenna Ermold from the Center for Deployment Psychology and I’m here today with Dr. Christopher Keonig, who is a health communications scientist with San Francisco State University and a health services researcher at the San Francisco VA healthcare system. Dr. Keonig is one of the panelists on our Military Culture in Primary Care Roundtable. I wanted to have an additional conversation with him today about some of the research that he does.
I was trained in the Primary Care Behavioral Health Consultation model (PCBH; Robinson & Reiter, 2016) while I was a pre-doctoral clinical psychology resident (intern) in early 2007. As a young U.S. Air Force (USAF) officer and clinician, I found the primary care rotation to be exciting and exhausting. However, as a colleague of mine says, the primary care bug bit hard and I was hooked! I enjoyed the fast-paced generalist environment and the need to be prepared for anything. After graduation, I was fortunate to continue doing part-time PCBH work until I separated from the USAF in 2015. The USAF calls their PCBH program the Behavioral Health Optimization Program, a.k.a. BHOP (USAF, 2014). I BHOPped along for a few years until I was certified as an official “mentor” by Patti Robinson in 2011. For three years thereafter, I trained residents in BHOP. I truly had no idea that the skills I learned during my residency rotation would prove so valuable not just in primary care clinics, but also in a variety of other military settings, including the deployed environment.