London Ash Breedlove, PsyD
University of Washington
Dr. London Ash Breedlove is Director of Integrated Behavioral Health and Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Washington. They are also Co-Director of Education at the Osher Center, along with Dr. Debra Bell.
Dr. Breedlove practices using a Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) model, where clinical psychology is embedded into primary care, among other departmental specialties. “As providers, we all want to practice whole-person care, but the health care system is so fragmented that it can be challenging,” said Dr. Breedlove. “The PCBH model allows providers across departments to work as a team to deliver the best care to our patients. The concept is so intuitive, and patients love having a team of providers.” PCBH is one of the two most widely adopted models of care integration. The other model, the Collaborative Care Model (CoCM) was developed at the University of Washington. Both models are focused on increasing access to care by including behavioral health providers as a core part of the primary care team.
In addition to providing clinical care, Dr. Breedlove educates learners of different health care specialties, including residents and fellows on integrative health practices in behavioral health. Drs. Breedlove and Bell recently launched a pilot wellness program for family medicine residents, which is quickly growing in popularity. The program teaches residents about mind-body medicine concepts, such as mindfulness, non-violent communication, and stress management, and then shifts to experiential exercises to practice these techniques, followed by opportunities to reflect and connect with their peers in a safe space. “Residents are a high-risk group for stress and burnout, so not only are we teaching them to prioritize their own wellness, but also to incorporate these techniques into how they care for patients,” said Dr. Breedlove.
Dr. Breedlove is also highly involved in professional advocacy and healthcare policy around behavioral health initiatives. They sit on a policy committee of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health and co-direct a statewide taskforce that lobbies for solutions to better fund psychology training. “We are trying to create a new type of credential so that psychology training and services can be billed under Medicaid,” said Dr. Breedlove. “Finding novel ways to fund clinical training is intended to build a pipeline of future providers who would be more likely to practice in a variety of settings, including with some of our most vulnerable and underserved populations.” Dr. Breedlove is also a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Health (NASEM) committee on “Strategies to Improve Access to Behavioral Health Care Services Through Medicare and Medicaid.”
The pandemic and recent generational shifts have led to the de-stigmatization of mental health. While this acceptance is long overdue, there is now an added pressure on mental health providers, including psychologists. “Our workforce needs to meet this growing demand for mental health services. We need a system in place to support ourselves as providers and the needs of our patients,” said Dr. Breedlove. “That’s what we’re fighting for.”