Prevention of Adolescent Depression in Primary Care: Opportunities and Challenges

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Prevention of Adolescent Depression in Primary Care: Opportunities and Challenges


Event Info
Category Date and Time
  • Wednesday, November 01, 2017
  • 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
Topic and Speaker
  • Prevention of Adolescent Depression in Primary Care: Opportunities and Challenges
  • Benjamin Van Voorhees MD MPH
    • Associate Professor of Pediatrics
    • Head, Department of Pediatrics
    • Physician-in-Chief, Children’s Hospital, University of Illinois
    • Project Director for CHECK Grant, Department of Pediatrics
    • University of Illinois at Chicago Children's Hospital, UIHHSS
    Benjamin Van Voorhees

  • School of Public Health / Psychiatric Institute (SPHPI)
  • 1601 W. Taylor St.
  • Chicago IL 60612
Conference Room
  • 109 (Auditorium)
Event Details

Benjamin Van Voorhees, MD, MPH is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Head of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine; he also serves as the Physician-in-Chief of the Children’s Hospital University of Illinois. Dr. Van Voorhees joined the Department of Pediatrics in 2011 as the Division Chief for General Pediatrics and was appointed the Interim Head of the Department in 2015. He is also the Project Director for the federally funded CHECK (Coordination of Healthcare for Complex Kids) Program, a $19.5 million grant awarded in 2014. He has completed more than 50 peer reviewed publications, over 75 invited presentations, received the Jericho Walk Award for promotion of community health and has been listed in Chicago Magazine as a “top doctor” as well as Castle’s Top Doctors.

Dr. Van Voorhees received his BA in history from Dartmouth College, his Doctor of Medicine from Vanderbilt University, and his Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. He completed a combined internal medicine-pediatric residency at Vanderbilt University Hospital and a general internal medicine fellowship at Johns Hopkins. Between college and medical school, Dr. Van Voorhees served as an officer in the U.S. Navy onboard the USS Lockwood. Following residency training, he founded and managed a community primary care practice in Brentwood, Tennessee and in 2004 he became the Director of the medicine-pediatric residency at the University of Chicago where he was an Assistant Professor until 2011.

Dr. Van Voorhees developed a “technology-based behavioral vaccine” model to prevent mental disorders in children and adolescents. While at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Van Voorhees developed his first prototype CATCH-IT, “Competent Adulthood Transition with Cognitive, Humanistic, and Interpersonal Training,” for the prevention of adolescent depression. He recently completed a multi-center NIMH-funded clinical trial of CATCH-IT that involved nearly 2,000 teens, parents, and healthcare providers in three states. This work has been funded by the National Alliance for Research of Schizophrenia and Depression and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grants; NIMH K-08, R-21 and RO-1 series funded studies; and the CMS Healthcare Innovation Award. Dr. Van Voorhees’ research also includes six clinical trials, multiple epidemiologic studies, as well as implementation evaluations.

During the past six years at UIC, Dr. Van Voorhees’ work expanded to involve developing and evaluating comprehensive approaches to reducing healthcare costs while improving both the mental and physical health and the patient experience of children and adolescents – that is, to increase health equity. Dr. Van Voorhees’ team has used advanced database analytics, technology based outreach, and relationship building to engender the compassionate, authentic relationships that are the foundation for building health equity. These health-equity focused projects have included CURB, “Chicago Urban Resiliency Building,” for African American and Latino youth; “Vets Prevail,” for returning war veterans; “Grasp the Opportunity,” for Chinese youth; and a new program, focused on Arab youth. While Chief of General Pediatrics, Dr. Van Voorhees was instrumental in the development of a highly successful health services research group focused on key child health problems in Illinois, such as obesity, asthma, learning disabilities, and mental disorders. In 2014, the University of Illinois received a highly competitive CMS Healthcare Innovation Award for the CHECK Program to establish a national model for both reducing cost and improving outcomes. This project, which now involves more than 11,000 children and nearly 100 clinics and community organizations, has delivered >100,000 services.

Audience: Psychiatrists, Neurologists, and other affiliated professionals interested in mental health

Purpose: To provide current information on research, treatment, and policy issues relating to psychiatry and its adjunct fields

Instructional level: Advanced


  1. Learn public health facts about the prevalence of depression and the Path Study’s aims to combat adolescent depression as a behavioral vaccine.
  2. Recognize the gap of mental health services and interventions in primary care settings, and the significance of addressing this gap through early detection of sub-threshold depression symptoms in teenagers.
  3. Understand the importance of technology to create mental health online intervention tools to address adolescent depression and other mental health disorders.

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education
(ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 1credit AMA PRA Category 1
credit(s)TM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Continuing Education Units (1) will be available for Social Workers and affiliated reciprocal agencies. Illinois Board License number 159-000112.

The Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  The Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This event is 1 credit hour continuing education.

No member of the planning committee for this activity have reported a relevant relationship with a commercial interest.  There is no conflict of interest and nothing to disclose.
Dr. Van Voorhees has no relevant financial relationship with commercial interests related to this CME activity.