Thinking about starting a Medpsych unit (MPU)?: Lessons learned from 3 MPUs and the MPU consortium.

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Thinking about starting a Medpsych unit (MPU)?: Lessons learned from 3 MPUs and the MPU consortium. 

You’re invited to join the Association of Medicine and Phsychiatry for this installment of our AMP Webinar Series: Thinking about starting a Medpsych unit (MPU)?: Lessons learned from 3 MPUs and the MPU consortium. 

Presentation Summary: In this session, we will describe the function and activities of the MPU consortium and discuss key lessons learned from 3 Medpsych units associated with academic medical centers (University of Iowa, University Hospitals of Cleveland, University of Rochester). Specifically, we will discuss ways the units are collaborating to develop guidelines and build consensus. We will share some ideas for making a business case for an MPU, designing a safe unit, hiring and retaining a team of dedicated staff, and building infrastructure to evaluate outcomes.   

Date: Thursday, September 23, 2021


Cost: Members: FREE | Non-members $25 


Marsha Wittink, MD

Dr. Wittink is Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine. A primary care physician with additional training in geriatrics and mental health, her research focuses on patient priorities and health services innovations for adults with multiple chronic conditions and psychosocial needs. Her studies have been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Patient Outcomes Research Institute. She is the director of Inpatient Medicine in Psychiatry at Strong Memorial Hospital and the chair of the National Medical-Psychiatry Unit (MPU) Consortium. 

Susan Padrino, MD

Susan Padrino, MD has been practicing medicine at the intersection of physical and mental health for the past 15 years. She is a Board Certified physician in both Internal Medicine and Psychiatry who is passionate about providing medical care based on a deep understanding of the whole patient.

This passion has led her to a broad range of clinical settings and roles in which she has often served as a thought leader and pioneer. Her accomplishments include establishing a Collaborative Care program with plan for system-wide expansion; opening a Complexity Intervention (aka Med-Psych) Unit within the general hospital; piloting e-consultations for specialty providers including behavioral health; leading a multidisciplinary team to improve outcomes for adult Sickle Cell patients; providing Medication Assisted Treatment to cancer and hematology patients with opioid use disorders. Dr. Padrino has also been a leader in Medical Education, most recently serving as the Assistant Dean for Clinical Education at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She brings a deep understanding of curriculum design and reform, accreditation, and leadership. She continues to mentor and teach both residents and students, and is supporting efforts to expand Integrated Care training in the Psychiatry residency.

Since graduating from a combined Internal Medicine-Psychiatry residency in 2004 from Duke University Medical Center, Dr. Padrino has been working at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland OH. She helped build Cartesian Solutions, LLC in 2019 in order to expand patient access to better models of health care, in the belief that attention to both the mind and the body will result in healthier patients, families, communities, and populations. She is a strong proponent of equitable access to care and wellness.

Aubrey Chan, MD

Aubrey Chan is a dual-trained internist-psychiatrist at the University of Iowa. Dr. Chan's clinical work is on our inpatient med-psych unit and on our geriatric psychiatry unit. He also have an interest in research related to med-psych units, currently working with the Med Psych Consortium founded by Dr. Wittink, and is also doing basic neuroscience research on molecular and neural mechanisms related to anxiety.


Roger Kathol, MD

Dr. Kathol is board certified in internal medicine, psychiatry, and medical management with extensive clinical and administrative experience gained during 22 years as a physician/teacher/researcher at the University of Iowa and 15 years as an international health complexity consultant.  

He has published over 160 peer reviewed articles and 25 book chapters.  In his book Healing Body AND Mind: A Critical Issue for Healthcare Reform (2007) with co-author Suzanne Gatteau, he brings to life the negative impact that segregated physical and mental health care has on the lives of patients and outlines the steps that can be taken today which improve health, reduce impairment, and lower health care costs through health service integration. In collaboration with the Case Management Society of America, Dr. Kathol and co-authors, introduce the industry-changing steps to integrated medical and behavioral health case management in their book, The Integrated Case Management Manual: Assisting Complex Patients Regain Physical and Mental Health (June 2010).  Dr. Kathol works part time at Hennepin County Medical Center.