Supporting Providers & Families to Access Telehealth

The Institute facilitated a multi-university, multidisciplinary effort to support the future of pediatric telehealth for behavioral health needs of children, youth, young adults, and their families.

COVID-19 forced a dramatic rise in telehealth as patients and providers sought to connect without risk of exposure in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and other health care settings. The shift to telehealth was greatest in the field of behavioral health and continues to hold enormous potential for children, youth, young adults, and their families seeking behavioral health care and the clinicians who serve them.

This niche of pediatric behavioral health care is The Institute for Innovation and Implementation’s strength. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) invited the Institute to bring its subject matter expertise to the Supporting Providers and Families to Access Telehealth and Distant Care Services for Pediatric Care project funded by a multimillion-dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Through this project, AAP and their partners are shaping the future of pediatric telehealth by improving feasibility, usability, equitability, and outcomes measurements as well supporting practitioners in delivering more effective, equitable, and valuable care to children and adolescents, including those with special health care needs and other vulnerable populations.

The Institute, led by project investigator Michelle Zabel and project director Jennifer Lowther, facilitated a multiuniversity, multidisciplinary effort to create instructional videos, a recorded expert panel webinar, and nine interactive online learning courses on using telehealth to support mental health care in pediatrics. The Institute team provided expertise in adult learning theory and instructional design, and facilitated involvement of subject matter experts from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and the University of Maryland School of Medicine, as well as from Harvard University and the Johns Hopkins University. 

The following faculty and staff were involved:

University of Maryland School of Social Work

Michelle Zabel, MS, The Institute/Project Investigator

Jennifer Lowther, MSW, The Institute/Project Director

F. Tony Bonadio, PhD, The Institute

Dennard Brown, The Institute

Margo Candelaria, PhD, The Institute

Jill Carter, MSEd, The Institute

Kaitlyn Decker, The Institute

Deborah Harburger, MSW, The Institute

Brook Kearley, PhD, The Institute

Goldie Morton, PhD, The Institute

Melissa Schober, MPM, The Institute

Rochon Steward, MSW

Kate Sweeney, MSW, The Institute

Angela Weeks, PhD, The Institute

Jacob Whiteford, MS, The Institute


University of Maryland School of Medicine

Deborah Badawi, MD, Pediatrics

Marc Fishman, MD, Psychiatry

Sharon Hoover, PhD, Psychiatry

Wendy Lane, MD, Epidemiology & Public Health

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Maria Trent, MD, MPH, Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine

Hoover Adgar, MD, MPH, Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine

Harvard University School of Medicine

Christopher Bellonci, MD, Psychiatry

Available resources include online learning modules, short videos, virtual office hour recordings, tip sheets, communication toolkits, and more.

Visit to learn more.

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