Navigate Up

UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
For Journalists
Telephone: 412-586-9776

Want to Make an Appointment or Need Patient Information?

Contact UPMC at
1-800-533-UPMC (8762).

Go to Find a Doctor to search for a UPMC doctor.​

New Pitt Center Aims to Bridge Science-to-Service Gap in Mental Health Care

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 10, 2018 – Despite many academic advances in the mental health field, it can take decades before new research-based treatments are implemented into clinical care in the community.  A new center at the University of Pittsburgh is working to solve that problem and improve behavioral health care in real-world, community-based settings.
The Center for Interventions to Enhance Community Health (CiTECH), developed by Pitt’s School of Social Work and in partnership with the Department of Psychiatry, will bridge the science-to-service gap in mental health by developing and testing ways to make the research advances in treatment more quickly available to community residents who would benefit the most.

“Pitt’s School of Social Work has a long-standing reputation and commitment to delivering high-impact community-based research and service,” said Shaun Eack, Ph.D., CiTECH director and professor of social work, psychiatry, psychology and clinical and translational science. “By integrating the scientific, clinical and community expertise of social work and psychiatry, we hope to dramatically reduce the 15- to 20-year lag between the development of a practice and its use at the community level,” said Eack.

For clinical trials that show positive results from interventions, CiTECH will fast-track their adoption into everyday community practices and will collaborate with community providers and policymakers to translate best practices that reflect the realities of community settings. Further, Pitt scientists will collaborate with community partners to develop new treatments, ensuring that these approaches are ready for the “real world” once developed.

CiTECH also will leverage rapidly advancing technology in mobile health and digital phenotyping to deliver care using smart phones and two-way video systems for patients who live in rural areas and do not have ready access to city clinics.

David A. Brent, M.D., CiTECH co-director and endowed chair in suicide studies at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC, and Pitt Schools of the Health Sciences professor of psychiatry, pediatrics, epidemiology and clinical and translational science, notes that, “As clinicians and researchers, it is vital that our research meets the needs of community practitioners and those who seek mental health care. With that in mind, we can leverage the communication between CiTECH and community partners to make certain that our research is informed by, and is useful to, community practitioners and their patients.”

Current CiTECH projects:

• Adapting evidence-based sleep interventions to help youth stay awake and succeed in school.
• Implementing psychosocial interventions for psychotic patients in community settings.
• Targeting the opiate epidemic through partnerships with community pharmacists.
• Enhancing the capacity of pediatric primary care to assess, triage and manage depressed and suicidal youth.

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA |