Louisville VA Medical Center

Louisville VA Medical Center

The Veterans Administration Medical Center, located three miles east of the Health Sciences Center, is fully integrated with the University of Louisville. It has 176 operating beds, of which 25 are psychiatric beds. In addition to the acute psychiatry inpatient unit, the Mental Health & Behavioral Sciences Service operates an active mental health outpatient clinic at an off-site location. In 1995, the VA Psychiatry Service merged with the Psychology Service to form the Mental Health & Behavioral Sciences Service, and a major reorganization in the delivery of mental health services was implemented to enhance both comprehensive care across disciplines and the continuity of care from inpatient to outpatient.

Inpatient Psychiatry

Inpatient Psychiatry Unit offers experience in dealing with severely ill patients with a wide variety of psychiatric disorders. Emphasis is placed on group psychotherapy, occupational therapy and recreational activities. Multidisciplinary teams include a staff psychiatrist, residents, medical students, psychologists, social workers, nurses, occupational therapists, and a recreation therapist. In addition to daily rounds, each team meets several times a week to discuss new admissions, patient progress and treatment or discharge plans. A weekly case conference is also held at the VA Dupont Clinic site. Research activities are carried out by the psychiatric staff, and interested residents are invited to participate.

Outpatient Psychiatry

Outpatient treatment is conducted at the VA Dupont Clinic, located approximately 10 minutes from the Hospital. There are more than 16,000 patient visits per year. Residents in their third year of clinical training are assigned to the clinic. The Outpatient Clinic offers long term follow up for patients referred from inpatient psychiatric services or eligible patients referred from other services. Family therapy, individual psychotherapy, group therapy and medication monitoring are frequently used treatment modalities. A weekly case conference is held for both inpatient and outpatient treatment staff, faculty, residents and medical students.

Substance Abuse Program

The substance Abuse Treatment Program at the Louisville V.A. includes a 14 bed residential treatment unit with average length of stay of 4-5 weeks, an Intensive Outpatient Program, assessment for ambulatory detoxification and outpatient care. Second year psychiatry residents rotate on the substance abuse service for 6 week blocks. Staffing is multidisciplinary and includes a full-time faculty member psychiatrist, addiction psychiatry fellows, psychiatry residents, medical students, psychologists, social workers, addiction therapists, nurses, and recreational therapists. Psychiatry residents work particularly close with the attending psychiatrist, addictions fellow and medical students. Treatment team meetings with Veterans occur daily. Journal Club is held on Tuesday mornings. Residents learn about the use of pharmacologic agents in the treatment of addictions and have the opportunity to participate in the care of Veterans being evaluated for treatment with Suboxone. The program focuses on the principle of recovery and client centered treatment planning. Evidence Based treatment approaches are taught and emphasized including Relapse Prevention, Motivational Enhancement, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & Coping Skills, Motivational Interviewing, and mindfulness approaches. Interpersonal Process Group is a psychodynamic group that occurs daily, offering the Veterans an opportunity to rehearse, apply and intergrate skills learned in the psychoeducation groups. Psychiatry residents can be afforded the opportunity to take on a leadership role in the group process under staff guidance.