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Gerdien Gerdien Franx

(The Netherlands) Manager of Health Care Innovation Trimbos Institute/National Institute for Mental Health and Addiction

Harkness Project: The Whole Person Approach: Integration of Mental Health and Primary Care

Placement: Columbia University

Mentors: Harold Pincus, M.D., professor and director of quality and outcomes research, and Lisa Dixon, M.D., professor and director, Center for Practice Innovations, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Biography at time of Harkness Fellowship: Gerdien Franx, Ph.D., a 2012-13 Dutch Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice, is a health services researcher and manager of health care innovation at Trimbos Institute/Netherlands National Institute for Mental Health and Addiction. In this position, Franx has responsibility for developing national multidisciplinary clinical guidelines in mental health and the national standard of care for depression. Franx was also the national lead on implementing Quality Improvement Collaboratives in the Dutch mental health care system. Before entering a career as a researcher, Franx was an intensive care nurse in the Netherlands, France, and the Soviet Union. Franx has six peer-reviewed publications in journals such as International Journal of Integrated Care and International Review of Psychiatry – and six book chapters. Franx received her master’s degree in health care sciences from the University of Maastricht and her Ph.D. at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, where her thesis explored the effectiveness of quality improvement collaboratives in the Netherlands.

Current Project Abstract:

Franx aims to identify effective strategies for integrating mental health and primary care and to identify if and how policy reforms can enhance the use of these strategies. The project will particularly focus on the Collaborative Care model of integration. Franx will first undertake a literature review and interviews with leading researchers on models for mental health and primary care integration and the Collaborative Care model. She will then conduct case studies to evaluate Collaborative Care implementation for depression in New York, Washington and Minnesota.  She will conduct interviews at 3-4 sites with executive managers, physicians, care managers, implementation experts, and policy makers or payers on the implementation process and financial and organizational barriers to success.

Career Activity Since Fellowship:

  • Senior Research Associate and Manager of Health Care Innovation at Trimbos-instituut, Institute for Mental Health and Addiction, 2013

Current Position: Program Manager, National Suicide Prevention Strategy at 113Online

Email: [email protected]

Harkness Related Publications: 

H.A. Pincus, M. Jun, G. Franx, C. van der Feltz-Cornelis, H. Ito, E. Mossialos, “How Can We Link General Medical and Behavioral Health Care? International Models for Practice and Policy.” Psychiatric Services, 2015.

G. Franx, L. Dixon, M. Wensing, H.A. Pincus. "Implementation strategies for collaborative primary care-mental health models," Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2013.