Agreement Between UB, State Office of Mental Health Makes Two Psychiatric Centers University Teaching Sites

By Lois Baker

Release Date: March 18, 1994 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Psychiatric Center and the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center in West Seneca became formal clinical teaching sites of the University at Buffalo in a contract-signing ceremony held today on UB’s North (Amherst) Campus.

The five-year renewable agreement between UB and the New York State Office of Mental Health opens new teaching and multidisciplinary-research opportunities at the centers for UB faculty, students and medical residents, and provides center physicians and staff access to UB’s faculty and research facilities. Center staff involved in teaching UB students and coordinating research with residents and post-graduate fellows will receive UB faculty appointments.

Participating in the signing were UB President William R. Greiner; Philip B. Wels, M.D., chair of the UB Council; Richard Surles, Ph.D., commissioner of the state Office of Mental Health; John P. Naughton, M.D., UB vice president for clinical affairs and dean of the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; George Molnar, M.D., executive director of the Buffalo Psychiatric Center, and Allen R. Morganstein, M.D., clinical director of the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center.

UB, primarily through its Department of Psychiatry, has used the two psychiatric facilities as training grounds for students and residents for some time, but the three institutions have never had a formal working agreement. As a result of the agreement, a 10-member committee with representatives from the three institutions will be formed to oversee the educational and research programs operated by the facilities.

The new contract opens the centers’ doors to the UB schools of dental medicine, nursing, pharmacy and health related professions, as well as to faculty and graduate and undergraduate students in clinical psychology and social work. The centers will provide equipment, lecture rooms and laboratories, in addition to faculty, for teaching and joint clinical research activities. UB students will be assigned to the center’s clinical facilities by the university.

"Collaboration with local providers has already proven to be an outstanding model for clinical training in UB's School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences," Greiner stated, in praising the agreement. "We are delighted that the Buffalo Psychiatric Center and the Western New York Children's Psychiatric Center will join UB's group of clinical affiliates."

The partnership, Greiner added, will offer great opportunities for UB faculty and students in a range of disciplines. "Commissioner Surles of the New York State Office of Mental Health has fully and enthusiastically supported this collaboration, and we appreciate his efforts. For our part, UB is pleased to be able to help support the clinical work of the physicians and staff of both centers.

"This sort of joint effort of the state, local providers and the university can do much both to enrich UB's education and training programs and to enhance care delivery for our fellow Western New Yorkers. We think it's a great step for all concerned."

Naughton, who will be UB’s primary liaison with the centers and was instrumental in negotiating the agreement, said the relationship is a welcome step in the university’s efforts to expand opportunities for clinical teaching and research for its students and faculty.

"This contract confirms that these two psychiatric centers are very important facilities in our community," Naughton said. "The opportunities the agreement presents for interdisciplinary research and innovative learning are enormous. The inclusion of these facilities in the university family will add significantly to our educational opportunities, particularly in the areas of pediatric psychiatry and in the care of the chronically ill."

The affiliation offers a model that deserves replication in other areas of the state, Commissioner Surles stated.

Molnar, who is also an associate professor of psychiatry at UB, said the Buffalo Psychiatric Center is very pleased to be a full partner in the university community, through an agreement that is mutually beneficial.

"Our expectations are high, and our enthusiasm is great," he stated. "We look forward to many new opportunities for joint teaching and research activities and to increased collaboration with the university’s schools and departments. We hope to contribute to the training of tomorrow’s human services professionals by offering valuable experiences for personal growth and understanding."

Morganstein said of the new relationship: "This agreement will be beneficial to the University as well as to the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center, in providing opportunities for professional growth of staff. Ultimately, this will filter down to the community, by providing enhanced clinical services."